What Happens if the Gender Gap Becomes a Gender Chasm?

Men have been moving to the right for decades, but women are just beginning to shift left.

Comments: 197

  1. Out of curiosity - has anyone done a recent major poll of the 100 million voters who sat it out or voted third party last election? Or for that matter, those who have been sitting it out over the past 4 elections or so? Because without understanding those voters, all this Dem vs Republican, male vs female and whatever other polarizations that pundits and pollsters can come up with are going to tell you about as much the polls told you the last couple of elections - ie not nearly enough to call anything.

  2. The most important "voters" in the 2016 American Presidential campaign and election were Julian Assange, James Comey, Xi Jingping, Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin and King Salman. They will all be back in 2018 and beyond with much more effective mayhem and mischief.

  3. One major flaw in your argument is that the national polls predicted Clinton would win the election. She did. By more than 3 million votes.

    Polls aren't useless, and Trump and his supporters aren't normal.

  4. I think the obvious answer is that some people were disenchanted with both candidates.

  5. Republican women should consider may things when the are making their voting decision. If they choose republican and those republicans win majorities they will be living in a world of conservative extremism.

    Trump will continue to run with the extreme GOP agenda . If democrats win there will be moderation and compromise. Women have a very important role this coming election and going forward.

    One more thing: women should not be forced to vote for their spouse/partner's. This type of bullying should be called out. Can the GOP leaders speak to that?

  6. Granted, there is a gender gap. BUT, is this not truly an issue with age gap amongst voters? As a 60 something female with 30 something progeny, I sense a major generational shift. As time goes by and especially (I hate to say it) as the older 100% voters can no longer go to the polls, things will change if our children just "get out and vote".

  7. You are assuming that the politics of the younger generation won't change, as they get older. I'm not sure if that is correct (and we won't know until they DO get older). I'm in the same generation as you are, and when I was 25, I naively thought our generation would permanently liberalize the country.

  8. @Emily: I am a baby boomer woman, age 62. When I was young, all I heard was how "the modern young people -- the Woodstock generation! peace, love, rock n roll! who march against war and Vietnam!" -- were going to change the world. How'd that work out? Same generation ended up applauding our invading Iraq and Afghanistan -- for 14 years -- longer than the Vietnam war!!!

    Reality is that you are not the same at 45 and you are at 20 and with good reason. Your ideals bump up against reality -- against a job market, finances, marriage and family/children.

    As far as voting...older voters are remarkably reliable and consistent (and conservative!) and they can all VOTE BY MAIL. I haven't been to the polling place in a long time. Easier to vote by mail! I can of course still walk or drive, but a senior who is a shut-in can vote by mail easily enough.

    Seniors still think of voting as a moral obligation in a democratic society -- young people today are whingers (I include MY OWN 30-something kids here!) who want a free ride, and then pout if things don't go their way. They want do-overs and backsies! They pouted over Bernie not getting the Democratic nomination -- sulked and refused to vote (or voted for Jill Stein) -- and handed the Presidency to Donald Trump.

  9. Sharon: this is the best post here! wish you'd written this article!

  10. it strikes me that the same alpha male aggressiveness can be seen in any sports bar during just about any sports game. look at the behavior of the largely majority population of men compared to the small group of women and their more restrained behavior.

  11. I have a hard time thinking as poorly of men as this column suggests that I should. But I guess if men keep voting in large numbers against the vital interests of their mothers, wives, daughters and, yes, sons and selves, I will need to rethink. It would have been interesting to get some sense of how all this breaks down by age as well as gender.

  12. I happen to think the opinion pieces wastes too much space on those psychologzing stuff. Bill Clinton is right still when he said, "It is the economy, stupid!"

  13. Polls today are unreliable because of the racial and sexist factors Thankfully, some individuals remain reluctant to voice publicly openly racist or misogynistic views. Unfortunately, they are not so constrained in the privacy of the ballot booth. Notwithstanding the above, we still need to force all Americans to confront these most significant issues in politics and in life. We must unrelentingly continue to shame the Papa Johns, Weinstein's and Roy Moore's. Thankfully again, women are leading us in the right direction.

  14. People need to take a closer look at polls instead of accepting them as accurate representations of how people think. Polls are easy to rig, if somebody wants a particular answer.

    I remember a poll in 1980 shortly before the Presidential election. It asked if the respondent favored a "ban on abortion". Since even abortion opponents are willing to make an exception when the mother's life is in danger, respondents overwhelmingly said no, and the pollsters announced that "Americans overwhelmingly support abortion". Two months later, numerous liberal Congressmen were voted out of office over the abortion issue. The poll had asked the wrong question and gotten the wrong answer. Whether this was through stupidity or a deliberate attempt to rig the poll to favor the abortion advocates, I don't know.

  15. This analysis also points out the obvious, educational attainment gap in party preference. The corollary data show women's educational attainment is rising as well as women in the workforce. Most recently, a higher proportion of women than men are in college or training programs beyond high school. That data alone points to an accelerating loss of support for the Republican party for both women and men. As to the alpha male theory, it is partially correct. There are few conservative males (or Congress) standing up to trump and his alpha male supporters. Whether they are just plain scared or insecure in their own maleness is open to question. They see their place in the world changing and see it as an assault on their manhood are unwilling to change. On the other side, educated males see Trump and his supporters as blowhards, bluff and bluster. They see the world is changing and are willing to change with it. They do not see progress as an assault on their manhood.

  16. Men also don't have uteruses and give birth -- which is a huge determining factor for many of my female friends and acquaintances for voting for Dems. Republican's aren't a safe bet for keeping females safe from harm and having agency over our own bodies.

    Now if only nearly 50 percent of people who haven't been voting actually vote, that would be a miracle.

  17. "...educated males see Trump and his supporters as blowhards, bluff and bluster". Yet, as stated in the article, Trump barely lost white men with degrees, 46.60 to 45.30.
    Degrees today are mainly advanced job training, and don't in themselves change people's perspectives, make them smarter or more moral humans. They just help people to earn more money. It would seem that cultural and geographical influences are stronger than degrees in determining voting preferences. I've lived in a heavily conservative area for 45 yrs. Virtually every doctor I've seen in the last decade has been a Republican. My PT, a fairly young and generous, kind man who does much free work for the community, is an anti-ObamaCare Trumper. Most of his patients are Trumpers, both men and women of all ages, making therapy a depressing-as-heck place for me because it's political talk all the time. Six miles south of me begins all rural towns for the next 200 miles, the entire width of the state. The only thing carrying our "blueness" in our state legislature is the aging remnants of an old, powerful but slowly dying political machine based in the major city driving the state's economic engine. All these colleges and universities here, putting out all these degreed conservatives, does not bode well for our state remaining blue.

  18. This election boils down to a choice that will likely determine whether the human species (and many others) will survive into the future or become extinct.

    We can no longer to follow the alpha male formula of aggression and intimidation that often leads to war. We cannot afford to keep fighting wars and having hostile confrontations with other nations if we are to marshal the forces needed to minimize the effects of global warming. We need far more civil conversation, cooperation and consensus building to achieve critical positive ends. We must adopt a more feminine/beta male model of how society is run. It's our only hope.

  19. Over the past year, I have been working to help young men confront the more toxic aspects of the male gender role and move towards health. It’s taught me a lot — not only that many of the key factors Mr. Edsall cites (men feeling demonized, left behind) are correct and contribute to mens’ move right, but also that these men are rarely the lost causes we assume them to be.

    Young men — as individuals — want to feel (a) important and (b) like they have a voice in the conversation. Many people on the left today recognize these desires but laugh at them, because they think at wide, societal levels instead. The reasoning here (correct at the macro level) is, “Men — especially white men — have so much privilege and visibility they don’t need attention.” But validation and inclusion are basic human needs. So at the individual level, when young men see men demonized, they tune out or, worse, move to the only groups providing them with attention: the far right and Trump.

    You may be reading this comment and scoffing — and that’s okay, that’s your choice. Consider this, however: studies show us that men participate in gender equality initiatives when they’re told their opinion is needed to create a fair system. My outreach work has taught me that if we on the left included men instead of demonizing them, we’d have a much bigger team — and to beat Trump we will need the biggest team possible. It’s not about giving men disproportionate attention — it’s about not shutting them out.

  20. The most sensible and gender-gap healing comment of the day.

    Well done, EM.

    Hope Americans of all persuasions consider your nuanced suggestions and honor the fact that they come from your honest experiences with young men.

  21. Amen Brother! I'm an old white male lefty who recognizes that the Democratic Party (the only real choice we have) better realize that even when a demographic group is 65% supportive of any given view, one out of three of them is on our side. There is a huge risk to this kind of generalization when assessing people's political views that keeps our party from including many people it can not afford to alienate.

  22. Emphatic man, substitute women for men in your response. Just saying.

  23. Almost all women on this earth are aware of the injustices large and small perpetrated against them, their daughters, mothers and female friends by male bosses, co-workers, husbands, brothers, strangers, etc. and they become by turns indignant, furious, frustrated, sad and demoralized. But being upset with the way you're treated and generally viewed when you'd prefer to have a peaceful, ordered and somewhat happy life is hard to continually maintain, and it really interferes with getting things done, so very often women resign themselves to their situation as far as they can and carry on.

    Besides, most women I know really try to love and sympathize with the men in their lives, most especially their husbands and sons. and they want them to be successful. They know that everyone must take the bad with the good, and know that life is difficult for everyone. And yes, when their men have success that helps in achieving (their desired) order, peace and security. So, how do you choose a public political position?

    Men, on the other hand, are less conflicted.

  24. Hidden Brain did a podcast on how we relate to power recently. Scientists they interviewed noted that in hunter-gatherer tribes, the alpha hunter is honored and respected as long as he equitably shares the meat he brings in. The moment the tribe thinks he's using it to reward certain members or to build more of a power base, they take him down.
    We appear to be evoluntionarily hardwired to honor the alpha as long as our needs are being met, but as soon as he (almost always a he), gets too big for his boots, he's taken down by the group.

  25. One can only hope. (This alpha male does not want to share except with his peers. "Only the little people pay [taxes]." Plenty of people out there who do not kowtow to the alpha male or there used to be. Not sure about what goes on in the hearts/minds of the younger generation and esp. the lawyers!)

