Not all women feel the same, think the same and want the same for the former, but not forgotten, President Donald J. Trump.
There are women who voted for Trump. And then there are the #WomenForTrump: an Instagram movement that feeds and feeds off the Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement’s subculture. These are women of all ages, backgrounds and even nationalities for whom MAGA is not just a slogan; it’s a calling.
Though perhaps surprising given the Republican Party’s policies towards women's bodily autonomy, women’s – particularly white women’s – support for the Republican Party is nothing new.
Julie Kohler writes:
'Women of colour are the basis of the Democratic party. However, despite assaults on women’s health and abortion ... white women have narrowly favoured the Republican Presidential candidate for the better part of 70 years.'
Kohler goes on to posit that race, rather than gender, has historically been the defining factor with which social groups identify on a political level. It appears that white women and conservatism go together seamlessly.
Donald Trump, Republican renegade, was widely expected to buck this trend and turn women in droves to the Democratic Party. This was not to be.
Cara, one of the loyal #Women for Trump who spoke with IA illustrated his incomprehensibly loyal (and thus unpredictable to pollsters) female fanbase.
The South Carolinian said:
'I fully agree with Trump. He is my idol.'
Meanwhile, Instagram user Chicks For Trump proclaimed:
'My respect for Trump cannot be lessened.'
These are but a sample of the women who against all odds would ignore, forgive, or even embrace Trump's offensive and downright embarrassing gaffes.
In April 2016, several pundits confidently stated that Trump’s remarks that women should be punished for having abortions would surely drive women away from the Republican Party.
In retrospect, this seems almost laughably quaint. Certainly, these were not words that:
'... delivered a landslide to Hillary Clinton in the Presidential Election.'
Arguably more infamous are Trump’s off the record comments, which quickly made their way on the record. Trump has made a wealth of statements about women ranging from the appreciative to the derogatory.
But the essence of his commentary can be summed up in five words: grab them by the pussy.
Just what is a hardcore woman for Trump’s reaction to this?
Annette stated: 'these comments are deplorable, obviously', while Natalie was less concerned and concluded it was '… a lil out there but we all say stuff like that'.
Taylor also mused:
'Will I condemn a man for saying something, that he did not think was being recorded, to another man on a bus? No. I will not condemn him for the one comment.'
While the justifications and degree of criticism varied, the common thread was a willingness to forgive, if not overlook, this controversy to continue to support Trump, but also keep Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, 'that communist' as described by Denise, out of power.
What is it that actually attracts these women to Donald Trump, even after his 2020 defeat? For many, it is simply the motivation to prevent left-wing influence, while racial issues are obviously a significant factor in his support among white Americans.
This does not entirely explain the support for Trump, however, as many interviewees were first-time voters or, in one case, a former Obama supporter.
It might be said that it's not the policies or conduct of "Trump the politician" that attracts such fervent female support. He is a concept, a symbol onto which hopes and dreams can be projected.
Chicks for Trump said:
'Trump fought for freedom and the people of this country and that is why I support him.'
Similarly, Denise cryptically concluded:
'I didn’t have such strong views as a Republican before Trump but when he ran for president in 2016, I just knew I had to vote for him.'
Donald Trump has left the White House. But has Elvis left the building?
Denise does not believe so: '[It is] never the end on Trump … politically I think he has a plan. He always has a card up his sleeve.'
That prediction could certainly be doubted, given Trump’s relative silence of late. But if there’s one thing the last four years has taught us, it’s that Donald Trump’s supporters are not to be underestimated.
As long as the hashtag #Women For Trump lives on, Trump’s female supports will do everything in their power to ensure that 2024 just might be the year to "make America great again".
In the words of Michelle Obama:
“There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish."
Joanna Psaros has a background in law and international affairs. She writes on women's issues, culture, and politics at www.girlslockerroomtalk.com and is passionate about her involvement with non-profit Australian Multi-Cultural Communities United.
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