If you’re still looking for a Halloween costume that is sure to win you first place for scariest ensemble, just go as an empowered woman (Elizabeth Warren or Viola Davis are among many great options). With the latest drama from Trump supporters being a Twitter trend to #Repealthe19th over polls showing that Trump loses pathetically amongst women but overwhelming wins with men, it is apparent that any semblance of female power is a threat to those who see it as an obstacle to their desires. What is it they say about entitlement again? Oh yeah: “Equality is oppression to the privileged.” Apparently providing equal voting rights to all citizens (that means women too, in case you forgot that they make up 50.8% of the US population) under the jurisdiction of federal and state law is oppressive to people who might not get to see their bigotry and hatred rewarded come November.
While Donny’s most extreme stans are currently the most vocal advocates for undercutting the rights of women, they aren’t the first and nor will they be the last. There’s a deeper issue that lies beneath their fearful cries of “Repeal the 19th!,” one that independent, empowered women are met with every time they walk out the door. It’s an issue that perpetuates the usage of “bitch” to describe a woman who is ambitious and driven. And most importantly, it’s an issue that thrives on sexism, misogyny and gender roles.
There is a villainization of powerful women in our culture. Being seen as successful, empowered or independent can cause male partners to feel threatened or lack self-esteem, male co-workers can feel like having a female boss infringes on their manhood and cause men to fall into existential crisis about their relevance in the modern day. And, while all of these issues are directly correlated to the precious male ego, it’s somehow still the woman’s fault for aspiring to realize her full potential as a badass boss-lady.
But it’s not, is it? The cultural distaste for empowered, successful women has more to do with gender roles and misogyny than anything else. For centuries men have been the primary breadwinners. It was their “job” to protect, support and provide for their wives and families. Women, on the other hand, were in charge of domestic responsibilities. However, now that more and more women are waiting or opting not to have children (thanks for those options, Science) or get married, those archaic roles are losing their relevance. Not to mention, women have surpassed men in having more advanced degrees. It is the age of powerful women and Donald Trump isn’t the only man feeling the heat. While Hillary is a formidable opponent, it’s the female voters behind her that will eventually do Donald in. And, just like Hillary, women are not going to going to stop achieving, succeeding and slaying just because a bunch of manchildren feel the security blanket of their privilege finally becoming irrelevant.
Featured image here.