by Diana Cihak
The 2016 election outcome was a shock to the system for most of the people I know. But the analysis that followed that night of the path that Trump took to win was even more of a shock to myself and many of my friends. We are still grappling with the reality that 52% of white women voted for Trump.
Ever since that statistic was revealed it has been on my mind continually – why?
Why would these women vote directly against what we perceive as their own self-interest?
Why would any woman purposefully choose to vote for a man who has such a blatant and pronounced disregard for women?
Why would they vote for a party that wants to strip you of control of your own body?
Why would you continue to support a man who thinks White Nationalists are “very fine people?”
How is it that there are more women that voted for Trump then those who participated in the first Women’s March in 2017?
And, it turns out that the answer is fairly simple and has been well vetted in the media. These women do it because they want to continue the power and supremacy of the white males that protect them. And they will uphold that power structure even when their own gender is reviled.
I think of it as women who enjoy living in their gilded cages. They are protected and they perceive that their needs are taken care of. They have traded in freedom and empowerment for protection and safety. And those of us who would seek to free them – to open the door and let them walk out – are the enemy.
Ok, so if that is the answer – how did we get here?
And more importantly how do we, who value freedom and empowerment for both women and people of color, move forward safely from this?
This is a topic that I think goes all the way back to the time in human history where we went from a hunter/gatherer society to an agrarian society. My hope is that maybe, by going that far back and digging in to find the roots in history maybe we can start to change the conversation and move forward towards equality for all.
Or maybe not. But let’s at least have a conversation about it. So I will start posting regularly about this phenomenon of gilded cages and I will welcome your feedback. Because the one thing we cannot do as we head towards 2020 is ignore this reality. There is far too much at stake.