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      Senator Susan Collins of Maine walking to the Senate floor on Friday. Her support of Brett Kavanaugh helped elevate him to the Supreme Court. Credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

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      White women helped elect Trump. Fifty three percent of them voted for him in the last Presidential election. Black women knew better. The "gender gap" seems to be more of a "color line" when we look at statistics, since it is women of color who show up for the country's Democratic candidates.

      But, white women have a chance to redeem themselves in the midterms and the 2020 Presidential Election. Will they? Will they stop supporting the Patriarchy long enough to help put our country back on the track of moving forward with democratic goals? Will we see America's feminists make a difference this time?

      What goads white women into voting for misogynistic candidates? How do they reconcile voting for those who show their sexism in words, behavior and policy with other women's quests for equal rights? Why do they turn from solidarity and seemingly vote against themselves? What is it that makes them reject their own gender and vote against their having equal rights. Why do they vote for those who do NOT have their best interests in mind? Some of us wonder why there seems to be a 53% problem in American feminism.

      The following opinion talks about these questions; looks at white privilege, gender traitors, and what that means to the author and to some of us who share many of her thoughts and feelings.

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      Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska on Friday. She broke with her fellow Republicans and did not support the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. CreditJ. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

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      By Alexis Grenell

      After a confirmation process where women all but slit their wrists, letting their stories of sexual trauma run like rivers of blood through the Capitol, the Senate still voted to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. With the exception of Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all the women in the Republican conference caved, including Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who held out until the bitter end.

      These women are gender traitors, to borrow a term from the dystopian TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” They’ve made standing by the patriarchy a full-time job. The women who support them show up at the Capitol wearing “Women for Kavanaugh” T-shirts, but also probably tell their daughters to put on less revealing clothes when they go out.

      They’re more sympathetic to Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who actually shooed away a crowd of women and told them to “grow up.” Or Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, whose response to a woman telling him she was raped was: “I’m sorry. Call the cops.”

      These are the kind of women who think that being falsely accused of rape is almost as bad as being raped. The kind of women who agree with President Trump that “it’s a very scary time for young men in America,” which he said during a news conference on Tuesday.

      But the people who scare me the most are the mothers, sisters and wives of those young men, because my stupid uterus still holds out some insane hope of solidarity.

      We’re talking about white women. The same 53 percent who put their racial privilege ahead of their second-class gender status in 2016 by voting to uphold a system that values only their whiteness, just as they have for decades. White women have broken for Democratic presidential candidates only twice: in the 1964 and 1996 elections, according to an analysis by Jane Junn, a political scientist at the University of Southern California.

      Women of color, and specifically black women, make the margin of difference for Democrats. The voting patterns of white women and white men mirror each other much more closely, and they tend to cast their ballots for Republicans. The gender gap in politics is really a color line.

      That’s because white women benefit from patriarchy by trading on their whiteness to monopolize resources for mutual gain. In return they’re placed on a pedestal to be “cherished and revered,” as Speaker Paul D. Ryan has said about women, but all the while denied basic rights.

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      White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway participates in a discussion during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the...KellyAnne Conway
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      This elevated position over women of color comes at a cost, though. Consider what Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to the president, said at a dinner last year for New York’s Conservative Party. She suggestedthat higher birthrates are “how I think we fight these demographic wars moving forward.” The war, of course, is with non-white people. So it seems that white women are expected to support the patriarchy by marrying within their racial group, reproducing whiteness and even minimizing violence against their own bodies.

      Recently, Ms. Conway even weaponized her own alleged sexual assault in service to her boss by discouraging women from feeling empathy with Christine Blasey Ford or anger at Judge Kavanaugh.

      Ms. Conway knows that a woman who steps out of line may be ridiculed by the president himself. President Trump mocked Dr. Blaseyin front of a cheering crowd on Tuesday evening. Betray the patriarchy and your whiteness won’t save you.

      The pedestal is a superior, if precarious, place. For white women, it’s apparently better than being “stronger together,” with the 94 percent of black women and 86 percent of Latinas who voted for Hillary Clinton.

      During the 2016 presidential election, did white women really vote with their whiteness in mind? Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, a political scientist at U.C.L.A., recently measured the effect of racial identity on white women’s willingness to support Trump in 2016 and found a positive and statistically significant relationship. So white women who voted for him did so to prop up their whiteness.

      In the study, white women who agreed that “many women interpret innocent remarks or acts as sexist” were 17 percent more likely to vote for a Republican candidate. They were also likely to agree that “blacks should work their way up without special favors.” To be sure, women of color aren’t inherently less sexist or even without their own racial biases. But unlike white women, they can’t use race privilege to their advantage.

      This blood pact between white men and white women is at issue in the November midterms. President Trump knows it, and at that Tuesday news conference, he signaled to white women to hold the line: “The people that have complained to me about it the most about what’s happening are women. Women are very angry,” he said. “I have men that don’t like it, but I have women that are incensed at what’s going on.”

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      Campaign 2016 TrumpA woman attends a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump,
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      I’m sure he does “have” them; game girls will defend their privilege to the death.

      But apparently that doesn’t include Ms. Murkowski anymore. Maybe it’s because she comes from a state with the nation’s highest rate of sexual violence, with a sexual assault rate three times the national average, where prosecutors just let a man evade jail time after he kidnapped a native Alaskan woman and strangled her unconscious, then masturbated over her body. Maybe.

