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December 19 2016

How Did Media Women So Miss the Women's Vote?

Charlotte Hays

Most of the high-powered media women believed that female voters, excited at the prospect of Hillary Clinton's breaking of the ultimate glass ceiling, would turn out for her and handily to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. But Donald Trump got 53 percent of the votes of white women, and, despite all the reports that Republican women would not support Trump, he got 92 percent of their votes.

All this came as a complete surprise to the women of the media. How (with a few notable exceptions) did media women end up so wrong about women voters?

Kay Hymowitz has a great piece on this over at City Journal. It seems that most of these privileged women simply were blinded by their reliance on gender-identity politics as the lens by which they see the world. Hymowitz writes:

Gender-identity politics requires its practitioners to use the oppression of women as the organizing principle for interpreting the world. All issues can be understood as a version of this Manichean struggle—in the case of the 2016 election, between feminism and misogyny. Relying on a theory from Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, [Slate's Michelle] Goldberg argued that women were voting for Trump because they depended on their husbands and did what they were told. Both Lake and Goldberg failed to notice that “glass ceiling,” “harassment,” and even “equal pay” didn’t rank with the main sources of working-class discontent such as jobs, the cost of health-care premiums, and terrorism.

Working-class and other Trump-leaning women, much like their male counterparts, are well aware that media elites sneer at them (when they bother thinking about them). So great is their suspicion of their self-appointed betters that instead of being appalled by Trump stories, some assumed that the stories were planted. “I think this is the Clinton campaign,” Karen Diehl the co-owner of a southern Ohio insurance company and sometime Republican activist told me when I asked about the lurid Trump headlines. “The media wants her to win.”

In the end, the gender-identity politicos’ assumption that they were speaking for “women” only served to accentuate the class, education, and geographic divide that they already personified. The election’s aftermath does not suggest that they’re interested in reflecting on that divide. Instead of trying to find out why so many women failed to conform to their model of the world, they have burrowed back down into gender theory. Emily Crockett, Vox’s “staff writer on gender,” explained “Why Misogyny Won.” Buzzfeed’s Ann Helen Peterson lamented, “This is How Much America Hates Women.” As for Trump-voting women, they were obviously mindless and self-deluded. The election results reveal “internalized misogyny,” wrote New York’s Rebecca Traister, a phrase repeated on MSNBC by Jess McIntosh, director of communications for Emily’s List.

For pure self-delusion, no one could beat Clinton surrogate and Manhattan-raised, Oberlin-educated media darling Lena Dunham, the most famous of the gender experts. Dunham rued the “white women, so unable to see the unity of female identity, so unable to look past their violent privilege, and so inoculated with hate for themselves.” She continued: “It wasn’t supposed to go this way. It was supposed to be her [Clinton’s] job. She worked her whole life for the job. It’s her job.”

Like her comrades in gender-identity politics, the Girls creator and star doesn’t know much about “women,” but she has a Ph.D. in privilege.

Read the entire article.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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