This week marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution that gave women the right to vote. For all the countless advances towards equality that American women have made since then, it continues to raise eyebrows around the world that they have yet to become president or even vice-president. But because they now turn out to vote in greater numbers than men and also tend to vote Democratic, the Republican National Convention worked hard to put out a female-friendly version of President Donald Trump.
His wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, daughter-in-law Lara, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, his former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and others gave personal testimonials of how Trump empowers and supports women. In 2016, while Hillary Clinton led Trump by 13 points among women overall, he led the white women’s vote by 2 points. The 2018 midterms saw the latter block also chipping away. Since then the economic effects of Covid-19 have been named a shecession, for how they inordinately burden women. There’s also been the powerful #MeToo movement.
With these factors weighing against him, Trump has appealed to “the Suburban Housewives of America” to (in his version) not let Joe Biden destroy their neighbourhood and their American Dream. But polling continues to indicate declining poll numbers even in the suburbs, particularly among women. The RNC has slogged to help Trump overcome his deficit with women voters. But most of them may still take a different version of the president into the polling booth.
This piece appeared as an editorial opinion in the print edition of The Times of India.