  26. And who could be more of a hoarding and and inner circle rewarding example than our current president?

    Talk about being too big for his britches . . .

  27. One way to see it is that men have moved right. Another way to see it is that men have stayed just where they were, but the public mainstream, as created by the left-leaning media and cultural/art establishment, has moved sharply to the left and is now very extreme.

    Just as one example, it used to be absolutely common sense that there are two genders and that people wanting to be what they are not is a mental condition that should be taken care of by mental health professionals, not a human right that should be encouraged. Now that notion is considered right-wing or worse. So without ever changing their stance one bit, millions of people, especially men, are now labeled "extreme".

    Liberals of course are completely blind to this because they see it as self-evident and unquestionable that everything always needs to "progress" and if you don't want to progress with them, it is you who is being extreme. The rest of us do not appreciate that sentiment very much. Human nature does not change in 10, 20 or 100 years, so if a movement suddenly claims that everything we used to believe is wrong and we should believe something else entirely, they are the extremists, and also very likely wrong.

  28. Although it may be "absolutely common sense that there are two genders and that people wanting to be what they are not is a mental condition that should be taken care of by mental health professionals," that belief is scientifically incorrect.

    The complexity of the biology of development provides many opportunities for an individual not to develop in this "common sense" way. Genetic, prenatal hormonal, postnatal social, and post-pubertal hormonal influences can lead to discrepancies between gender identity and anatomy. This possibility has been increasingly understood since the 1950s; see Wikipedia for links to further details:


    You also might benefit from reading the story of Ben Barres, a recently deceased neuroscientist and member of the National Academy of Sciences whom I knew as Barbara during graduate school:


    Many of the advances of Western civilization have come from improved scientific understanding of reality, frequently in ways that challenge what used to be "absolutely common sense." Quantum mechanics and both special and general relativity come to mind; they simply do not make "common sense" yet they explain much of reality.

    Yes, there is "progress" in our understanding of reality. It's important, if we are to have a civilized society, that our personal and political actions take that progress into account.

  29. Consider the idea that it’s not human nature that has changed but rather the broader acceptance of those who are different that has changed. LGBT have always been present in the human population as natural variation, it’s just our acceptance of it that has changed.

  30. And it used to be understood that blacks counted as 5/8 human, women should not have the vote, God supports the powerful so kings are kings by divine right, and the earth is flat. I could go on and on about what was once “truth” and now is not, but the point is made.

  31. You're either with us or against us. I have rejected any man in my life who supports Trump(and women too, but I only know one). How any man who loves his mother, daughter, sister, wife- could have heard the access hollywood tape and then voted for him anyway is beyond me. How do you face those women? How do you tell them you support their choices and want the best for them? Men can fight their "loss of status" all they want, but for younger men it is not a zero sum game. Women gaining status and equality is good for them, too. It frees them from the constraints of having to perform and provide and bluster and display that the patriarchy has forced on men. It's a win /win.

  32. Frees them to do what? What is the role of a man when the government provides support for 'free' to women? No wonder married men are overwhelmingly Republican. A large aspect of the man's role in marriage is to provide and protect. It may seem self-defeating to turn down nanny government's free this and free that, but when government encroaches on how you define your value, a man fights back.

  33. The use of 'nanny' state is interesting. Nannies cared for children so that women (primarily) could turn their hands to other tasks, so the term denigrates the idea by relegating it to a traditionally feminine, domestic sphere. But what if we called it the 'executive assistant' or 'partner' state instead? What if a state that provided access to healthcare and a good education allowed husbands to turn their hands to other family-related tasks as well, like spending more time with newborns and so forth? Is it just the feminine tilt of the 'nanny' state that makes it seem emasculating?

  34. 'You're either with us or against us'. Hmm, where have I heard that before? You don't change minds by increasing polarization as people get reflexively defensive and dig in their heels. Find me one instance where a screaming match resulted in one side saying "you know what, that's a good point, you changed my mind". It just doesn't happen. It's basic human psychology.

  35. I think this analysis is interesting but misses some important aspects. Pew's research actually shows that unmarried men are actually quite Democratic. It's only married men that are overwhelmingly Republican. The same goes for women. Married women are far more likely to be Republican than divorced, never-married, or widowed women. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/28/a-closer-look-at-the-gen...

  36. People in red states and rural settings tend to get married much earlier, often at ages 20-24. People in urban settings and those who spend a lot of time in college or grad school tend to get married later, usually in their lates 20s-early 30s. That could influence the data, as urban/rural is a pretty good proxy for Republican/Democrat.

  37. Terrific and thought provoking piece that explains a lot of where we are. This gender gap is largely hidden when one looks at total population polls. However, what strikes me is that an obviously relevant mathematical fact is totally ignored here: women outnumber men both in voter registration and actual voting in both presidential and non presidential election years. Combining this with the data presented leads to a straightforward conclusion.

  38. In 2010 census date, there were 21.4 million men between 60 and 90 years old. There were 30.3 million women in same age group. Prime voting group. Old people vote in great numbers, and that's 9 million more women. Clearly not all vote or are capable as they age, but that is still quite a spread.

  39. The college educated women I know here in NJ that consistently vote republican are all embarrassed by Trump but actually like his policies. They don’t like those people getting their tax dollars and they resent paying taxes but they all make sure their parents have trusts and qualify for Medicaid. They all have an undocumented lawn care and housekeeper. The all hire undocumented painters and carpenters while cheering the new border policies. Most have daughters, but few feel their right to choose will be effected. Call it the northeast bubble. They are in denial of how access has changed women’s autonomy in other states. They don’t care.

    The best we can hope for is that they don’t vote in November as they will not vote for a democrat.

  40. Doug - how about it frees men to have healthy relationships with themselves and others? No one said men had to take free hand outs from the government, but if you think you're emasculated because you occasionally need support from others, then that's a problem. We all need help from each other sometimes. It's just a fact and women are far more likely to acknowledge and accept that than men. That doesn't make us weak - to the contrary, it's a source of strength. With most marriages now consisting of 2 working spouses, the burden for "providing" for the family now falls more equally on women and men. It's not a win-lose scenario, Doug, it's a win-win.

  41. Incredible!! My sister-in-law is a walking replica of what you describe. A dyed-in-the-wool Republican, who sees nothing wrong with gifting away her mother's assets to all her siblings to make her eligible for Medicaid.

    I'm guessing this hypocrisy is more prevalent than what it anecdotally seems on these pages.

  42. HRC won 55% of the NJ votes in 2016. I'd be hopeful for November.

  43. I always found it curious that the alpha male stuff works in boardrooms and high level negotiations, while the actual successes of businesses depend on more evolved behavior.

  44. Of course American men want a smaller government without any services. In their minds, women should still be providing these services for free.

    In the 1970s, Icelandic women stopped all work for 24 hours, and by that I mean they all stopped doing everything in the home as well as in their paid jobs. Icelandic men got the point and soon after, Iceland became the first country to vote for a female president (and a single mother at that).

    If the statistics in this piece are true, American men may want to rethink women's importance in society. Women are looking at the amount of free labor they provide to society and they are starting to wonder why they are expected to sacrifice so much of their lives to a society that doesn't treat them equally. If men think they can turn back the clock by voting for men like Trump, they are in for a rude awakening. These men may have won this battle, but they will lose the war because without women, America will never be able to compete globally. American women are now better educated than American men. Given this reality, do American men really think men are the future? Even Saudi Arabia is starting to realize (however slowly) that no economy can survive without the intelligence and talent of its women. Let's see how long it takes Christian Americans to wake up to this fact as well.

  45. Elise, you have neatly articulated my own reactions to this article and prognostications for the future, here and elsewhere. Thank you.

  46. Well said!

  47. @empathic man from brklyn: my thinking exactly.
    antagonizing people, pitting entire parts of society
    against each other has hardly ever helped. sit down
    and figure out what we have in common so we can
    move forward as constructively as possible!

    [and do avoid the toxic "divide-and-conquer" trap!]

  48. Thankfully, some of us are not apes. Truly confident men don't have to belittle others in order to raise their status. The success of others, their intelligence, strength, etc, doesn't detract from my own. Intimidation comes from insecurity. Truly great leaders inspire, by their words and true actions, not by boasting and beating their chest. Castellanos is wrong, patriarchy has not been eternal. Matriarchal societies existed and still do. We need to redefine masculinity in our culture, away from the macho violence of Schwarzenegger in The Terminator to the tender, loving, fearless courage of Benigni in Life is Beautiful.

    If we don't adapt, we won't survive. I am male. The future is female, and I'm pleased with that.

  49. "The future is female" is the kind of casual sexism that is so prevalent on the left that only serves to push male voters to Trump and his ilk.

    Would you say the future is male? The future is white? The future is Christian? Then don't say the future is female. How about the future is for all of us?

    How hard is it to understand that insulting people is not the way to get them on your side?

  50. ''I am male. The future is female, and I'm pleased with that.''
    Good luck with that. The most recommended letter here states that 'feminism is for everyone' While you have just said its for women and you like it that way. Between that, the pushing of trans gender rights before class warfare in a world of increasing rich poor gap (ie the one that matters and effects EVERYONE) I think you are on to a perenial loser-
    There are a lot of women out there who as mothers of sons and married to men they love don't pine for a world without gender or think they forcing boys to be girls is the solution to our resource and jobless future run by oligarchs who don't DO democracy!

  51. the future should be equality, thats what we should all aspire to!

  52. The gender gap exists in turnout as well. The elections in 2018 and 2020 may be determined by the gender gap in turnout. Trump won the Electoral College by only about 78,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

    In 2016, 63.3% of eligible female voters turned out while only 59.3% of eligible male voters turned out. That is a 4% gender gap that has been growing since 1980 according to a Center for American Women and Politics report.

    If the female voter turnout gap and the female voter preference gap continue to increase, women could easily determine the next two elections.

  53. This is an excuse for reactionary behavior that presents the fantasy of male dominance. Few of these individuals who are so offended by the social issues you describe actually have any personal experience with those social issues - the #metoo movement or complex gender identities or even bathroom access. It's in the news, but not in their lives. To think that this is driving voters is frustrating to say the least. It is very similar to anti-immigrant attitudes which are most strong in communities with few to no immigrants. The policies that affect all of our daily lives are the ones that ought to drive voters. The other issues are being pushed by media savvy "marketers" on the right and they are the winners.

