Why would a woman vote for a misogynist?
That’s a question we need to start asking ourselves as we move closer to the elections of 2020. The number of women who voted for Trump in 2016 was both depressingly large and totally mystifying. Why on earth would any woman, of whatever class, race, or political orientation, vote for a man who is so obviously a pig? And, more importantly, how do we convince them them not to do so again?
Part of the answer to those questions may actually come from South America, in particular, from Brazil, another former republic which has fallen to demagogic populist, Jair Bolsonaro, the “tropical Trump.” Like our own despot, he came to power with more than a few female votes. Why? Last year (2018), Foreign Affairs asked that question, too. And, in Women for Bolsonaro: What Drives Female Support for Brazil’s Far Right by
So at least part of the reason women are voting for Bolsonaro is fear, and a justifiable fear at that. If Bolsonaro is a bastard and a chauvinist, well, at least maybe he’ll do something about crime in the streets.
American women may not have quite the same excuse. Crime in not rising in most places (though not all) in America. And yet, studies show that many Americans think that the opposite is true. The American electorate, and particularly the part of it which votes for Trump, believes (in spite of all evidence) that things are getting worse.
All of which means that it may be the path to moving women away from Trump is to assure them that, in spite of all that Fox News may say, they are, after all, actually rather safe.