Women and Politics: Sexism Masculinity and Trumpism

Women and Politics Assignment

Question One: Sexism, Masculinity, and Trumpism

Instructions: This paper should be five pages long.  It is worth 30% of your total grade. The prompt is broad and requires that you make your own argument.  It is essential that you 1) show your mastery of the assigned readings and 2) carefully cite your sources.  You may use your own sources in addition to the assigned readings. 

Prompt: Explain the relationships among sexism, masculinity, and Trumpism.  There are a number of questions that you may want to explore:

  1. Sexism

Given his history of sexual assault and the derogatory way he speaks about women, why did a slim majority of white women vote for Trump? How were they able to ignore his treatment of women? Why are women unable to unite around sexual harassment and sexual assault? Why is partisanship more important than gender? What are the consequences of the white woman’s vote for politics? Why have black women, and other women of color, rejected Trump resoundingly?

  1. Masculinity

Are some white men attracted to Trump because he promises to restore both their sense of masculinity and their white privilege? Why do some white men feel emasculated and threatened by people of color? How is their masculinity reaffirmed by white supremacy and the idea that white men have power over men of color? Why are both men and women attracted to an authoritarian “strongman” leader? What are the consequences of this for politics?

  1. Resistance

How has Trump’s explicit sexism in word and deed led to a resurgence of feminism? How did ordinary women, feminist organizations and organizations fighting for voter mobilization resist Trump and demonstrate the power of women?  Voter suppression is a key issue in politics today.  Does that mean that the women of color who have led voter mobilization drives will receive the recognition they deserve? Women candidates won more seats in the House of Representatives in 2018 and 2020. We now have a woman of color, Kamala Harris, as our vice president. However, none of the female presidential candidates, even initially popular ones like Elizabeth Warren, got close to winning the election. Are voters still uncomfortable with placing women in positions of power?

(Below are the Readings from the course to help you answer the question for the argument and create an essay) If you need a better understanding of the course to answer the question to create the essay you can use outside sources but make sure you have 1 or 2 sources from this list and you may you outside sources but please cite them on the works cited page.


Week 11: Women and Authoritarian Populism Trump’s Female Followers

  • Linda Gordon, Women Voters Left and Right
  • Cathy Young, March/April 2017 “The Other Women’s Movement” Foreign Policy: No. 223, pp. 26-35
  • Erin Delmore. 2020 (Nov. 13). This is How Women Voters Decided the 2020 Election.” NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/how-women-voters-decided-2020-election-ncna1247746
  • Brian F. Schaffner, Matthew MacWilliams and Tatishe Nteta. 2018. “Understanding White Polarization in the 2016 Vote for President: The Sobering Role of Racism and Sexism” Political Science Quarterly. 133, Number, 1.

Week 12: Masculinity, Race and Trumpism

  • Interview with Michael Kimmel by David Gilson, Mother Jones July/August 2018. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/07/men-white-racist-extremism-michael-kimmel/
  • Paul Butler. 2021 (April 12). “How Toxic Masculinity Helped to Kill George Floyd,” The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/04/12/how-toxic-masculinity-helped-kill-george-floyd/

Week 13: War on Women

o, Peter Beinart. 2019. (January/February) The New Authoritarians Are Waging War on Women. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/01/authoritarian-sexism-trump-duterte/576382/

  • Osub Ahmen, Silpa Phadke and Diana Boesch. 2020 (September 10). “Women Have Paid the Price for Trump’s Regulatory Agenda,” Center for American Progress


  • Ritu Prasad. 2019. (November 29). How Trump Talks About Women—and does it Matter? BBC News.
  • Sunny Frothingham and Shilpa Phadke, 2017 (April 25) “100 Days, 100 Ways the Trump Administration is Harming Women and Families” Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2017/04/25/430969/100-days-100-ways-trump-administration-harming-women-families/

Week 14: Fighting Back

  • Susan Chira, 2020. “Donald Trump’s Gift to Feminism: The Resistance”

Daedalus, Vol. No. 1:72-83.

  • https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/09/23/trump-america-authoritarianism-42068

Additional Reading for Paper

Policy Readings

  • ACLU, The Biden Administration’s Must-Do List for Women’s Rightshttps://www.motherjones.com/sponsored/the-biden-administrations-must-do-list-for-womens-rights/

Gender Discrimination in electoral politics

A Record Number of Women are serving in the 117th Congress. Pew Center for Research

  • https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/01/15/a-record-number-of-women-are-serving-in-the-117th-congress/
  • https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/01/14/us/politics/women-of-the-116th-congress.html

How Voters think about Women

  • Pew Research Center
  • Strong Men, Caring Women: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/interactives/strong-men-caring-women/
  • How Americans describe what society values (and Doesn’t) in each gender July 24, 2018
  • https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2018/08/09/an-examination-of-the-2016-electorate-based-on-validated-voters/