Hillary’s unpopularity with the non-college white male demographic is way above any other polling segment. In my opinion this distortion in pattern must be attributable to something other than differences in political ideology. Non-college and or blue collar white men appear to be uncomfortable with the notion of a female president that has little to do with the individual candidate but more to do with their perception of gender roles. It is a complex issue and deserves explanation. The question is, why do non-college white males feel such hostility towards a prominent female politician?
There is no question that non-college educated men in a relatively wealthy country have had difficulty coping with the enormous changes in the labor market and the home over the past half-century. As technology and trade have devalued brawn, less-educated men have struggled to find a role in the workplace. Women, on the other hand, are surging into expanding sectors such as health care, education and the law aided by their advanced and targeted schooling. As education has become more important, boys have also fallen behind girls in school. Men who lose jobs in manufacturing often never work again at jobs with equivalent wages. Men without work may find it hard to attract a permanent mate. The result, for low-skilled men, is a poisonous combination of no job or under employment, no family and few prospects. The growing equality of the sexes is one of the biggest achievements of the post-war era: people, especially women, have greater opportunities than ever before to achieve their ambitions regardless of their gender. But some men have been unable to cope with this new world.
However there is more going on than economic displacement. A female host on Fox News said, ” the wussification of America. Men have been emasculated, they have been feminized by the left that has pushed this on a culture. And they do see Donald Trump as somebody who speaks for them.” Does this quote provide an additional clue? Men in more traditionally male occupations are more likely to identify as completely masculine with accompanying strong beliefs in stereotypical gender roles. They work alongside mostly other men and see their understanding of gender being attacked by militant feminists. Therefore, an outspoken tough female politician is perceived as being contrary to their belief about a women’s role and her public behavior. A quote attributed to Donald Trump sheds even more light on the issue.
“OK often, I will tell friends whose wives are constantly nagging them about this or that that they’re better off leaving and cutting their losses, I’m not a great believer in always trying to work things out, because it just doesn’t happen that way. For a man to be successful he needs support at home, just like my father had from my mother, not someone who is always griping and bitching. When a man has to endure a woman who is not supportive and complains constantly about his not being home enough or not being attentive enough, he will not be very successful unless he is able to cut the cord.”
Key words from Trump – support at home, someone who is griping and bitching. His take away, which seems to resonate with his highly affiliated non- college men, is that women should stay at home to support their man and being outspoken politically is merely griping and bitching.
It becomes apparent that the glass ceiling remains intact among non-college white men and for a female politician to succeed she must find a way to empathize with the economic condition of men whose jobs have been replaced by technology and outsourcing. We need to propose programs that will help these men retrain and recoup a middle class lifestyle. Hopefully, when these men feel that they are no longer discarded by society they very well might be more accepting of gender equality and a female president.