  54. Yes, there is a gender gap, but it doesn't mean that it can't be narrowed. For example, my wife was all set to vote for Hillary Clinton (first woman president and all that), but I explained to her why Trump, despite his big mouth, would be a better president for "us" and for the country, and she agreed. So, she voted for Trump and she is happy she did. She intends to support him in 2020.

  55. Wow! I guess you told her.

  56. My question to you, Mr. Fuentes, is this: who makes the most money in your relationship with your wife? I doubt seriously if she made more than you that she would have gone with your male logic.

  57. Since you got you wife to change your vote it seems your wife is submissive to your will and I suspect that is how you like it. Women who want to be submissive are more supportive of Trump according to Edsall's analysis. Trump has destroyed the international reputation of the US and is a disaster for women both in policy and attitude. He is going to crash the global economy with his trade wars and will most likely stumble into some sort of ill-fated military conflict. Maybe you should have listened to your wife instead of vice versa.

  58. Is the world friendly or hostile to your interests? This, said Albert Einstein, was the most important question for us all.

    Right now, neither males nor females see the world as friendly: males fear losing their traditional role as provider and protector, females fear that males will fail to let go of those roles. Indeed, as certain categories of males feel more threatened, females are more threatened.

    The most basic way to deal with social tensions is to eliminate differences. This article helps me understand why my two daughters' (both in their early 20's) vociferously defend those who have declared themselves either trans or gender neutral: millennials like them are trying to create a world in which gender itself is extinguished or at least minimized.

  59. While I agree with much of what you write, the larger problem for women is our lived experience of men (#notallmen) is not of protector or provider but of exploiter and abuser.

    In work and in life many of us experience being demeaned, harassed and exploited, and no man comes to our defense while t is happening. So, while we would love male protectors and defenders they do not intervene when we are being hurt.

    It is a small group of men who are really awful to the ladies, but they touch the lives of the majority of women. If you men remember times you have felt demeaned or have been assaulted, you will understand it is not the sort of thing any person can forget.

  60. "Much of this is justified and long overdue, given how women are exploited and discriminated against, but it may leave some men feeling defensive, belittled, and eager for a champion. This may especially affect lower-status men."

    Low status men are, in some ways, even more exploited than women in a patriarchal society. In such a society women still retain some value, even if it is limited. Low status men, however, are completely disposable, as any history of war or economics makes clear. Male-chauvinist societies still preach protecting "women and children first" in the event of a disaster, which means throwing the unmarried men overboard without lifeboats.

    If low status men are truly so afraid of women's rise that they would rather double down on the old order which treats them, literally and figuratively, as "cannon fodder", then the situation seems hopeless. It is a great failure of liberal politicians that they have not gotten across the message that changing the power hierarchy will not just benefit this group or that group, but everyone who has suffered unfairly.

  61. "It is a great failure of liberal politicians that they have not gotten across the message that changing the power hierarchy will not just benefit this group or that group, but everyone who has suffered unfairly."

    I'm getting tired of the knee-jerk reflex to blame "liberal politicians" and Democrats for not holding the hands of these men, as if they were children, while they try to cope with a changing world. This is all on men and men alone and they don't have any excuse whatsover. They alone need to learn to adapt to a changing world. That's always been the key to successful existence on this planet from the beginning.

    It's been a man's world for too long and while great things did happen, they've now left the planet in shambles. The idea that they'd rather commit suicide instead of admitting their own failures and sharing the reigns of power with women is ludicrous. This is a fatal character flaw that needs to be bred out of the species. I have little sympathy for low-status men who refuse to evolve. They can now educate themselves like never before in the history of humanity but they refuse to, choosing to tantrum like toddlers instead.

    The fragility of the male ego is the ultimate failure and the reason for our current mess, not "liberal politicians". The rest of us just need to overwhelm them in influencing and accelerating cultural change, AND at the ballot box.

  62. Don't know what's up with the commenting system but hope this is posted correctly and not as my last reply to another comment below.

    You've given me a new way to view the evolving trans and gender identity movements, as a way to minimize gender. While gender will never be "extinguished", minimizing the fetishization of gender difference would go a long way in moving humanity forward and out of this suffocatingly patriarchal quagmire we're stuck in. Interesting that nature, perhaps in response to the catastrophic ending hypermasculinity is taking humanity, has manifested such an obvious spectrum of gender orientation. The key to our survival is to embrace this diversity and, thankfully, millennials are stepping up to the plate and taking on the challenge.

  63. I grew up in a patriarchal society, and so would like to address a couple of your assumptions. You make it sound as though all women are treated equally in a patriarchal society while the class distinctions only apply to men. That simply is not the case. Women of lesser economic means and status have the most difficult time of all (just as they do in any society). As for “value” assigned to women, that is strictly based on how they can benefit the agendas of alpha males. Any talents a woman possesses that do not meet that criteria will be disparaged or, at best, ignored. Also, “value” is assigned with an expiration date and will be revoked at any time it suits the ruling alpha males. I grew up in a real-life version of a The Handmaid’s Tale-everything but the red robes. Thank God, my father got transferred to another area. My life improved the minute we got out of there. The year after we moved, a sweet young girl was raped and brutally murdered by a young alpha male, who never served a minute of jail time. It haunts me to this day that she didn’t get the chance to grow up. A return to patriarchy isn’t the panacea many would have you believe. Take it from someone who saw it in action.

  64. Relationships are evolving. The time has come for them to be based on friendship and mutual respect. When we were pioneers on the frontier or similarly difficult places, the partnership you seem to believe in made sense.

  65. The great, great irony in men’s approval of Trump and Republicanism in general is that these men get nothing, NOTHING in return for their support. Most men and women are average people who work for others and are not terribly aggressive, yet the program of Republicans that they are supporting undermines the economic security of the average citizen by favoring businesses, corporations and the super rich. The average men and women who support Republicans apparently never stop for a single moment to gauge whether they have received any of the “benefits” pushed by the right wing agenda. It is one thing to be a brave, independent working man, it is another thing to be up against that corporation, looking for a job or trying to get a better salary and doing it without the help of another single human being. That’s the consequence of the anti-union policy of the Republican Party. That is the bottom line effect of Republican anti-worker philosophy and apparently something that all our “beta males” delude themselves about when they identify with the chest pounding, insulting bully in the WH. There is no cure for those who don’t protect themselves.

  66. The gender gap is real, but I'm puzzled by its implications for electoral math. If (speaking schematically) Republicans get votes from 70% of the men and 30% of the women, and vice-versa for Democrats, then does winning an election depend on which gender turns out at the polls in larger numbers? Democrats seem to think that they benefit from a gender gap because they get more votes from women. Why shouldn't it mean that they get fewer votes from men?

  67. While it is true that a disproportionate number of positions of power and wealth are held by white men, it is also true that a very, very small proportion of men hold that power and wealth. Most white men are also regularly subjugated by the rich and powerful.

    If the conversations were less about gender and more about power, Democrats would find many more allies among men. It is hard to fully engage with a group that labels you as the enemy based solely on your race and gender. As a lifelong Democrat, and a 'lower middle class working stiff', I increasingly feel unwelcome in my own party.

  68. I wish I could post this comment all over the internet!

  69. You should use that experience to build empathy towards those that are discriminated against. Think about how you are facing 1/1000 the discrimination they face and yet it is very demoralizing.

  70. Spot on. Stick to the wealth inequalities in society and you'll bring in the votes. The other stuff divides much more than it unites.

  71. Where is this pervasive jungle version of masculinity coming from? I'm in my 70's and was raised in a rural region. Growing up, most of us were taught to tell the truth, accept responsibility for our actions, and to always try to do the right thing. Robert Mueller would seem to be the perfect roll model for the era in which I grew up. What has happened?

  72. I'm puzzled at what's puzzling. Yes, more from women and less from men. But the math means that overall, democrats DO benefit due to higher registration and higher voting numbers of women, all else equal.

  73. SD, Ronald Reagan happened. When an actor who would play the roles of actual men of action like Mueller or Kerry got himself elected president and was wildly popular for his words and not his deeds, the Republicans realized that fantasy is what deeply insecure post-Vietnam Americans really wanted. Reality was just too painful for them. They're still addicted.

  74. SD, with all due respect, the outside world encroached into your small, isolated area. Being unable to adopt is what happened.

  75. Men are Right, women are Left. Nothing new there. Men moving Right, women moving Left? Little new there. Women, despite their strive for equality (whatever that means), still seek coddling, i.e. Left. A stark contrast in how to live in the world. So it should not be a big surprise, that numerically, major gender changes in Boardrooms haven't taken place. Thought I suppose if women originally controlled the Boards, then whether they were Left or Right wouldn't matter, to their status there. As long as stark contrast exists, among equal numbers, it reasons power will default to those who have control. Little new, here.

  76. I am disheartened by what seems to be the predominant focus of a majority of men: might makes right. I have come to the sad conclusion that as long as the average male can exert physical dominance over the average female, women will be viewed as second class citizens, even by other women. I wish I could be more optimistic, as I have two very intelligent daughters.

  77. I am disheartened by what seems to be the predominant focus of a majority of men: might makes right. I have come to the sad conclusion that as long as the average male can exert physical dominance over the average female, women will be viewed as second class citizens, even by other women. I wish I could be more optimistic, as I have two daughters with very high intellects who are navigating this world.

  78. Trump entered the NATO summit disparaging allies, then following that display with negotiation.

    I always heard "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" ...but Trump takes the approach advocated by the self-named PUA (Pick-Up Artists), a group of misogynistic aggrieved single men - from whence the term "Incel" (Involuntarily Celibate) originates.
    Among other things, they encourage men to seduce women by insulting them, their theory is that is what ladies want, and that will gain them sexual favor.

    This is Trump's approach on the national and international stage.

    Critically important political, social, and environmental issues aside, is there any reason to think that men and women would not have drastically different reactions in the face of this kind of display?

  79. A key variable is voter turnout. US Census Bureau, Current Population Surveys, reports that women's voting rate has exceeded men's since 1980, and this difference has gradually increased from less than 1% in 1980 to more than 4% in 2016. If this turnout trend persists, it could make the gender gap in party preference a major gain for Democrats.

