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Will women lose the right to vote?

Impossible, you say? Women could never lose the right to vote, you say? I am reasonably concerned there will be an attempt to stop women voting in the USA during the next four years and if that happens in the USA . . .

I first felt my gut wrench when, back in October, #RepealThe19th  was trending. Essentially, if only men voted, Trump would win. Back then, the counter argument was if only women voted, the result would be very different. No-one expected Trump to actually win: if reports post-election are to be believed even Trump did not expect to win. Then the election happened and 53% of white women voted for Trump. Admittedly, only about 55% of Americans exercised their right to vote, a shocking statistic, but not a topic for consideration in this article. How many white women didn’t vote at all?

It is of concern there seems to be some difficulty voting in the USA at the best of times: long queues at polling booths, arguments over keeping booths open to accommodate the numbers – and yet this was nearly the lowest voter turnout in two decades. Surely a nation that can spend billions on wars can afford a billion or two to ensure every eligible citizen can actually vote.

Aside from the practicalities of the election process, what we have seen since the result has been some very frightening behaviours. Neo-nazis running rampant, misogynists feeling they now have the right to attack women in public, bigots leaving notes on people’s cars telling then to go back to Africa. All of a sudden the KKK is almost an acceptable institution again.

It isn’t so much Trump personally I am worried about, it is his “Sieg Heil” followers. Trump will no doubt merely become (or is already) a pawn in a carefully orchestrated return to white male supremacy.

White male supremacy requires the removal of the rights of over 50% of the population – women. Yes, women are more than 50% of the population of voting age. Once women are suitably put back in their place, it isn’t much of a stretch to take away the rights of black Americans, LBGTI people, anyone not born in the USA: in fact anyone that is not a white male born in the USA. Look at who Trump is surrounding himself with – or being told to surround himself with: some very inhumane characters. Many of whom would prefer that women were put in their place.

Read very carefully many of the beliefs expressed by many of the men surrounding Trump. Some are totally weird – not just strange or old-fashioned – weird.

Women in the Middle East are fighting for the right to drive and vote, women in Turkey are fighting a law absolving men of statutory rape if the rapist marries the victim. If you think these neanderthal white men running rampant in the USA aren’t cut from a similar cloth, I suggest you take off the rose-coloured glasses. Try this “rape activist” from the good ol’ US of A.

There are even women in the USA who suggest/believe women shouldn’t have the vote – Anne Coulter, for one. Great way to make a lot of money, of course, for her.

Now this lot are in power. Will your daughters retain the right to vote?

 


14 comments

  1. Jaquix

    The best way to counter any such moves would be for the Democrats (for instance) to make a concerted effort to get more potential voters to register to vote. Especially young people, but also women who “dont bother”.

  2. Carol Taylor

    By the way Trump and his son were peering over their wives’ shoulders to ensure that they were voting the right way, I am sure that in the weird/old-fashioned world of certain sections of American society that this is the correct order of things. This is also Australia before the ’70s. I recall the shock from a woman when my mother’s sister (in hushed tones) confided that she had voted differently to her husband. Men as patriarchs were supposed to rule their families and this included telling the little woman, whose fluffy little brain couldn’t possibly understand complicated things such as politics, how to vote. It’s not a far stretch to imagine that in the USA women were barred from voting by family members.

  3. wam

    At golf we were talking slogans the abbottian woman said a young man had told her not to vote for trunbull because of medicare and she set him straight about labor’s lie.
    Who caught the incredible credlin this week? She has left right and far right friends but she knows why she is lib the economy. oops arguably the worst deficit treasurer? howard the worst salesman howard for gold, telstra and airport land, the rabbott for medibank, when hockey was spouting the rabbott line about a crisis he was asked which country in the world would he prefer to be treasurer anyone remember his answer? I doubt anyone in labor knows the question,
    Anyway god knows women have a flaw and don’t really understand politics ask mitt romney, trump or the rabbott.

  4. Robyn Dunphy

    @Carol – I think you make very good points.

    @ Jaquix – I wonder how many women didn’t vote to avoid conflict in the home? However, that does not explain the highly visible female fan club Trump seems to have gathered. I cannot comprehend anyone supporting such a horrid example of the human species, least of all a woman. Clearly I know very little about human psychology because it is completely beyond my comprehension.

    The fact so few people vote (of either gender) in USA elections is a major concern. (Edited for clarity)

    @ Wam – yes, I know – women just do the ironing.

  5. Carol Taylor

    Jaquix, Trump has always had a highly visible female following, this being an obvious tactical ploy to try to counter Trump’s glaring unpopularity with female voters. A little like Abbott regularly trotting out Margie and the daughters to prove that he’s in touch with “women’s issues”. All show. As far as who these women are. Are they Trump employees or perhaps wannabes hoping to catch the Trump eye?

  6. OrchidJar

    To Carol,

    62% of white women without college degrees
    45% of white women with college degrees
    26% Latina women
    4% black women

    Total women vote for Trump – 42%.

