If children had been the ones to actually pick the president of the United States, November 9th would have looked a lot different. Nickelodeon gave kids an opportunity to voice their opinions on who should lead the US in their “Kids Pick the President” campaign, and kids voted for Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. While Nickelodeon’s campaign was primarily a symbolic gesture to showcase the voice of a younger generation, it did come with the message to “Tell your parents to vote this Tuesday for the next president of the United States.”
When looking at November 8th’s results, we see how well that went.
However, this campaign does bring in thoughts of including kids’ opinions on political matters, a sentiment echoed by school mock elections. ABC news (5:30-7:15) checked out a Johnstown middle school mock election the day after the election and found the results to be a bit more split than Nickelodeon found them.
When interviewing girls about their opinions about President-elect Donald Trump, several girls responded with such answers as: “I think that he is a good person overall” and despite his rude comments about women, “It really doesn’t matter to many women…there’s women who really like Trump even though he’s said many things.” One girl even responded that “some of the things he said were a benefit to women,” leaving this blogger to question if this girl in Pennsylvania has been watching the same news cycle as I have.
While this blogger wants to give huge kudos to ABC for interviewing a multitude of young girls about their opinions about important issues such as politics, these interviews give way to a troubling sentiment.
Parents’ political opinions can influence how younger girls feel about politics, and even their own rights. I talked to my father, as a 21 year old college student, about my worry that Trump’s election is a perpetuation of rape culture. My father’s response? “I know that I’ve told you that we live in a world that’s not fair. I’ve always told you that, and that you can never let your guard down. I’m sorry that I have to tell you that.” These girls, who cite Trump’s degrading remarks and policies as things that “really don’t matter to many women”, seem to be simply parroting what they have likely heard at home or at their dinner tables. There is a downplay of misogynistic rhetoric in the media, in American households, and in the way that parents speak to their children and articulate their opinions; that downplaying was clearly in full force this election, these bloggers found. In future generations, when kids really DO pick the president, we hope that this will not be so prevalent.