  80. One must remember the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s made it illegal to discriminate against women. With that the professional schools such a Law and Medicine became close to 50% or mores female as opposed to the 10-15% of prior years. Firemen, police construction workers and finally the Armed Forces admitted women into their ranks.
    Men at the margin in intelligence and attitude were pushed aside in gaining admittance.
    Trump was really saying not make America great again but make America male again. Deny women control pf their reproductive lives and you push them back into their 'proper roles' as primarily carers of children and housewives.
    That message appealed to men particularly men who were being left behind in a changing job market and white women who saw their men not able to support a family on their salaries alone.
    Women were pushed to be Democratic voters . Men chose to be reactionary voters.

  81. These snapshots of voting fail to account for external factors, like a major recession, which can cause shifts in voter allegiance.

  82. That's very true, but those factors are hypothetical at this point. By necessity, the analysis has to be at a point in time.

  83. So it all boils down to primate behavior, a depressing thought in light of the genius men have for destruction.

    Patriarchy flourished in days of yore when fewer people on the planet made room for testosterone fueled aggression. As the world becomes more crowded and urbanized, economic and gender equality becomes more essential to human prosperity and survival.

    If, as Mr. Edsall suggests in his excellent column, the current flowering of revanchist fascism among world leaders represents obsolete patriarchy desperate to maintain the status quo, our primate emotions will assure the continuation of our dismal history of human misery and conflict, even as human intellect puts Utopia within our reach.

  84. It all boils down to a search for stability. Outsourcing, layoffs and eradication of unions have left so many in reduced circumstances that they vote fro what they think is stabilization but actually accelerates the layoffs and wage stagnation.

  85. There is a failure in this article to connect the rise of male Republicanism and the fall of private sector unions. Just as union membership began its slow decline from 1/3 of the workers to the present day single digits, males began moving increasingly to the Republican Party. And there is a failure to grasp what this did to the nuclear family. What these union jobs did was allow a family to be supported on one income, typically the man's. While the mother was able to devote all her energies raising her children. The father gained esteem from being the bread winner and the mother from being the nurturer and care giver. With the decline of unions, thus the diminution of wages and benefits, the nuclear family was economically stressed, forcing working-class woman to work outside the home. This not only put pressure on the quality time families had to spend but also on the sense of purpose of each member. The Democrats need understand this dynamic - that in many working class families the values of family (with comfortable roles within that family to nurture its overall well-being) are more important than some feminist version of radical equality. The Democrats could emphasize a message of greater economic equality through greater support of unions and their ability to rise the economic well-being of its members and consequently more quality personal\family time. Currently, they are more comfortable with the feminist elites than the huddled masses yearning for economic justice.

  86. What you call feminist elites and feminist radical equality is out of touch and a male biased view. Feminists support women deciding for themselves what their role in the family and in society will be, including the decision to stay at home to raise children. On unions, maybe you’re forgetting how many women were in unions. It’s the GOP that systematically broke up unions, the Democratic Party understands this and has long supported the working class and, yes, should emphasize that support much more loudly. The GOP have become masters of propaganda and make untruthful policy positions all the time, the GOP doesn’t support the working class. Finally, one thing men, white men in particular, need to evolve on is that equality is NOT radical.

  87. What separates us from the apes? Our brains. Our ability to have empathy, to understand the pain and suffering that others experience. To understand the big picture, to problem solve and come to solutions that benefit all instead of just a few.

    Some people just are not bright enough to care. I try to live my life respecting everyone, no matter their sex, age, color, culture, or beliefs. But when it comes to idiots who choose to remain so? My bias against them is becoming more and more difficult to contain.

  88. What separates us from the apes? Our brains. Our ability to have empathy, to understand the pain and suffering that others experience. To understand the big picture, to problem solve and come to solutions that benefit all instead of just a few.

    Some people just are not bright enough to care. I try to live my life respecting everyone, no matter their sex, age, color, culture, or beliefs. I am not perfect, but I try my best. But when it comes to idiots--especially those who could be something greater but choose to remain ignorant (if not downright stupid)? My bias and anger against them is becoming more and more difficult to contain.

  89. Getting with this program requires an intellectual decision on the part of the dominant hierarchical group/individual to subordinate themselves, to one degree or another, in the name of demonstrable social progress. Here it’s gender, elsewhere it’s race/ethnicity or sexual orientation. The privacy of the voting booth ensures that it will be a very long and painful process.

  90. Fascinating column. Interesting when contrasted with politics here in France.

    First, the US of the first half of my nearly 60 years:

    Hook, line and sinker, this was the America of my early youth: "America the beautiful ... from sea to shining sea", "with justice and liberty for all". That plus a moderate Christian upbringing, a classic Protestant work ethic and a keen awareness of my own and our world's finite resources was the essential making of me.

    A college-educated white male, I've never felt a strong attraction to the Republican party, and over the years, the GOP has become polarizing and downright repulsive on many counts.

    So second, France: it is not perfect, but it has been a kind of oxygen that was lacking in the US. Gender relations are less fraught. The alpha males are not like the chimpanzees Jane Goodall described. Discretion is preferred to open aggressiveness so that, generally, civil discussions can be held.

    Interestingly, in 2017 Marine Le Pen succeeded in repelling undecided voters by using a Trumpian debate strategy (mendacious, "in your face") when facing Emmanuel Macron.

    How to shrink the American political gender gap? Living in peace, dignity and respect for one another would go a long way. American women have to sell men on the benefits of that, even if it means fighting tooth and nail.

  91. ah yes, "with liberty and justice for all". How could I forget?

  92. There's a lot here about white men. What about non-white men? It is, after all, unarmed black men who have been visibly killed by police. It is Hispanic men (and women, too) who are singled out for scrutiny by ICE (and even by whites). As the nation inexorably moves toward "majority minority" status, won't non-white men be more likely to abandon the Republican party? (Whether they then join the Democratic party is another question.)

  93. Well it's back to primal basics with Trump and his followers. He certainly did physically display his dominance at NATO yesterday, sticking out his chest in photos and snearing. He publicly shamed Angela Merkel and her nation and he has a particular disdain for Merkel which I believe is because she is a dominant female. If this is the level we're now acting on, male versus female and big white men versus everyone else, woman need to get back to basics, too, and get in a defensive posture. Women, especially single ones, are more dependent on benefits to survive, especially since we are paid less. Ladies, we all need to register and vote in November. Our status is slipping and we need to respond to the alpha males. I'm not willing to be pushed back barefoot into the kitchen, are you?

  94. I'm in the approximately 40% that are not gullible enough to see Trump as my savior. I'm a combat Marine veteran with a Ph.D., so my background would suggest that I could go either way. While white men may feel energized by Trump as their protector, meanwhile the cruel GOP in Congress is gutting everything American including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, aid for children, and facilitating Trumps move toward war, perhaps World War. Then where will they be as their sons and daughters die in another useless conflict designed to enrich the wealthy even more. These angry white male voters are taking the country and the world down the toilet and destroying democracy just so they can continue to control women and minorities. At least at 69 I won't see all the chaos caused by these selfish male voters, but my teenage granddaughters certainly will. For that I am truly saddened.

  95. Edsall asks but doesn't answer a critical question this column. How much can Democrats bank on the votes of women to block the Trump agenda in 2018 and to vote him out of office in 2020? Answer (1) they can't and even if they could it won't matter. Trump is going to place another justice on SCOTUS. Nothing can stop that. Controlling SCOTUS is the grand slam that ends the ball game. Control SCOTUS & you win the Cultural wars. Control SCOTUS & you destroy the liberal agenda once & for all whether they win elections or not. That's why they are putting up with Trump for now. Trump has gotten Two Supreme Court appointments, he may well get more, and he’s moved more quickly on lower-court appointments than Obama did. The legal arm of the conservative movement is probably the best organized, most far-reaching and far-seeing sector of the Right. They truly are in it — and have been in it — for the long game. Control the Supreme Court, stack the judiciary, and you can stop the progressive movement, no matter how popular it is, no matter how much legislative power it has, for decades. All other priorities are rescinded. Long after Trump is gone, the right will rely on the judiciary — and behind that, the Constitution — to protect, enlarge, & consolidate their gains. What Happens if the Gender Gap Becomes a Gender Chasm? Not much. The country will continue to shift to the right. Whether you like it or not this is an idea who's time has come. And there's not much we can do to stop it.

  96. Democrat hubris in over-estimating the likelihood of a Clinton win in 2016, coupled with Obama and Reid not engaging in the fight to bring Garland's nomination to a vote, led to Gorsuch and now Kavanaugh.

    The likelihood of both GInsburg and Breyer (Thomas is only 69) lasting on the Court until 2025 is extremely low. So Trump could have one or two new Justices, with a nominal 7-2 leaning.

    Fivesome of Roberts, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Thomas could last a decade or more, along with Sotomayor and Kagan.

    That is a fearsomely solid majority.

  97. I am sure there is some validity to the authors analysis. However, it also struck me, as I read the last bits of his data, that all of this could also be assessed much more simply. Instead of all the assigning of underlying psychological causes, is the "rightward shift" of men not more easily explained by a committed bloc of racists shifting from the Democratic to the Republican party with the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960's?

  98. Perhaps gender will decide if there’s a blue wave in November. White men will never abandon the president because they share his world view. The president harvested a huge crop among white women in 2016, in spite of the Hollywood Access tape. They brushed off his lewd conduct and supported him over a fellow sister, Hillary Clinton. White women hold the key to this November’s election results. They overlooked his lack of morals and forgave him his marital trespasses but all that might end with a Supreme Court that will tell women what to do with their bodies and take away their health care.

    White men and a white and enabling Congress are pushing America back to the middle of the 20th century and this Court will make it all legal, if the president has his way. Women should stand up to their men when they are wrong and this president and his party are wrong on just about everything that women hold dear. Sometimes race can bridge a chasm but not so much with gender. Maybe women will tell white men that their days of privilege are over.

  99. Ah, another NYT columnist quoting Quinnipiac polls, the same polls that had Hillary beating trump by 9 points on November 5, 2016. I'm surprised he didn't consult the excellent prognosticator Nate Silver, who had Hillary at an 83% chance of winning on November 6, 2106.

    And then, still people wonder why the term "fake news" is alive and well.