    Those numbers certainly do not suggest a “glaring unpopularity with female voters”.

  7. Robyn Dunphy

    Orchid Jar, I take it those percentages are of women who voted – not women overall. Since such a dismal percentage of the population voted, those stats really don’t indicate anything about Trumps overall unpopularity with women.

    As an extreme example for illustrative purposes, let’s say only 20% of white women with college degrees voted at all – 45% of 20% of all white women with college degrees is hardly what I would call a ringing endorsement.

  8. Deanna Jones

    Nothing would surprise me anymore, Robyn. But it’s not like formal restrictions are needed for white male supremacy to continue: women’s oppression did not end with the right to vote because informal social controls like male violence and the constant threat of it, dependence on male good will to survive, male hegemony etc. do the job of upholding male power much better than legislation.

    I don’t place much weight on the stats around women who voted for Trump, not only for the reason you have given (most women do not seem to have voted at all), but also in a context of male supremacy, all women’s choices are circumscribed by male power and the informal controls I mentioned above. I do despair over right wing women but I understand that all women in a context of male supremacy do what they think they need to do to remain as safe as possible, plus face it, the left have not achieved a better deal for us anyway. Husbands are still the most significant threat to our health and well being, we are nowhere near economic equality, men still own and control everything. Having said this, if men want to stop us voting then they will; we only get to vote now because they let us, and only a small handful of men even care about women’s oppression.

    It’s very disheartening to recall my childhood memory of my paternal grandmother in heated debate with my father because she was voting for this new chap, Whitlam. How confident she must then have been for our future.

  9. Robyn Dunphy

    Deanna, you and I have lived very different lives. I didn’t even know there was an equality problem until I was in my twenties. I’ve never been told what to do by any man other than the usual work management situations – and I’ve been a manager myself since I was in my late twenties.

    Once, many years ago, I worked in a male dominated environment. Another manager was sitting in a visitor’s chair in my office across the desk from me. We were having shall we say a slight disagreement. He asked did I want him to knock my block off. My immediate reaction was to stand, lean over with my hands on my desk and say, “You and whose f*cking army?” He decided bullying in the office environment clearly wasn’t going to work. This was a man I had previously had an altercation with for making one of my young female staff members cry. It never occurred to me, even then, that he was treating me any differently than he would have treated me if I was a man – he was that kind of man, a bully. I just wasn’t tolerating that behaviour. I share this simply to illustrate.

    If any man had tried to tell me how to vote he would have been ignored. Completely. I do not accept that we only get to vote now because men let us. I also do believe more than a handful of men believe in equality – if that wasn’t the case, women would never have got the vote in the first place.,

    I have no fear of men – I have a considerable fear of those that fall in the psychopathic spectrum, of either gender. The USA seems to be at a pivotal stage of social development – the country can go forwards or backwards. Hopefully it will move forwards, but without a fair democracy in place it seems the nation may certainly regress, possibly for a generation or two.

    I was raised to see all humans as equals. I couldn’t shake that belief, even if I tried. I do not understand people who do not believe such to be the case. There are many differences: cultural, social, economic, educational – but we are all equal.

  10. Stephen

    The notion that the right to vote should be taken away from any group let alone on the basis of gender is so appalling as to be unimaginable to me! Then again I keep forgetting how tenuous are the principles of equality and democracy people have faught and died for in the past. So transient are these ideas that we let lying politicians and the sycophantic media strip them away from us piece by piece.

  11. Robyn Dunphy

    As the notion is to so many Stephen. That is part of the risk. How many times it history have people said, “Oh that could never happen” and then it does. I did use an extreme example above of the attitude to women, but there is a LOT of very similar opinions being voiced. Some in more moderate tones, but similsr nonetheless.

    I’ve been stewing on this concern for weeks. My gut feeling isn’t subsiding with time!

  12. Deanna Jones

    Robyn can I suggest that we have both lived in a white male dominated world and maybe you have just been unusually lucky as far as your individual experiences but we still live in patriarchy no matter how feisty we are on an individual level. There is plenty to fear and it’s not a weakness or anything to be cognisant of this.

  13. Robyn Dunphy

    Deanna, if I wasn’t concerned about the possibility, I wouldn’t have written the article in the first place as the question would not have concerned me. What I see going on around the world I find extremely concerning. I’m still trying to recover from Abbott and his ironing and that is a very minor gaffe in the grander scheme of things!

    “Feisty” is a word I consider to be very sexist, I know that wasn’t your intent, but describing a woman as such is something the patriarchy often do to diminish a woman’s authenticity. I don’t consider I did anything out of the ordinary under the circumstances. Was it entirely sensible? Probably not, as he would definitely have had the physical advantage. I had the intellectual advantage.

  14. Pingback: Authoritarian regimes: Zimbabwe, Venezuela, next the USA - Zimbabwe Consolidated News

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