There were many issues that came out of The Women’s March but the one I want to discuss is this: is a person or group of people who focus on only one issue at the expense of all others really a responsible voter? The context within which I choose to discuss this is the following: Donald Trump secured 42% of the female vote in the 2016 election despite the fact that he is widely regarded as sexist for many reasons and was running against a female candidate. As a result, protests were staged worldwide. The protests were called the Women’s March, directly implying that Trump was not women’s (worldwide I presume) choice for president. This implies that those women that voted for Trump either were not real women or were unable to exercise their actual women’s vote (which naturally would have been for Clinton) but rather were somehow forced to vote for Trump.
The critical thing to find out is why the protesters believed that Trump could not be the women’s choice and any female voter that supported him must be wrong. Fortunately there were speeches delivered at the protests that give us an insight into the nature of the grievances that meant that women should not vote for Trump. I have included a list of the topics discussed below but to keep this short, I’ll only include the topics that weren’t related to sexism, racism, homophobia or Islamophobia:
- Indigenous rights (Angela Davis)
- Slavery (Angela Davis)
- Global warming (Angela Davis)
I watched Gloria Steinem, Madonna and America Ferrera and not one issue outside of sexism, racism, homophobia or Islamophobia was raised. I watched Elizabeth Warren too and she raised every issue in the book, but she is a democratic senator who, in my opinion, was just pumping democratic party politics. For that reason I omitted her speech.
Having now watched over 30 minutes of these speeches, I believe I can now say that sexism/women’s issues made up 95% of the speaking time. Racism, homophobia and Islamophobia would have been 4% and the issue above <1%.
In the 2016 election, the top three voting issues were economics, terrorism, foreign policy. Outside of economic inequality (raised by Elizabeth Warren) the issues were never mentioned. Here are a list of the issues not mentioned during my research:
- Foreign policy
- Military expenditure
- Gun control
- Supreme Court appointments
Now to my point. Whether we take the claim that the Women’s March truly represented all women as literal or see it as just a marketing exercise, can you really be said to be a responsible voter when one does not even consider unemployment, foreign policy or military expenditure as a relevant issue but still make the claim that Trump was (or would be) the wrong choice for 3.5 billion people worldwide? Or to put it another way, if Trump is the most sexist candidate out of two possible choices, if all the other factors combined fail to out weight this characteristic and make him the preferred candidate for women, is a balanced assessment being made?
As a foot note, I think the women that were able to balance Trump’s sexist nature against the issues that affected them and voted for him showed genuine courage and strength in using their vote to wield political power to do what they thought was right. I think the people that believe women are single issue voters and can only be addressed on one issue, that of sexism, are politically inept and will never win power in a democracy where women vote.