    Edsall, you might want to factor in the 45% of the electorate that is Independent. They tend to not answer polls, but they do tend to vote at a high rate.

    In addition, why do liberal op-ed writers continue to fail to acknowledge the 9.2 millions voters who voted for Obama twice, and voted Trump, and that Trump got 29% of the Latino vote, and 8% of the black vote ?

    There are factors running much deeper and wider than "gender gaps", that gave rise to 45.

    The Independent/Unaffiliated voter is the true silent majority, which neither the media nor the pollster industry understand at an even basic level.

  100. What happens? Good news appears for those males who preferred reading to weightlifting, higher education to sports, and fine arts to macho madness.

  101. Thanks, but let us be clear. As Kauffman says, it is about white men. It is both race and gender. White women now moving away from Trump are joining black women who have been voting Democrat. White men left the Dems in the 1960s because of civil rights gains.

  102. Trump represents the toxic mix of alpha male and resentment that characterizes working class white men. They are being displaced by robots, automation and jobs that require more skills than they have. Instead of fighting for more resources for training and education, fighting for unions who would help navigate these times, they dug in and claimed victimization. Trump is working class, he is from Queens, his family made lots of money from rental apartments in the outer boroughs, he went to a local college in NY before he finished at Wharton undergrad, he doesn't have an MBA, he has a BA in business. He resents that his money did not grant him a classic 6 apartment on Park Ave, he resents that he was never really accepted into Manhattan social circles (he stomped and Page 6ed his way in) and he was treated as a side show by Manhattan elite. What he failed to realize is that the truly wealthy don't broadcast their value, they fly under the radar and most use their money not only for their own comfort but to help others through philanthropy. Trump is still the crass, slightly educated, poorly read, working class schlumpf from Queens, he even dresses the working class idea of wealthy - knock off suits that don't quite fit and garish ties. That he appeals to white working class men who are angry and resentful about the gains made by women, minorities and immigrants should come as no surprise to anyone.

  103. Of course, Alex Castellanos would revere Trump’s perceived manliness. He is a small man with a Napoleon complex. I have watched him for several years when he appeared as a panelist on Sunday news programs. His speech and cocky demeanor have always indicated his bent toward strongmen. I’m still astonished that he still defends Trump after all the antics of our current president.

  104. The notion that someone would cast a vote for a candidate solely based on gender or political party is just silly. If people are truly invested in the future of the country, or their community, they would research the candidates and vote for the best one, regardless of party or gender. Example.... my state senator is a Democratic Haitian-American woman. She is ardently pro-life, has been convicted of both mortgage fraud and elder abuse and after Hurricane Irma, directed her contacts at the power company to turn her power on first, prioritizing her own comfort over the needs of her constituents. When the issue with the power came to light, she claimed she asked for priority due to her elderly mother living with her. The Miami Herald then discovered that her mother had died 4 years prior. Anyone that votes for this woman because she is a Democrat, a woman, an immigrant or black needs to seriously examine their responsibilities to the community before casting a vote.

  105. Women live in a world of compromise, usually doing what's in the best interest of their family, their coworkers and generally supporting the good of the group. Today women are often responsible for financial support of their families and trying to function within influence of years of the alpha male mentality. It's hard not to get angry with some men. Most women will carry on, however, doing the best they can. I hope women remember that no one is in the voting booth with you and think realistically about what direction the Republicans and Trump are taking us. If you are not offended by this direction yourself, think of your family's welfare and the future for your daughters.

  106. Two alpha chimps meet in Helsinki next week. Will either chimp attempt to chase the other up a tree? No, both have to much to lose by acting alpha.

  107. Not all men support Trump and not all women vote for Democrats. Making this about gender is a mistake. Our two parties are growing farther and farther apart along the continuum of democracy versus authoritarianism.

    It is simply that more men are authoritarians who believe might makes right, who want a strong government where rule breakers are harshly punished, while more women want a supportive government that nurtures and encourages people to be their best.

    The real political divide in America is between those who want an authoritarian style government like they have in Russia and those who prefer a democratic form of government that has been our tradition in America for over 200 years.

    Maybe that is why the Republicans seem to like Putin so much, and why it is becoming the party of old white men.

  108. THE PROBLEM is testosterone poisoning of those oin elected offices. The solution is simple, elect qualified, nurturing women.

    Women cooperate and compromise, starting in preschool and understand that survival is not enough. If we take care of the lest of us, the richest of us will do just fine.

  109. The Elephant in the room is abortion. It appears that any nominee trump appoints will disrupt Roe vs Wade. This will jolt women to feel exceedingly threaten and rightfully so. Women of all economic classes had encountered the real need for safe abortions.
    This is not a new dynamic for 2018, this is a reality women face since time and memorial. Currently, the Republicans love and crave "witch hunts" including circuses and will be really enthusiastic about punishing women.
    These actions will certainly impact women that comprise the base. No abortions, lack of welfare and the destruction of Obamacare will really hit these women and their children.

  110. The graph shows men moving away from Democrats - despite what the text says. But regardless of gender, Democrats have lost electorally nationwide.

    But which issues are critical in defining ""right" and "left"? More importantly for Democrats - reeling nationwide electorally - on which issues might it actually be beneficial for Democrats to move left, and on which to move right? In order to win - not just to imagine that you are going to win?

    NYT's Frank Bruni (a Republican) would have Democrats believe that more of the same - Clinton type Third Way right on economics, and left on social wedge issues - is just what Democrats need. Dont't fall for it. Again.

    From NYT's Thomas Edsall:

    "..among those who say immigration is their top issue, opponents outnumber supporters by nearly two to one. In this respect, immigration is similar to gun control — both mobilize opponents more than supporters."


    Pointing out Trump's corruption, is met by non partisan swing voters with a yawn - so long as Democrats run candidates who take big money from banks. Both beyond the pale? Then corruption is a non-issue for swing voters.

    Obama won Wisconsin *big*, on populist economic rhetoric in 2008. Then he bailed out banks and left everyone else in the lurch. THAT is why Democrats got routed in 2010.

    Wedge issues don't motivate swing voters, except to discourage them.

    Not hopeful for 2018, nor 2020.

  111. What happens? Everyone's party affiliation will be assigned at birth, which would be a simpler procedure easier to maintain. That would be a more reliable two party system which would make running for elections less expensive. And there would be no need for debates because there is no point trying to discuss anything. There will still be political upheavals as in 2016 and the swing voters will be called PT's - political transgenders.

  112. Fascinating article. Another gender aspect to be explored is how all this affects female candidates and whether a woman can be elected President, especially at this particular point in time. Women cannot succeed by acting like alpha males and are easily perceived as strident. And the Democrats these days, men and women alike, are appearing very strident, which does not go over well with the electorate and is particularly loathsome to the male voters. Both male and female Democratic candidates need to be very careful in this cycle to be "likable".....I think "keeping calm" while being powerful and forceful will be most helpful in 2018 and 2020. The blustering, chest-thumping alpha male needs to be ignored more and countered with a more mature response.

  113. This article is frightening when you consider what is happening to us white men: shifting so far right and shedding any sense of decency or empathy for others. I think this dove tails with Michelle Margolis piece on how politics influences your religion in today's Times. She didn't mention it but any casual observer will have noted the hyper masculinization of Jesus in the minds of Evangelical Christians. No good news for the poor only good news for misogynists and patriarchal figures.

    What struck me was the date 1968 for the start of much of this shift to the right. The folly of Vietnam is the gift that keeps on giving as many men were more bothered by a loss of faith in our military instead of the deaths of Vietnamese women and children at My Lai.

    Sports talk radio demonstrates hyper masculinity as does Fox news and other outlets. The idea of what is a man is someone who can beat other people up.

    When American a turned from baseball to football as its favorite sport it began to embrace this more aggressive mind set. Food for thought.

    We need to teach young men to care, to love, to read poetry and to truly serve others.

  114. That White men are steadily becoming more politically conservative is a reflection of the crisis of modern men as a whole. Men no longer have a clue what their role in society is. It used to be that a man was a man by virtue of exercising such manly virtues as control over women, children and families, ruling the state, making the laws, hunting for food, and fighting battles. No matter how low down on the totem pole, a man was always able to comfort himself by remembering his very virility and the joyful fact that he was not born a woman.

    While women generally are happy to be free of male control, many men see women's freedom as having come at their expense. It's not merely about jobs and traditional power; it's about their very pride in being a man. In urban centers with the kinds of jobs many undereducated, alienated rural men are always being told are the jobs of the future, their sort of manliness is irrelevant, suspect or risible. Finally, women in the age of sexual equality don't want or need men like they used to; many are choosing not to marry, and prefer raising children on their own or even conceiving babies with sperm from anonymous donors, and they've learned they can do without husbands and fathers.

    Unless a new cultural model for modern man emerges that is specifically about pride in being a man, men will grow only more unhappy, and things will only get worse.

  115. The gender chasm is how few men go to college. But this gender disparity is ignored proving gender equality for a liberal only moves in one direction. Toward the woman.

  116. SD, I agree with you. It’s hard to see how far we have fallen in the Trump era, although Trump is just the latest incarnation of jungle version masculinity. I grew up knowing honorable men who took responsibility, didn’t blame others, cared about other people, were mannerly, and could be trusted.

  117. Memo to all - Trump will be out in 2020 or 2024. The next Republican candidate (perhaps Nikki Haley) could have great appeal to women.

    This is not a trend. This is about one person - Donald Trump. Move on.

  118. The Trump supporters I know are very concerned about "hand outs." These are hard working guys who pride themselves in working 60 hours a week if that is what is needed to support their families. Their pay has been dropping for years, and they resent paying taxes that they see as being handed over to "lazy, shiftless welfare recipients."

    These guys just dont see the complexities in our society. And they tend to think about solving societal problems in terms of "all you need to do is..." They see simple solutions to complex problems and cant imagine their solutions not working, kind of like Trump.

  119. The men vs. women scope is intriguing so far as it goes, but a slightly sharper level of analysis is required to get to a more accurate framing of our current moment. White men constitute roughly 32% of the US population, yet control virtually all levels of power, from the White House to your local school board; from Wall Street to your nearest Walmart. And this order of affairs has been so not just for the entirety of our Republic, but indeed goes back millennia to Ancient Greece and beyond. But for our present state, this power imbalance constitutes nothing less than a sociopolitical apartheid. And given that such power is rarely, if ever, voluntarily relinquished, and the extent to which white men will go to maintain their sole dominance (the election of someone like Trump; conspiring with Russia to undermine western democracy; voter suppression; etc.), I fear that the only logical endgame is a general and violent upheaval of the social order.

