Gender / Politics in America

“If white women of all education levels were more susceptible to Mr. Trump’s nostalgic, macho transactionalism, perhaps it was because they are adjacent to the men who have traditionally enjoyed the most resources and power in society, and who either believe they have lost it or fear losing it”

People without a college degree, from whom the president-elect saw strong support, were in a 2013 Pew survey nearly twice as likely as the college-educated to say it was better for a marriage if a husband made more money than the wife. Unfortunately for those ideals, this is the demographic for whom the gender pay gap has narrowed most.

If white women of all education levels were more susceptible to Mr. Trump’s nostalgic, macho transactionalism, perhaps it was because they are adjacent to the men who have traditionally enjoyed the most resources and power in society, and who either believe they have lost it or fear losing it.

By contrast, black women, who overwhelmingly voted for Mrs. Clinton, were 14 percentage points more likely than white women to see themselves as leaders — and 23 points more likely to be the primary wage earners at home, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll in September. These women’s lives, whether by necessity or choice, already belie the fiction that a man’s job is to provide and not much else.

Mr. Trump also won married women, for whom it may cost more to challenge the men in their lives. I spoke to a 50-year-old newspaper carrier in Texas, a Clinton voter, who explained to me why she believed her mother and other white women went for Mr. Trump. “Here comes Hillary, and she’s a strong woman and it makes a lot of men mad, and it makes a lot of women uncomfortable, and they want to keep peace in their homes.”

Irin Carmon, “Low Expectations for Husbands and Presidents”, The New York Times (11 December 206), SR7.