Today brings this interesting article from a writer on the Right*, arguing that Trump represents a reaction to, in Wilhem’s words, “a feminized culture.
“Talk to a selection of Trump admirers, and you’ll hear the same line over and over again: ‘He has balls…’ Trump is, in a sense, walking testosterone. He does not care that your women’s studies class says gender is a social construct. He is fearless, and as such, he is the perfect foil for America’s growing victimhood obsession. Show Trump a trigger warning and he’ll give that trigger warning a painful wedgie.”
This is true, as far as it goes. However, I never really got the sense that either Trump or his followers are driven mainly, or even partly, as a response to feminism. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I’m sure they have as little use for us scowling feminists and feminist allies as Wilhelm does. But I really don’t see this as their motivating force, as opposed to animus towards immigrants, the Republican Party apparatus, the media, and above all, weak, feckless (and generally male!) leaders who are too timid and unwilling to change things.
One problem is that Wilhelm is assuming facts not entered into evidence, namely, that we have a “feminized culture.” I just don’t see that being the case overall. Not when men represent 95.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs; not when 10 female U.S. Senators out of 50 is seen as an astounding record; not when an industry as leftist as Hollywood is defined by its out-and-out misogyny.
Sure, the social justice warriors of the university and of Tumblr are ridiculously annoying. Their endless jousting at the Oppression Olympics is laughable. Anyone who uses the term “problematic” unironically as as much of a colossal social burden as the worst Obama Derangement Syndrome sufferer. I too would rather have dinner with Trump than someone like this. But SJW is not a synonym for feminist. Especially not if a feminist as prominent and doctrinaire as freakin’ Amanda Marcotte forswears annoying SJWs as being the irritating distractions that they are.
What Wilhelm acknowledges in her article as The Donald’s real appeal is his supercharged alpha-male schtick. But as she makes clear in the same article, alphaness is not, in fact, reserved just for those with Y chromosomes: “In a few sentences, Fiorina nailed it: She was dismissive, confident, turned the conversation back to her performance, and refused to feed the grievance beast.”
Neither Fiorina nor Trump may make for competent executives, but they sure do have force of personality in a way Jeb Bush does not. It is a quality that is independent of gender. (I may have talked about this before.)
If anything, Fiorina should be grateful that our culture is slightly more accepting of women these days so that she has a shot. She owes a debt to feminism, as much as she would hate to admit it. But feminism is not why Trump is dominating the polls. It’s because people are sick of wimps and calculating triangulators in the Oval Office, and they want leadership no matter where they can find it.