      Meanwhile, Senator Collins subjected us to a slow funeral dirge about due process and some other nonsense I couldn’t even hear through my rage headache as she announced on Friday she would vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. Her mostly male colleagues applauded her.

      The question for white women in November is: Which one of these two women are you?

      I fear we already know the answer.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/06/opinion/lisa-murkowski-susan-collins-kavanaugh.html

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          opie
          4 weeks ago

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          Don't lump us all together, bee-yatch. I am 1,000 times more Murkowski than pathetic, soon- to-be-out Collins any day of the week! Just as I refuse to acknowledge misogunistic Don the Con as my president, I turn my white, female back on these pathetic 53%!

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              opie
              one month ago

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              "Recently, Ms. Conway even weaponized her own alleged sexual assault in service to her boss by discouraging women from feeling empathy with Christine Blasey Ford or anger at Judge Kavanaugh."}

              We should start putting down politicians that say weaponized instead of politicized.

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                  opie
                  one month ago

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                  opie , this is a good article. But do you believe commenters like Tom Lowe possibly have any point at all when they object--even ham-handedly as Tom has done--to categorizing people by race and gender and to using that categorization to call them out?

                  When I was in fifth grade, one day a bunch of kids had a near-riot in our classroom while the teacher was called away--chairs and wastebaskets turned over, a plant snapped in two by accident--rowdy kid stuff. The teacher returned in mid-riot, saw that at least three-quarters of the rioters were boys, and decided that the for rest of the week, all the boys in the class would be kept in from recess.

                  I was only ten, but I could discern the unfairness in her judgment. I--little goody-two-shoes-me--had not participated in the riot. Yet I was punished because, and only because, of my gender.

                  So I have to wonder-- when one of those 47% of white women who voted for Clinton sees a statement like "But, white women have a chance to redeem themselves in the midterms", is that woman going to ask herself, "Wait, what do I have to redeem myself for?? Maybe it's true that progressives see people not as individuals, but as members of gender or racial groups. Well, to hell with that-- maybe that Orange guy and his buddies were right all along."

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                      alohacowboy
                      one month ago

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                      We are so polarized now days that we do not want to see people as the complex beings that they are.


                      So much easier to categorize and demonize - while ignoring how doing so can actually have the opposite effect that you intend -- causing those who disagree with you to double down, rather than even consider coming over.

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                          alohacowboy
                          one month ago

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                          It's a good example, one that deserves to be examined imo.

                          The teacher knew that the boys were responsible for the mess, but not which ones.

                          Is it possible that she was attempting to instill a sense of civic responsibilty?

                          Those who were innocent might be expected to learn the damage to community caused by unchecked (albeit early onset) toxic masculinity, and eductate the others in the process.

                          It's no fun getting penalised for the bad behaviour of others.

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                                  alohacowboy
                                  one month ago

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                                  Talking about racial and gender issues is fraught with land mines, and someone is always bound to object to how we try to describe our concerns. I didn't expect otherwise. Truthfully I am surprised fewer men in particular, and/or women have objected to my introduction and/or the article so far.

                                  I have shown my view here, and I have not tried to hide it.

                                  When Trump first became the new occupant of the Oval, I was apalled at learning how many white women voted for him. I expected it from white men, but not the women. White women voted for Obama, and then they went for Trump. Go figure. ;-) (I may risk a post one day about how I view that too.)

                                  Since that time, I've conducted a bit of research on the 'whys and wherefores,' and I had decided that even though these subjects are controversial that I was going to start posting more of these feminist, gender and racial opinions. I expect some push back, but since only Jake321 objected to the article, and now you alohacowboy to my introduction, although I am surprised, I am also encouraged.

                                  With that being said, I am sure I will make some errors in how I describe what I want to say to people here on Yabberz, who I believe in general are good hearted and will understand my lack of perfection. After all, they have put up with my typos for a few years now, and very few have even mentioned them. ;-)

                                  Whenever there are statistics, or we classify people into groups, there are always those who don't fit. I believe we are corrct to make sure that we state that, and I neglected to do that. I'll keep that in mind for future reference.

                                  I agree that it is simplistic in the extreme to chalk this phenomenon all up to privilege and seeking to retain it. There may be lessons in the differences in how women of color vote and white women vote that you or others have discovered that are quite removed from what I have posted here, but from my point of view, having seen how much easier it is to be white in this country, and Trump's promising that it would continue to be that way, it made sense to me to support that as one major reason for the disparity.

                                  I believe there is a color line in how people vote, and statistics bear me out. There is a gender difference as well, which statistics also bear out. There is also a sort of common knowledge, that in a very general sense Republicans prefer the white, Christian, heterosexual males to lead and retain power, and Democrats are more inclusive about incorporating women, POC, homosexuals, and people of any religion (or none) to hold some of the power. (Yes, I know there are some exceptions.)

                                  So that is a kind of starting point for me.

                                  I do not see white women who fear losing white privilege as "princesses " or "leeches" and I understand the desire not to lose what one has. I am a white woman.

                                  My desire is to see women of any color, ethnicity, class, religion or none, heterosexual or homosexual, (etc) begin to vote together to "form a more perfect union" free from all bigotries. Idealistic perhaps, but that is my dream.

                                  (I'd be thrilled to see men do the same.)

                                  As for being punished by being lumped in with rowdy boys, I am sorry you had that experience. I don't relate that as well as you seem to have to my post, but I think I understand what you wanted to get across there.

                                  As for Tom Lowe and his opinions of individuals and groups, if you see me in that genre, you don't see me at all.

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