Talking Cultural Diversity

a discussion board for cultural and diversity issues by Thomas Kochman and Jean Mavrelis

White women who voted against Hillary

By Jean Mavrelis - 11.11.2016

Who are the white women who did not vote for Hillary, when they did vote for Barack Obama, and probably would have voted for Michele Obama if she were running instead of Hillary.

They didn’t like Hillary.  They voted against her more than they voted for Trump.

Why?

They saw Hillary as a male identified mean girl who isn’t caring and nice. From the beginning, when Bill Clinton was running, she was taken to task because she said she didn’t bake cookies.  This was seen as an affront to homemakers.

“Who does she think she is?”

“She’s after power, or she would have left Bill.”

“She makes too much money for her speeches.”

“She’s hawkish.”

“Her voice is annoying”.

The litany goes on.

Little girls in elementary school will create an “I hate so-and-so” club if any girl acts too powerful.  White women are not encouraged to be competitive.  White women on my tennis team struggle with their own competitive instincts, and don’t like the other team if they seem mean and don’t smile.

I have written about 5 categories of white women in Corporate Tribalism: Narcissists, White male identified/assimilated, Obedient rule governed, People pleasers, and Evolved. The biggest category is the people pleasers.

Hillary is not in that category.  She seems more male identified to me, and what I’ve read about her childhood with her father backs that up.  But she could also be in the “evolved” category of women who can be for themselves and also, be for the good of the whole.  Hillary certainly showed she could be evolved in so afar as she can be for herself, and for women and children.  And she proved that legislatively.  But something about her was a little too male identified for many white women.

Hillary doesn’t exude warmth. People who have met her says she does one-on-one, but the camera couldn’t reveal that, and Hillary was held by white women to a standard of perfection around being a people pleaser – someone who is caring and nice.  She didn’t make it for many white women. They saw Hillary as part of the establishment.

What does the establishment mean to white women?  It means members of the “good old boys club”.  I voted for Obama rather than Hillary because I saw him having more womanist values than Hillary.  He was raised by a grandmother, while I’ve read that Hillary identified with her father.

Studies have shown that women in top executive positions are more male identified.

Well, that’s the game, she “leaned in”.  I have talked to women executives who said they had an epiphany, “At some point in my career I realized that if I wanted to get ahead, I was going to lose friends.  I couldn’t be for myself without shame or guilt the way white men can”.

Well, Hillary lost “friends”.  She didn’t have that elusive something white women “people pleasers” look for when they judge other women.

Trump didn’t have it either, but he is held to a different standard. Many women don’t expect him to “get it”.  They expect bravado, and their sense of a powerful man isn’t necessarily one who is caring and nice.

We need to begin raising sons and daughters who are valued for being evolved: being able to have agency (the ability to know what they want and go for it), and still keep in mind the good of the whole.  Hillary does that, but many white women didn’t trust it.

Evolved women, who saw Hillary as the subject of her life, had less of a problem, but still wanted her to be more “likable”.  They relate better to Elizabeth Warren who doesn’t come across as establishment male identified, even though both women combine caring with passionate advocacy for issues larger than themselves, something women identify with and respect generally.

Trump can be for himself without shame or guilt, but certainly has no idea how to be for the good of the whole group.

We will have to watch him like a hawk.  Or, as our Buddhist colleagues might say, we need to extend loving kindness.

I’d like to do both.

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