Trumping Sexism

Photo by Marc Nozell https://www.flickr.com/photos/37996583933@N01/24289654894

2016 is a year that represents many things to many people. For many women, 2016 is a year of unparalleled liberalization. From the creation and testing of promising male birth control, to continued conversation around the gender pay-gap, to the first gender parity cabinet in Canadian government, to the conversation changing from white feminism to intersectional feminism, many strides have been made.

What could largely be considered one of the most remarkable things in the 2015-2016 year, however, would be the Democratic national party nominating a woman as presidential candidate. But 2016 seems to be ending on a very different note, as there has been a rather large backlash from anti-feminist ideologues which have infiltrated the revolutionary discourse.

In the US election on November 8, citizens of the US and citizens around the world witnessed what would likely be one of the largest conversations about sexism transpire.

While women have the right to vote, and the right to hold the highest office in the US, the fact remains that not only are women less likely to vote – they likely won’t get elected either.

While there are many complex theories and ideas behind voting behaviour (which I won’t get into), there is one shocking trend that often happens in American elections. Let me put it simply: if a man who is a democratic party member has a nominee from his party in his voting district who happens to be a woman, he is more likely to vote for the republican nominee if that person is a man. While this doesn’t account for democratic men who don’t like the democratic nominee, it’s really important to think about what exactly this theory (tried and true) has told us.

First of all, men who are members of a party are likely members of a party because they believe in those core values. So, to vote against their core values in itself is an act of revolution (and not the feel-good change the system kind).

Secondly, voters are afraid of not being adequately represented when their nominee from their own party (or preferred party) doesn’t look like them. Which is rather ironic, considering the lack of representation that women, indigenous, racialized, and trans* folks experience in their everyday lives, and especially during election seasons.

It’s easy to see the flaws in our political candidates, though. Trump is currently on trial for sexual assault, and he still managed to get elected, proving that the voting population is much harsher on women. While I don’t believe that Rodham Clinton was necessarily the best person in the DNC for presidential nomination, I do believe that she is definitely in a higher calibre of presidential ability and competence than the current president-elect.

While the election may be over, and while we’re anxiously biting our nails waiting for world war three to erupt over the arctic, the real issue that has largely been ignored is not that Trump was elected, rather that the most qualified candidate was not. And yes, she was a woman. And that definitely had just about everything to do with why she wasn’t elected.