  120. The predominance of the routine acceptance of misandry by "progressives,"as evidenced by the stereotypes portrayed in these very columns, no doubt plays a role in men believing they must change their belief systems to be accepted by progressives. Why should men be subject the sort of tyranny that we reject outright for other groups.

  121. While the he-man/baboon metaphors are interesting/scary, Edsall makes this too simple as he, as too many other journalists are doing, keep forgetting about one crucial demographic--independent voters. Elections will no longer turn solely on how many Repubs or Dems turn out to vote--but who independents ultimately decide. In Dutchess County where I live, independent voters account for nearly one-third of all registered voters. I despise Trump and Trumpism and as a white, well-educated female am doing all I can to oppose him and candidates who think like him--but we must never discount the power of the independent voter.

  122. Democrats, the leadership at least, will continue to grasp at any straw to win, be it slow demographic shift, identity politics, LGBT rights,or just plain anti-Trumpism - anything save coming up with an economic plan to address an almost universal anxiety of what lies ahead. They are so ensnared by corporate cash and so out of touch that only insurgents can save the party from complete ossification

    The Huffington Post just ran an extremely disturbing article about where many of Obama's appointees have ended up, though I guess it shouldn't surprise anybody that they are all sitting on corporate boards and picking up hefty paychecks for showing up 8 or 9 times a year. Many working for corporations that have paid large fines for malfeasance. This is the party in a nutshell. I can't imagine any of these men and women giving a hoot about heatlthcare, student debt or a living wage, and they're the ones running the party!


  123. Women got the memo that the country and world were changing. Men didn't.

  124. Jane Goodall seems to have it about right. It's not just, or mostly, the policies; it's the displays: Shouting and insults, stomping and waving a big stick. Constant campaign rallies. Making America great again apparently means taking it back to before the emergence of the human species.

  125. I'm sure if we let white males vote on it, they'd repeal the 19th amendment.

    But I find it difficult to believe that the percentages of Republican v. Democratic white males is uniform between the Silents, the Boomers, Gen Y, Millenials and soon to be Gen Z. I would hope to see a rather dramatic decline of white male Republicans across these generations.

  126. Women were the deciding factor in Hillary Clinton winning millions more votes that Trump. Had it not been for the Russians and the outdated and unequal electoral college we wouldn't be having this conversation.

  127. The pollsters can knock themselves out all they want. The split we have in America is between people who can think for themselves, and those who need others to tell them what to think. The second group are Trump's people. They can't think their way through any complicated problems. Just give them a hat and a slogan, and you are President.

  128. Trump's desperate need for attention will do him in. The more women see and hear of him, the more repulsed we are by him and by the party that chose him as its leader.

  129. What's most astonishing about this analysis beside the fact that it totally ignores the ways in which both men and women in more urban states have less of a vote than people in large, lightly populated states is how insulting it is to men (and women) who believe that basic morality, honesty, expertise and competence matter. The truth still remains that a majority of Americans who voted did not vote for Trump. I think the truth of why he remains popular among those who voted for him is simpler than psycho babble about gender and chimpanzees. When you make a little mistake, it's often easier to acknowledge it than if you make a terrible mistake. We all make little mistakes and don't see them as defining us, but if we make a terrible mistake of judgement, we often realize that it reflects badly on our sense of self. That's why people continue to believe nonsense like the danger of vaccines.

    That's also why con artists have such an easy time and that's what Trump has spent a lifetime perfecting: not dominance in the sense of being better, smarter or more competent but dominance in the sense of a fake performance. For the ordinary person, admitting that they fell for that performance is extremely hard to do. The real question is what happens when the people who voted him have to confront the wreckage when it hits them personally and admit that they enabled it.

  130. I did not vote for Trump and will not. I hope there are more women in Congress, and I will vote that way. I do tire, however, of the endless bashing of white males by many on the left. If there is a problem, blame the white males. If a white male is successful, it is because of privilege. I cannot think of another group that is treated as monolithic and reviled more by the left. Remember, the country that immigrants according to Gallup most want to come to is the U.S. by a large margin, the land of the evil white males who have caused all of the country’s problems. If white males are responsible for so much evil, why would this be the case? Perhaps they see things in a different light than so many on the left.

  131. and we invented "feminism" for the good of mankind. However that is not what we Edsall is talking about- Basically he is saying that raising expectations or lowering of the same may elicit sympathy or antagonism. Initially the courage women demonstrated was worthy of respect- maybe not so much now. One does not gain courage or status by congratulating an afflicted person or group. Playing the victim will not stand, that dog wont hunt, as they say. Power is addictive.

  132. Big puzzles have many pieces. This is one.

  133. Articles like this one are always very interesting to read, but they often leave out any mention of the 2008 and 2012 elections of President Obama. If the male electorate has been drifting rightward since 1980 with women remaining in place, how does that square with the 2008 and 2012 wins for Obama? And if you go all the way back to 1992, the democratic candidate has won the popular vote in every presidential election save 2004! I'm not spouting predictions or theories either -- it really happened. So, maybe we should be thinking more about who (which demographic) is the most motivated to vote -- the when and the why, rather than "alpha" males and the women who love them.

  134. Government does not provide "support for 'free' to women", they have programs applicable to all - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP etc. And judging by the degree of domestic violence and sexual assault, men aren't doing a great job on the protecting front. We've seen where that paradigm goes - suppression and repression of and violence against women. Raises the question - why do men oppose/fear strong, equal, capable women? Some navel gazing time is in order for those GOP men.

  135. I've long thought that men who support Trump think he has raised their status.They won't question him because he makes them feel special. The case Mr. Edsall makes in this article supports that viewpoint.

    The world is changing, and these men (and their women) feel threatened and so they're lashing out. They see Trump strutting about the world like an alpha chimpanzee, beating his chest and bullying everyone in his path, and they want to be like him.

    He's a genius at manipulating a mob, and they've become part of a cult. That's why they flock to his rallies, so they can pretend to be just like him. They don't care what he destroys, even our democracy, as long as they can feel important.

    The evangelical support for Trump also becomes understandable, since it's a religious ideology based on male dominance and female subservience.

    It's sad how much biology and the lizard part of our brains still control so much of human thought and behavior. We are not rationale animals.

    The question is, how long will it take these people to adapt to a changing world? How many other Trumps will there be in our future until they do? How long will it take us as a country to repair the damage?

  136. Well presented. Propaganda must be quelled to allow sanity to return.

  137. No. Liberals believe that people have the right to pursue happiness. Life. Liberty. And the pursuit of happiness... ring a bell?

    So toughen up and stop worrying about Bob who wants to be Sue. It's none of your or my business.

    But if some fat cat wants to dump poison in the air or water, you bet that's our business.

    And that pretty much sums it up. Of course there are other issues, but it boils down to that general principle.

    I wish conservatives could see that. Such a shame they think we want to destroy America. But the fat cats have divided and conquered.

  138. I think many voters, men and women, have become weary of " conversations regarding the disadvantages faced by racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community and women." Men are attracted to Trump because, with all his faults, he shows no feminine personality traits. It feels like he is " one of the guys."

  139. Some of my best friends are guys, including my husband and son. Thankfully none of my guys have a thing in common with this boorish and dangerous pretender in chief.

  140. Male patriarchy and misogyny have ruined civilization for far too long; it's well past time for women to take the lead and forcefully reject the wretched male powermongers that are currently running the Russian-Republican Congress, Presidency, voting rights, worker rights, female rights and country into the ground.

    The 2016 vote for Trump was a caveman vote, and Trump has delivered the Neanderthal public policy his misogynistic base adores.

    One of his first acts was re-issuing and expanding the Global Gag Order that cut health and contraception funding for women worldwide...while surrounded by a group of smiling white men as the cruel signing 'ceremony'.

    “It wasn’t unexpected that they would reinstate the global gag rule, but the dramatic expansion of the scope of it is truly shocking,” said Geeta Rao Gupta of the United Nations Foundation.

    Then in April 2017, Trump ended funding for the UN population fund (UNFPA) – the world’s largest provider of contraceptives, which provides reproductive health services to 12.5 million women in more than 46 countries.

    Then Trump and Pruitt proceeded to shred the EPA, because who needs clean air, water and earth.

    Then Trump and Greed Over People delivered a massive Tax-Cut Christmas gift to billionaires and charged it to the middle class.

    Then Trump stacked the courts to ensure that no male sperm gets left behind.

    These are Mad Men misogynists in charge.

    D to go forward; R for raping the country, the planet and forced pregnancies.

  141. Trumps idea of masculinity is a cartoon. Like Goodall's observations of chimps it is all show. We have all seen how sensitive he is to criticism and how he lashes out at those who don't defer to him. He is a baby. The men women admire are strong but hold their defensive actions in check. It is the control of strength that is appealing. It is their ability to respond emotionally wth great humanity that makes us love them. Trump is needy and paper thin his sensitivity to criticism. He has no empathy for anyone but himself. That is not an adult male that many women can admire. We cringe.

  142. This is not an adult male that a man who aspires to live up to his own best potential can admire, either.

  143. Back when the suffragettes campaigned for votes for women, this was the influence of women on politics they hoped for. That is, that women would champion progressive politics which men, clinging to their privilege, would not consider. Within their lifetimes, the suffragettes were bitterly disappointed to learn that women mostly voted influenced by their social milieu.

    Isn't it amazing that 100 years after universal suffrage, those dreams actually come to pass?

  144. Could we get something straight at the outset? Not all men are conservatives nor are they likely to drift that way over time. Few men want to live in a theocratic police state which is the ultimate end of the trend if it continues.

  145. The psychology is interesting but it pales besides policy. The republicans appointed 11 white men to make decisions about women's health care. They argued that employers shouldn't have to pay for birth control if they had religious objections (Viagra was untouched). They decided that prenatal care wasn't an essential benefit. They have lobbied hard to defund Planned Parenthood and are gun ho to get rid of abortion entirely. Their most recent Supreme Court pick will be very helpful in that regard. Why is anyone surprised that women, who apparently don't want to live the Handmaid's Tale, are striking back?

