She lost. We lost. Women lost. Racism, nationalism, and “economic anxiety” won. Misogyny beat feminism. Wives with pro-Trump husbands didn’t secretly pull the lever for Hillary—only 8 percent of Republican women voted for her. Pussy did not unsheathe her claws and grab back with enough fire and ferocity. Yes, the gender gap hit a historic high: 24 percent. Yes, in every demographic, more women than men voted Democratic. Yes, a narrow majority of Americans voted for the sane, competent, qualified woman for president—and in a normal country, she’d be heading to the White House. But in the United States, having the most votes doesn’t mean you win.
There are dozens of reasons why Trump won, but misogyny was a big part of it. And if you didn’t know women can be misogynistic, now you do. Trumpettes, if you voted for a grotesque liar, bankrupt, and groper with no public-service experience, the only candidate in 40 years not to have released his tax returns, don’t tell me you preferred him just because Hillary is “unlikable.” Judging men and women by such different standards is what female self-hatred is.
The Trump phenomenon was like an Internet comment thread come to life: aggressive, bullying, ignorant, and contemptuous of women. Consider the T-shirts: “Trump That Bitch.” “Proud to Be a Hillary Hater.” “I Wish Hillary Had Married OJ.” “She’s a Cunt/Vote for Trump.” “KFC Hillary Special: 2 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts… Left Wing.” (KFC objected to that one.) As Vox reported, one of the biggest predictors of Trump support was “hostile sexism,” as revealed by the responses to statements like “Most women interpret innocent remarks or acts as being sexist” and “Many women are actually seeking special favors, such as hiring policies that favor women over men, under the guise of asking for equality.” The more you agreed with these statements, the more likely you were to be a Trump supporter. For his supporters, nothing Trump could say was so vile that it couldn’t be repositioned as a gloat: Get your grab-’em-by-the-pussy gear right here! In 20 years, will aging white guys don these items for special occasions—cherished trophies of their youth, like shirts from a favorite concert?
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As the spearhead of Republican rule, Trump will change the country for women in ways that won’t be easy to reverse. His Supreme Court nominees will shape our laws for decades; the coming gerrymandering of districts in 2020 will make statehouses and Congress even more favorable to Republicans. Abortion rights, access to affordable birth control, Title IX, equal pay—it’s hard to imagine any of them faring well under the new regime. Why do you think Trump chose Mike Pence? We now have as vice president a man who tried to shut the federal government down over funding for Planned Parenthood; who, as governor of Indiana, pushed through a bill permitting discrimination against LGBTQ people; who tried to force women to hold funerals for aborted or miscarried embryos. Conditions will be worst for the women already most disadvantaged: women of color, Muslim and immigrant women, low-income women, the disabled (did you know that Trump has promised to slash funding for services for people with disabilities?). If Roe v. Wade is overturned, or if the Supreme Court reverses itself and allows restrictions like the ones recently struck down in Texas, then getting a safe abortion will be hardest for women who can’t afford to travel to states where it remains legal. If social services are gutted, low-income women—disproportionately women of color—will be the ones with no place to go if they’re abused or homeless. If Obamacare is repealed, there goes medical care—including no-co-pay birth control and mammograms—for millions of women.