“On Tuesdays, we vote Democrat!” This line could have been uttered by Plastics’ member Karen Smith in Tina Fey’s 2004 classic film, “Mean Girls.” The movie famously explores and dissects the joys and pitfalls of high school clique-based culture.
The female characters Fey created expose how peer pressure is used by women to exploit and sublimate other women to embrace the amorphous goals of popularity and social acceptance into a desired group. The means by which women do this carry over into their adult lives. Peer pressure often compels women into thinking and acting in a certain way to secure the acceptance of other females.
Without a doubt, American women are facing tremendous pressure in the mainstream media and on social platforms to vote for Joe Biden on November 3. Ostensibly, supporting the Democratic ticket would guarantee the rights and privileges the feminist juggernaut has secured for women since the 1960s. President Donald Trump has been portrayed as a monster and a nightmare king who threatens to eliminate the gains women have made since the right to vote was secured in 1920.
This is a manipulative myth. Despite allegations of misogyny, the Trump Administration has done more for women than his predecessors, whether Democrat or Republican. These gains are not insignificant. Yet when many women discuss Trump, the arguments focus not on facts, but on points that can only be described in terms of an emotional relationship.
In other words, their arguments are stereotypically . . . well, female.
For women who are beyond such girlish behavoir, however, there is a strong feminist case to be made for favoring the president.
Empowerment and economics are intrinsically linked. The iconic feminist authors have advocated for the freedom of women to pursue an education, choose our professions, our partners, and have autonomy over our personhood. By these metrics, under the Trump Administration, women have fared well.
According to the Council of Economic Advisors, “the female unemployment rate fell to 3.4%—a 66 year low,” achieved last February, before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the U.S. and global economy. The wage gap also narrowed due to the administration’s policies. A minority House Ways and Means Committee report found women’s wages have increased by 8.6 percent since 2017. Tax reform under Trump’s administration helped women become more financially independent, and enjoy the freedoms and perks that came with it. Biden’s oft-stated plans to raise taxes would effectively end those achievements.
The controversial appointment of Betsy DeVos to head the Department of Education has also benefited women. DeVos has been vilified in the press, in part because she rolled back Obama’s expansion of Title IX’s many provisions. Yet under the previous administrations, sports programs were obligated to allow trans-men to compete against women in their own programs. DeVos argues such programs remain exclusively for women, and that the benefits accorded to female competitors, such as scholarships, should remain assigned to them.
DeVos also ensured due process for students facing academic review boards. Under the Obama revision, the burden of proof that lays with the accuser was removed. Many young men, unfairly accused of sex code violations, were expelled—some losing scholarships that were not reinstated when these cases were found to be baseless in civil court. It does not serve women’s integrity if we are not held to the same standard of proof as a man. It undermines female credibility and increases suspicion, not only on the college campus, but in the workplace as well.
President Trump advocates school choice. DeVos’ support of this policy promises to drastically cut the dropout rate and raise competency. If implemented, this policy could benefit women, particularly women of color, by lowering the drop-out rates of their children and promises to reduce early single-motherhood substantially. The long term benefits of real improvements to education in this country would also reinforce the significant gains made by the Trump Administration in the female labor rate, and further close the wage gap.
The selection of Kamala Harris as Biden’s vice president is problematic from any serious feminist perspective. Harris’ relationship with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is of concern. Many women have lost promotional opportunities to those who willingly offer sexual favors as a quid pro quo for professional advancement. This behavior is toxic in an office, and creates a hostile work environment for other female colleagues and successors when similar behavior is expected from them.
Harris also doesn’t acknowledge Biden’s legendary unwanted touching of women and girls, bringing Harris’ integrity into question. Several mainstream outlets have called into question many of her prosecutions, where exculpatory evidence was withheld to secure a conviction later overturned.
The moral turpitude exhibited by Harris is important to keep in mind in the event of a Biden win. No one expects Biden to complete his presidential term. Do we want a president who will put her personal ambitions above her country?
Harris has many of the character flaws of “Mean Girls” ring leader Regina George, and nowhere has this been more evident than in her grandstanding during the Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings. Harris, like many feminists, believes that being pro-choice is the litmus test as to who is, and who is not, a feminist. Harris’ line of questioning of the future Supreme Court justice was completely fixated on this point, and other feminist supporters followed suit with vile and graphic tweets.
The ugliest by far was tweeted by feminist writer Lauren Hough, who in a series of tweets disparaged and demeaned Barrett’s success both as a professional and as a mother, by referring to Barrett’s womb as a “clown-car.”
It’s a very weird thing to watch these old creeps congratulate a handmaid on her clown car vagina.
— Lauren Hough (@laurenthehough) October 12, 2020
Not to be outdone, disgraced former U.S. Representative Katie Hill (D-Calif.), in a now deleted tweet, opined “I hate to be someone who judges women on their clothes, but I’m sorry ACB’s outfits are all the way too handsmaid-y.” This was a nod to the costumed feminist hysterics who gathered in protest outside. The red-clad denizens of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian tale have become the scary bedtime stories that feminist professors tell their unwitting students even though Atwood’s admonitions have yet to come true in the United States.
The tweet was especially odd coming from Hill, who resigned her congressional seat in the midst of a sex scandal that involved the sexual coercion and abuse of subordinates. If the choice to terminate a pregnancy is important, then the choice of motherhood is equally important and it should not be demeaned or dismissed.
Many women who identify as feminists take umbrage at President Trump’s abrasive and often callous behavior. The infamous “Access Hollywood” audio with host Billy Bush almost doomed his 2016 campaign. Our absence from locker-rooms removes us from the male posturing that often occurs in them. But as awful and embarrassing as Trump’s comments were in that interview, they have not been reflected in policies or in any part of his administration.
Moreover, the myriad claims of sexual assault in Trump’s private life remain unsubstantiated and clouded by suspicions of cyncial financial posturing, at least as of this writing. It is important to remember that the mother-daughter legal team of Gloria Allred and Lisa Bloom paid women to file civil-suits alleging sexual harassment.
Actions like these are not feminist, and must be strongly condemned. Such behavior damages the standing of women in our culture and reinforces negative stereotypes, all while insulting the intelligence of the women it is aimed at manipulating. The damage done to legitimate victims of sexual assault and harassment also cannot be understated. False claims of abuse done for profit and to advance an agenda hurt women substantially more than Trump’s ill-considered and crude language ever could.
What does a Biden-Harris Administration offer women? Biden’s record is sparse on concrete benefits for women, making his support for abortion rights the only arguably pro-woman stance in his arsenal. Women of color should question Biden proxy Cardi B. Biden never fully walked back his “you ain’t black” comment on Charlamagne tha God’s podcast earlier this summer. In fact, he repeated them through the WAP songstress to disparage Blexit founder Candace Owens with the same condescension he extended to Charlemagne tha God. Cardi B questioned Owens’ blackness in a now-notorious spat. Autonomy of thought, it should be remembered, is just valuable as the bodily autonomy the feminist canon supposedly extols.
Trump’s language and occasionally loathsome behavior should be discussed, but they should be contrasted with his policies, which help and will continue to help assist women going forward.
The Maryland Republican congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik made the observation that feminists are fond of describing Trump in the same terms they would use to deride an ex-husband or boyfriend. It is important to remember.
But nobody is asking female voters to date or marry Donald Trump. Voting is not an affirmation of one’s ideal mate type. It’s about choosing policies that are both right and in one’s interest.
On November 3, women would be wise to remember that money is power, access to education is power, and a second Trump term would guarantee us the kind of economic recovery that will benefit women. A true feminist agenda is not at odds with a true American one.