  146. But in spite of their opposition to birth control and abortion they don't care about babies (even newborns) after birth. This administration is opposed to BREAST FEEDING and doesn't care if a baby needs clean air to breathe. Your baby's in the ER with an asthma attack, tough luck. They don't care about air quality.

  147. Speaking as a woman who has lived through a violent personal relationship, I view the entire Trump administration as a form of domestic abuse. It's not just patriarchal. It's possible to be a traditionalist but still kind, and at least trying to operate in everyone's best interests.

    That's not Trump. Trump's vicious and cruel, and he takes pleasure in it. And he's encouraging that behavior among other men, including some who are related to me that I will never be able to look at the same way again.

    In some ways, women who hate Trump have been hating him all their lives. His behavior plugs into a circuit we had built already, based on the worst experiences in our personal lives. He embodies the worst of what women have to put up with in this world, and he elevates the worse in men so that we have to put up with still more of it.

    I don't think I'll ever forget that or forgive it, and I expect to be taking it out on the Republican party for the rest of my life.

  148. It comes down to a simple thing for me. Why would I as a woman support the Republican Party that sees women as things, not humans...including Trump and his "trophy" wives. I have daughters and granddaughters and I do not wish their options in life to be narrow and doors shut in their faces. I have one grandson also...and know being raised by loving parents, he will be the exact opposite to our blustering ignorant bully of a president.

  149. Speaking as someone who's been a male for a long time, I salute you for your cogent remarks, with which I agree completely. There are a lot of good letters here, but yours moved me the most.

  150. You are spot on! My childhood was dominated by a violent, bullying brother. When I see Trump on TV or hear his incoherent ramblings, my blood pressure goes up 50 points. My therapist says all her patients are upset and worried about Trump but women with a background of physical and sexual abuse are close to distraught: another monster lording it over on us.

  151. It all keeps coming back to status preservation, doesn't it?

    The white nationalists are seeking to preserve the privileges of the Anglo-Saxon culture. The "law and order" types are seeking to preserve the privileges of white society more generally. And now researchers are telling us what every thinking woman has known instinctively her entire life--that alpha males and their brethren, the alpha wannabes, are seeking to maintain their status on the pinnacle of the entire lot.

    This research likely also explains the rise of the evangelicals, who preach that men were ordained by god to be rulers of women in the church, the household and secular life more generally and that women were ordained to be both physically and culturally submissive to their male "leaders." How better for the male of the species to back up his pinnacle position than with scriptural texts--the "infallible Word of God"?

    It is hard for women, especially women of color, to see a path forward these days--in a country so poisoned by testosterone and now led not by an alpha male, but the caricature of one, a chest-beating man-child who inspires so many millions of his fellow alpha wannabes to line up behind behind him. But we will no doubt keep making incremental progress, as we always have, through fierce moderating spirit, steely determination and true grit.

    And maybe, eventually, we will show the world that gender--like race, like ethnicity--is not a zero sum game.

  152. Totally pathetic, I'm with you.

  153. One of the best columns on the politics of the Trump era I have read over the last two years. Excellent. This is what journalism used to be about and, clearly, still can be.

  154. A wonderfully insightful outlook or even prediction.
    If the wheel of history rolls toward a matriarchal society, so be it. Being neither a Trumpian Republican, nor Clintonite Democrat, I stay calm by thinking of politics as a dualistic struggle of Good and Evil, where each side has for a while the upper hand. Grin and bear it ...

  155. Not so fast. Humans are closely related to other primates but there are significant differences. We live in a matriarchal society and have since earliest times when men went hunting for days and women tended the social structure and foraged. Men have their own social order but it is a subset of this. Add to this white men are a declining part of the demographic. To make an all apples comparison you need to compare white men with women and others who line up with them such as beta males, minorities and the young, i.e. Millennials. There is no doubt that older, less educated white males still salute the hierarchy but their numbers are dwindling. Trump himself is 72 years old. He is the end of the line. Who is in line to succeed him? Pence? Scott Walker? Scott Pruit? They’re all deeply flawed and lacking in ideas. This is not the continuation of conservative dominance but its going out of business sale.

  156. Western European culture has never been matriarchal. However, there have been matriarchal cultures, Polynesian most readily comes to mind. James Michener observed something along the lines that matriarchal cultures can arise when access to survival resources does not so depend on physical strength or warfare. Kind of like how society is shaping up now.

  157. This reads like something from the 2016 election. Keep selling this to the choir and we'll see a repeat of that debacle.

  158. This is like the Saturday Night Live "Election Night 2016" skit that aired a week after the presidential election. The one with Dave Chappelle & Chris Rock as guests. They are all toasting the first woman president (to Dave Chappelle's skepticism). At about 7 PM that night, the Beck Bennet character comments: "Because of shifting demographics, there might never be another Republican president in this country."

  159. This says Democrats have been driving away men while pulling in women.

    How about they put some focus on keeping their men? Then they'd win.

    There are some issues for which that is impossible, the misogynous appeal, the racist appeal.

    However, there are other issues that appeal to men. Focus more on those. Jobs, pay, consumer credit (buying toys), and good polling could find more. Democrats have written off or ignored a margin by which they lose.

  160. So you suggest that Democrats try to "keep" men, but it doesn't occur to you that Republicans should try to "keep" women? There is going to be a female backlash like never before against the GOP, yet you see the problem as democrats not keeping men. I wonder why that is.

  161. Professor Pinker offers the most important note in this sociological/psychological safari. It's not that men went for an "alpha" in Trump. It's that they went for a "caricature" of an alpha. He's Biff in "Back to the Future." Fumbling, an object of amusement, deluded, child-like issuing "twitter-barks" (hardly the stuff of high noon) and sucking up to men like Putin and Xi who could arguably be called real alphas. *They* are dangerous men. Calculating, very smart, hard workers, effective, strategic, and not to be trifled with. Trump, even without constitutional limitations, isn't even a pale imitation. A pity he (and his followers) can't see the difference and that Trump is out of his depth.

  162. Please include purity-testing Stein voters with the Republican Party. They knew that in our two-party system a vote for Stein was a vote for Trump,but they did it anyways with great glee and smug malice towards the rest of us progressives (Susan Sarandon tops my hate list). I made peace with the continued existence of the GOP years ago but it's Stein progressives who deeply betrayed me and I expect to be taking it out on them for the rest of my life.

  163. Demographics are catching up with the republican party.

    They cannot hold off that fact with their continued purging of voters rolls of Liberal Voters. They cannot stop hold us off with poll taxes and moving around the polling stations. They cannot stop us with ending early voting, nor with requiring us to have 15 new pieces of identification. They cannot stop us with wedge issues anymore.

    In fact, because of those wedge issues ( in particular not allowing women to have complete dominion over their own bodies) the backlash is going to be immense and sustained.

    Women are not only going to vote in record numbers, but they are applying for the jobs themselves.

    There is indeed a special place in hell for women that do not support other women, so on that fact alone, why would any women support the republican party ?

    They wouldn't.

  164. Do people buy the zero sum game because it is easier to understands? The feminist movement, in most of its varying degrees, is based on the principle of equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, race, faith, political belief. When women fought for the right to vote, they didn't want men to lose their right to vote. It's not women gain what men lose. Why is it so difficult for some men - and some women, too - to accept simple equality for all?

  165. This analysis is drastically incomplete. It focuses on what men for Trump have to gain from their support - this allegiance to the dominant male primate gives them a reflected glow of personal status & power - but it doesn't bring equal clarity to what people opposing Trump want. The #MeToo wave is not the main deal. Justice-as-revenge is not the main deal. Women on the Democratic left, along with men, will align their interests more with those of the community; you might say, as an extension of the family.
    This is why the years of governance by Democrats, in our era, have proved more beneficial to the nation at large than the years of Republican power.
    Check it out.

  166. Trump lost any minuscule chance he might have had of getting my vote after the remark he made about Megan Kelly. His disdain and disrespect for women were all too obvious.

  167. i have been stymied for years about this issue. I understand a vote against one's wants. heck i supported a tax increase on cigarettes years ago. at that time i was a smoker but felt it was the right thing that year.

    the fact the GOP keeps as many women in their ranks is somewhat mystifying. it's like to me these GOP women always vote against their own interests. it makes no sense to me.

    both sexes are required to continue human existence but only one truly Delivers on the bargain. the fact this atavistic man who is running the show in america should frighten these women of all stripes. i get the need to survive but to always support backwards thinking and actions is not conducive to Growth. for the uneducated voter or the absent one they all need to stay that way and eventually they will be irrelevant. they have snubbed all opportunity to further themselves by evolving in their life's. and now they are marginalized. good for them, i hope they accomplish the end of their use full shelf lives in the shadows.

  168. In this day and age I will never understand why any woman would vote for a Republican.

  169. Mostly the same reason why white males do: irrational, overwhelming fear. Fear - of the loss of status, of change, of whatever - is what drives them all. Everything else is just rationalization, and the rationalization cover needs to be big enough to hide that much fear. Hence the patently absurd but emotionally loaded claims that the left "hates" straight white males, the left wants "open borders", the left "murders babies", and the like.

  170. It is not a matter of gender, but of common sense and intelligence. To get rid of Trump is really the only realistic solution available for someone who are able to think.

  171. White women voted for trump. They largely vote GOP like white men, just 8-10 percent less.
    Democrats win women overall simply because of their dominance with nonwhites.
    Stop presenting women as a monolithic group. The gap between white & nonwhite women is huge and shouldn’t be ignored.

  172. The poll said H. Clinton should have been the President.

  173. I find it disingenuous to refer to a chasm when the number for men is 42% to 50% Dem to Republican respectively. That’s a 4:5 ratio. And please don’t lump all white males together. A lot of us are revolted by Trump and his ilk.

  174. Forty-two to 50% is plenty to continue to elect these clowns as president because of the slave based Electoral College, so I see it as a statistically significant chasm. That's millions of votes.

  175. I am horrified by Trump and the men who support him. Chaos, incompetence, and bullying behavior cannot stand in this great country. If it means “leaning left” then so be it. I believe in protecting women’s reproductive rights, protecting the environment, saving our national parks, forging strong relationships with our neighbors and allies, strengthening the safety net, removing racist policies, and still having a strong military (while caring for our brave veterans) so if that makes me a leftie, I will happily own it. Please vote in November.

