Not my feminism: White feminism’s role in President-elect Trump’s win

By Jessica Wang

In 1920, the ratification of the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote after years of activist Susan B. Anthony’s fight for women’s suffrage.

Despite the ratification, it is noteworthy to highlight that many women of color were not granted that same right until the 1960s, despite the amendment’s passage”underscoring a women’s suffrage movement that intersected with white supremacy.

It was Anthony who had said, following the passing of the 15th Amendment that allowed African American men the right to vote, “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.”

Following the polarizing news of business-mogul Donald J. Trump’s presidential win, exit polls conducted by the Pew Research Center seemingly highlight one presumption: white feminism played a sizeable role in the outcome of the president-elect’s win.

Pioneered by the likes of Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells, African American suffragists often faced discrimination within the movement as some members contended only for the enfranchisement of white women”an ideal that has since evolved in modernity to be coined as white feminism, a type of feminism that excludes the narrative of women of color.

According to the exit polls, more white women voted for Trump at a notable 53 percent in comparison to opponent Hillary Clinton’s 43 percent, along with 62 percent consisting of white women who did not graduate college in contrast to Clinton’s 34 percent.

Rooted heavily in anti-immigration rhetoric that discounted people of color and women, Trump’s trying campaign has been jarring at best, but it really is no surprise that so many white women identified with his ideals.

Briefly disregard the lewd comments he’s employed about women and minorities to examine these statistics really quick: 64 percent of Trump supporters believe immigration is the most important issue facing the country, trailed closely by terrorism at 57 percent.

Additionally, 83 percent of Trump supporters believe the candidate quality that mattered most was the ability to bring change, while 8 percent believed proper experience and 26 percent believed good judgment mattered most, according to the exit polls.

It is therefore no shocking revelation that Clinton’s feminist-centric campaign, rooted in progressive principles to empower people of color and usually-disenfranchised demographics, appeared as a nasty threat to western privilege deep-seated in white supremacism.

The ability to cast off destructive rhetoric of labeling an entire racial group as criminals or chastising the parents of a Muslim U.S. Army officer is pretty damn easy when it pertains to the systematic exclusion of the other.

Because these destructive ideals do not pertain to their lives, it simply does not exist”much like hip hop artist Lil Wayne’s delusional dismissal of the Black Lives Matter movement because he felt disconnected to something that did not pertain to his life as a successful black man.

Deep-rooted desires to return to the nostalgia of systematic exclusion successfully overshadowed all the alarming components employed by their candidate”whether it be labeling women who opposed him as fat pigs or slobs, making extremely uncomfortable comments about his daughter’s figure or admitting to sexual predator tendencies of grabbing women by the crotch or lurking in beauty pageant dressing rooms.

When it comes down to it, the inability of these women to ascertain narratives that exist beyond the scope of their lives helped hand the presidency over to Trump on a silver platter”purchased full price at Pottery Barn and coming highly recommended by Martha Stewart Living.

Jessica Wang is a self-proclaimed feminist who enjoys discussing social issues over coffee.

Trump shaking hands

Sungah Choi / The Poly Post

Trump shaking hands

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