Women will decide this election – and Trump keeps insulting them

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Arwa Mahdawi
·6 min read
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<span>Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Trump has a very weird way of wooing women

Suburban women can be so ungrateful.

Donald Trump saved your damn neighbourhood, OK? He’s saving your house. He’s saving your community. He fixed your dishwashers. He’s keeping your crime way down. And he’s getting your husbands back to work! But despite this unhinged, and racism-tinged, list of imaginary accomplishments – which Trump trots out at every rally – suburban women are turning their backs on the president. Biden leads by 23 points among suburban women in swing states, according to recent polls, and by 19 points among suburban women overall, according to Pew Research.

This is a big problem for Trump. Fifty-three per cent of white women voted for him in 2016; white women in battleground states like Pennsylvania helped usher him to victory, now they could lose him the election. Biden is currently beating Trump by 6.7 points in Pennsylvania, largely because the president has lost the support of white women. (It should be noted that while there are plenty of non-white women in the suburbs, Suburban Women tends to be code for white women – Trump certainly uses it that way.)

Trump can’t seem to figure out why on earth the Suburban Housewives of America, who he tweets incessantly about, aren’t keen on him. Nor can he figure out a coherent strategy to get them back: like an abusive ex-boyfriend, he’s been veering between angry threats and pathetic groveling, demanding that women appreciate all he’s done for them. “Suburban women, will you please like me?” Trump bellowed at a recent rally in Pennsylvania. “Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?”

That isn’t all he’s done for women, apparently. At a rally on Tuesday, Trump boasted that he’s “getting your husbands back to work”. This would be a condescending thing to say in any context, but it’s particularly infuriating when women have had to leave the workforce at a greater rate than men due to the pandemic. In September, 865,000 women left the US workforce, four times more than men.

It’s also a little strange that Trump doesn’t seem to think women work, considering his own daughter, Ivanka, wrote a book called Women Who Work where she drops pearls of wisdom like “women who work are real”. Something not everyone realised before Ivanka pointed it out.

Ivanka, it should be said, has certainly been working hard for her father’s campaign lately. Over the last few weeks she’s been parachuting into battleground states across the country to woo suburban women with her peerless Stepford charm. She’s recited fun facts about ice-cream in Milwaukee (“I learned that the first ice-cream sundae was created in this amazing state!”) She’s posted cute photos of doughnuts in Michigan. She’s tweeted articles about women’s empowerment and promised to help kids and parents. Except, you know, the 545 children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border, who she’s stayed pretty quiet about.

After years of being vague about her position on abortion, Ivanka has also come out as being “unapologetically” anti-abortion. In an interview with Real Clear Politics on Thursday, Ivanka seemed to suggest that her choosing to have children made her realize other people should be forced to give birth. “I respect all sides,” Ivanka said when asked about abortion, “but I am also a mother of three children, and parenthood affected me in a profound way in terms of how I think about these things.”

I’m not entirely sure how Ivanka coming out as anti-abortion is supposed to help Trump win back women. Most people in America do not have extremist views about abortion, after all. Rather, the sudden clarification of her abortion stance seems to be a last-ditch effort to drum up support among white Catholics, who have cooled on Trump a bit. With Biden leading in the polls and the election around the corner it seems like the Trump campaign is getting desperate; throwing whatever they can against the wall and hoping something sticks.

Things don’t look good for Trump at the moment but, if 2016 taught us anything, it’s to take the polls with a pinch of salt and not get complacent. Please Suburban Women, I’m begging you, don’t mess it up this time.

The supreme court to hear LGBTQ right case

Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the supreme court on Tuesday, meaning there is now a 6-3 conservative supermajority. We’re going to find out very quickly what this means for LBGTQ rights. The day after the election the court will hear arguments in Fulton v City of Philadelphia, a case that looks at whether religious foster agencies can refuse to work with same-sex prospective parents. A ruling could come as soon as 9 November and open the doors to discrimination on the basis of “religious liberty”.

Chrissy Teigen wrote a moving piece about losing her baby

“I beg you to please share your stories and to please be kind to those pouring their hearts out,” Teigen said. There is still far too much silence around pregnancy loss and too many women suffering alone.

Loujain Al-Hathloul, jailed Saudi activist, on hunger strike

“The world has a duty to save her and not forget her while she languishes in prison,’ says Loujain’s sister. Shame on everyone who participated in Saudi Arabia’s sham of a women’s summit earlier this month.

A tactile pregnancy test for visually impaired people

The Royal National Institute of Blind People has developed a prototype pregnancy test that delivers results by raising silicone bumps, rather than visually. A test like this means visually impaired people can check their results privately.

How America invented the white girl who absolutely loves fall

“The basic white girl who loves fall has become so solidified in the cultural imagination that she may as well be the season’s Easter Bunny,” this interesting piece in Jezebel notes. It traverses pumpkin spice, Taylor Swift, nostalgia and the Gilmore Girls to explain why.

The week in poltergeistarchy

Ever wanted to haunt a theatre after you die? Now’s your chance. The Regent Theatre in Ontario, Canada has come up with an inspired way to raise some funds: buy a $25 ticket and you’ll be put into a Halloween raffle to gain the rights to become the official ghost of the theatre once you shuffle off this mortal coil.