  176. The male brain is wired differently from the female. Perhaps this evolved with the different roles in hunting and gathering.

    Right now white men see themselves as an endangered species, and are acting accordingly.

  177. They'll have to meet in the middle, at least occasionally, or we'll become extinct.

  178. It's helpful to see this laid out so clearly. Thank you.

  179. The Republican solution to gender-based voting gap? Deny women the vote. Ask Ann Coulter.

  180. I have great difficulty identifying with men who subject us all to their gun carrying, aggressive pick up truck driving and loud Harley motorcycle mentality. Being obnoxious is disrespectful and annoying. The less respect they get the more aggressive, loud louts they become. Is it me or am I feeling more threatened by these types of men just driving around my town? The ones with the huge flags waving on their vehicles make me the most nervous. I try not to make eye contact with any of them.

  181. Just look at the photograph accompanying the article. Do these look like the innovators, entrepreneurs and creators that will own the future? The Reps have no future and no plan as to what to do about that.

  182. Another reason to elect more women to Congress and state legislatures. White men have not and seem to not wish to keep up with the changing economics and social mores. I have family members who have been teachers for a long time and they will attest to the failure of parents to expect the high educational standards that they obtain from their daughters and not their sons. White men do not go to college in the same numbers as men and it shows. More than 50% of all medical students are now women. White men wish to "take the country back". From whom they do not know. Stupidity is no excuse for trying to push the country towards fascism and anarchy. White men need to get with the program and grow up.

  183. Won't be seeing a woman elected President anytime soon. Democrats better nominate a tough guy (John Brennan) in 2020.

  184. Sadly most people are primal in their thinking, all of us are sometimes and some of us are most times. No doubt White males are being blamed and diminished in recent years, with some justification. That opens the door to someone like Trump, who is playing them like a violin.

  185. Also, I am tired of being told that I believe in such-and-such because I am a white male. I believe in none of the political positions ascribed to me in the article. If X % of a polling group is counted as believing something, that's X %. Not 100 %.

    And its ridiculous when pollsters try to interpret politics by ape behavior. The gender gap is caused by the abortion issue and #metoo, period.

  186. Almost all the articles put out by the 'liberal progressive left' (ie the Center Right) focus on identity as a substitute to what real politics should be about.
    This is because they do not and cannot act in OUR interest as they as much funded by oligarchs (Soros, Clinton foundation) as the actual Right (Koch, Adelson) making us an oligarchy not a democracy. Yes we once DID have an actual functioning democracy, press and real political choices but as the Elite actually run things and have utter contempt for democracy or letting 'the people' have a say. (too often well expressed here in these very pages where those who vote 'wrong' are demonized and abused because actual political debate and solutions are actually out of the question).
    So what we get is the politics of the irrelevant (tarns rights, pearl clutching morality, horror at the separation of 2000 families by Trump but none towards either Obama or far more importantly the MILLIONS killed or made homeless by an opposition (DNC and Clintonites) who love to ignore the FAR worse war CRIMES committed by SOS Clinton (Libya's destruction alone leading to concentration camps, 40,000+ deaths per year from drowning.
    We see how todays' Democrats play by the Reagan GOP playbook (McCarthyism, eternal multiple wars of choice, hacking an ally Merkel, cheating Sanders etc) because they are morally, in their minds only, superior.
    Trump IS a pig, IS dangerous but it is today's Democrats who have betrayed democracy the most.

  187. I have long joked that the DSM, the disagnostic bible for psychotherapists and their spouses has needed two new categories of mental illness: “rigid personality disorder” and “terminal uniqueness!”

    I was originally thinking it applied (mostly) to Republicans, but I can make a good case it equally well applies to (mostly) men! Of course, I think that while the foundational reasons for these “afflictions” are found in family and cultural beginnings, it is long past time that men learned greater interiority, a wider language for emotional expression, greater empathic sensitivity and connection with others, in lieu of the hyper-individuality they too often learn in traditional male circles; that is, male circles that are passed along by both traditional men and women, parents and cultural icons!

    We need more women and people of color, so-called minorities in positions of power, especially in the good, ole US of A! BTW, I am a man and know whereof I speak!

  188. When I look at the picture heading this column, I see males acting so like the subservient chimpanzees Jane Goodall describes. The great irony here is that these very men have been forced into submission by the likes of Trump their whole lives. All they can do is act out their claim to maleness, by aping their leader. They stomp their feet, shake their fists, and babble on like the crowds at Babel in grunts and cheers. The Alpha males have trained them well, while the Alpha males steal their money, move their jobs away if they dare ask for their fair share, flaunt the women most of the men dream of at night, and mark their territory by stamping their names all over their ugly creations.

    The greatest irony is that these wimpy males are stuck a couple of stages back in the process of human evolution, even though most of them likely refuse to believe in evolution.

    If brute force wins out, it wouldn't be the first time in evolutionary history. More often than not, however, the quick- witted species wins the race. The lumbering, knuckle draggers are left to die the slow death of starvation after they have killed off all their prey and, otherwise, destroyed their environment. At that point their self-styled manliness is generally so depleted that they lack the strength to be mobile. Usually, long before that point the quick witted have recognized the wisdom--in the words of that quintessential American adolescent Huck Finn--of the need to "light out for the territories."

  189. With such a divide, I wonder how marriages between couples who have parted ways politically are faring? Trump disdains and is downright cruel to women, immigrants, and laborers, to name just a few of the disfavored demographics. How about it, ladies? What is it like to be married to a man who has morphed into a Trump fan when you feel the opposite? Any Trump divorces, as his presidency revealed your husband to be someone you no longer recognized?

  190. I'd seriously rather join a convent than couple with a Trump voter. And if I somehow found myself with a Trump voter, divorce would be swift and final.

  191. Yes! "Biff" in "Back To The Future" is exactly who I thought of as well when Trump became president. And it's America who's currently being assaulted by him. What I wouldn't give for a George McFly to open the car door right about now and declare, "No, Biff, you leave her alone!"

  192. The sad fact is women will vote against their interests the same way that working class people do. The very people whose economics in part have been decimated by the decline in organized labor support the right wing campaign against unions, saying things like "unions were once needed, but now are in the way", meanwhile moaning that they can't find a decent job with benefits (and blue collar voters down south are the worst, they pretend like the past was a golden age yet have quickly forgotten that before labor activists unionized workers in the south, work conditions there were often on the level of a third world country, lousy wages, unsafe working conditions, no benefits, and they didn't unionize until the 1960's.).

    The reason men have voted for the GOP is because like the white working class as a whole that make up their base, they believe that the GOP wants to restore the America of the 1950's they have mythologized, where "men could be men" (ie keep women and non whites out of a lot of jobs,if a guy bullied someone or beat up their wife or girlfriend, well, you know, the woman deserved it), and more importantly, to a time when they didn't have to compete or quite frankly do much to get a good paying job. As jobs traditionally reserved for white men opened up to women and minorities, they couldn't compete and blamed everyone but themselves.

  193. With all the rhetoric coming out of the MeToo movement, all I can say is the Democrats are lucky Trump is corrupt, incompetent, and boorish.

    I'll vote for you because I believe in global warming, think a single payer plan is efficient and moral, economic inequality is out of hand, and support abortion on demand under any circumstances.

    But after hearing how any accusation against a man should be taken seriously (whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?), masculinity is toxic, and freedom of speech is a tool of conservatives and should be regulated because of people's feelings (what do you think is going to happen when they use your 'hate speech' laws on you?), don't expect me to volunteer, donate money, or anything other than drive to the polling place and cast my vote for you.

  194. An equally interesting, though seldom discussed, question is why Democrats are unable to close their gender gap -- they keep losing the male vote, even when they run male candidates. Perhaps the Dems should cease trying to divide the country -- along gender lines, along racial/ethnic lines, along class lines. But that would be asking them to want to have a color-, gender- and class-blind society.

  195. The net of Mr Edsall's opinion concludes that (white) men are committed to protecting their status in the social order. Moreover, they are determined to do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal.


    Maybe the issue is more rooted in Ms Kaufman's observation that "white men are always the implicit comparison group" for all the disadvantages of other social groups.

    If Mr Edsall's comparisons of alpha men to apes is carried to its logical conclusion, then men are hard wired by DNA to attack and defend. They have since the dawn of time and they probably will continue doing so long after all of us become worm farms.

    If so, then this is just as much a reality as the sun rising in the east. The issue is not so much to wail and bemoan the reality but to deal with it as a reality. Trying to change science to fit a social wish is just not going to happen.

    That does not mean that (white) men must be allowed unfettered power. It does mean that, if a political party wants to win elections, it should stop attacking and start cultivating.


    One final note. The shift of white men from democratic to republican in 1992 Congressional elections was accompanied by the same shift in white women. The shift was a rejection of Bill and Hillary's healthcare proposals and swallowing Gingrich's lies about a contract with America. As PT Barnum once said "a sucker is born every minute;" white people are just as susceptible as any other human group to being suckers.

  196. The problem here is that the comparison is to what Trump's "actual results" with women were in the 2016 election versus current "polling."

    The polling prior to the 2016 election said he would do terribly with women and Hispanics.

    Neither happened.

  197. Fascinating; great information. Women do more of the care giving and know how critical a strong safety net is. Men think they're in the Wild West and need to be strong loners like in Clint Eastwood movies: "Give me a gun, don't tax me or expect me to be educated, and I'll get by and get the hot girl." Pure fantasy.

    White male insecurity is something to behold. White men are afraid of women and minorities taking their jobs. They crave the hierarchical structure enforced by the Alpha male who is going to make sure those loyal to him get rewarded.

    It's much easier to blame others than look in the mirror and say: I need to go back to school for more education throughout my lifetime, keep adding more certifications, and cultivate a network of contacts. The modern corporation is flatter and more work is done in networks rather than hierarchies, which I think is an environment more conducive to women.

    White men want to go back to the 1950's, when they were dominant and women knew their place. Trump promised to take us back there.

    No wonder women are going Democratic. The one's that are still loyal to Trump will know just how bad a choice that was, when Roe vs. Wade goes and their daughter gets pregnant.