Hillary Clinton lost the U.S. election one year ago—and women kept losing - Macleans.ca

Hillary Clinton lost the U.S. election one year ago—and women kept losing

Opinion: Over the past 12 months, the fragility of women’s rights and safety has only gotten clearer

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Pasco-Hernando State College East Campus on November 1, 2016 in Dade City, Florida. With one week to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Florida. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Pasco-Hernando State College East Campus on November 1, 2016 in Dade City, Florida. With one week to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Florida. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It wasn’t until Hillary Clinton lost the U.S. presidential election one year ago, that many people understood how very much they wanted her to win. Whatever her shortcomings, Clinton was a smart, well-prepared, experienced candidate supported by a diverse coalition of Americans. Her opponent, meanwhile, was an uninformed and uncurious racist bully and blowhard, and an admitted harasser of women. Not only that: He brazenly — and successfully — pitched himself as the candidate who would protect the power of white Americans, the very people who had wielded it or benefitted from it, unequally and often times malevolently, almost the entirety of America’s history.

The past year has been a dizzying and dispiriting one for America. Rising racial hatredRollbacks of civil rights protections. Attacks on MuslimsThe destruction of affordable healthcare. And central to this far-right platform has been the Trump administration’s systematic dismantling of women’s rights, with appointments of pro-life justices, a reinstatement of the global gag rule, a revocation of equal pay and safety regulations for female workers, and the erosion of funding for Planned Parenthood.

Forget about the promise of accelerated progress for women held in Clinton’s campaign. The past year has been a battle for American women to just re-assert and re-entrench the gains they have made over the past 50 years. It is horribly, monstrously fitting that the anniversary of Trump’s election finds us talking once again about male sexual violence and entitlement, that the news is once again full of stories of women groped, bullied, threatened and raped by powerful men.

MORE: No, Hillary Clinton should not ‘Shut the F–k Up and Go Away’

What’s become more and more evident over these last 12 months is the fragility of women’s rights and safety. To some women, this has come as a rude shock. They had felt they no longer needed feminism, or had felt the word was too angry and bitter. Because they were fine. A full 53 percent of white women voted for Trump, women who were willing to overlook his crude misogyny (“grab them by the pussy”) and threats to women’s healthcare. Other women simply didn’t show up to be counted.

Here’s who did: Black women and other women of colour, LGBT people, immigrants, and everyone else who wasn’t fine and who understood that the work of feminism and other movements for civil rights was far from complete, and who palpably felt the danger of a Trump presidency. Ninety percent of all Black women (and 95 percent of Black women without a college degree) voted for Clinton; and Hispanic women and other women of colour showed similar support.

The global women’s marches last January were thrilling and inspiring. They also sparked a much needed conversation about complacency. People who enjoyed a degree of safety and comfort prior to Trump suddenly woke up to what it meant to be under attack. And the renewed interest in feminism and grassroots politics by women who had previously felt invulnerable, or even disdainful of the cause is a reminder from Emma Lazarus (best known for penning the poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty), who once wrote “until we are all free, we are none of us free.”

RELATED: It’s been six months since the Women’s March. What’s changed?

This year marks another anniversary, here in Canada. One hundred years ago some women got the right to vote. Some, but not all. Japanese Canadians didn’t have full voting rights until the 1940s; Indigenous people not until 1960. Just as 150 years of Confederation has compelled us to reflect upon our nation’s cruelties and failures, as well as its triumphs, the anniversary of women’s voting rights should make us stop and consider what it means when some of us move forward and leave others behind.

The marker of how far we’ve come shouldn’t be the number of women in our male-feminist prime minister’s cabinet, or the percentage of women in corporate corner offices. We need to measure it by the progress of women who are most vulnerable and most overlooked. We’ll know we’ve truly been successful when the lives and safety of Indigenous girls and women are fully cherished, when women are no longer disproportionately living in poverty and fear, and when the bodies and clothing choices of all women, regardless of faith, are truly no one’s business but their own.

What this past year has taught many of us is that far too often, we’ve understood women’s progress as being revealed in what the most accomplished, extraordinary women can achieve — like becoming president of the United States. But the real work of change turns out to be much more challenging than even that.



Hillary Clinton lost the U.S. election one year ago—and women kept losing

  1. This is why you should never become too complacent or too self-assured. The people who think they have too much to lose by staying home will stampede to the ballot box and put their “champion” in.

  2. As I’ve said many times before…..misogyny is deeply embedded in our society….and religion is the reason.

    • She was a lousy candidate, who happened to be a woman. Misogyny had nothing to do with her election loss, Clinton picked up 54 percent of women voters compared with Trump’s mere 42 percent. But Trump outperformed Clinton among white women, winning 53 percent of voters in that demographic. So white women must be the misogynists.

    • Wrong again!!! You being such a huge fan of science I thought for sure would enlighten us how that misogyny has been observed in primates and therefore is traced back to our evolutionary ancestors. There have been many, many articles/periodicals addressing this. Are you just willfully ignoring the scientific facts?

      Here — right from Scientific American.
      “There are three forms of sexual coercion that researchers have documented in both human and nonhuman primates: harassment, intimidation, and forced copulation.”

      • So, basically, you inadvertently confirmed Emily’s claim that misogyny exists, while trying to dispute the source.

        Very clever.

        • Nothing inadvertant with the arguement.

          Just demonstrating that people either slept through their high school evolution class — or they willfully discard the facts they don’t agree with.

          Everyone knows that evolution teaches that misogyny is natural. Do you believe in evolution?

          • Oh, ok. So you do agree that misogyny and sexism played a roll in Clinton’s election loss. Very good then.

        • “Oh, ok. So you do agree that misogyny and sexism played a roll in Clinton’s election loss. Very good then.”

          Ok Mr. Mustache. Let’s put on our critical thinking caps — shall we?. Where’s your critical thinking??? Scientists also observed primates and humans using tools. Does that mean that everyone who can pick up and use a tool voted for Trump or Hillary? Or course not! Man you’re brutal.

          Let me make this as simple as possible for ya. Misogyny is NOT rooted in religion — as stated by the author of this discussion. Rather misogyny is rooted in our evolutionary line and existed LONG before religion was ever a thought.

          • Yes, please, lets put in our thinking caps, chippy, because you clearly left yours behind.

            If misogyny isn’t rooted in our religion, and existed in our evolutionary line long before hand, then that means that it exists now, independent of religions existence. Get it? What misogyny exists in our species as whole; but somehow magically went away during the election? Think about it some more.

  3. “A full 53 percent of white women voted for Trump…” and for good reason. Hillary lost because she wasn’t trusted (even a bigger percentage of women in Arkansas voted for Trump where she was best known) and she had nothing new to offer over what Obama had done. It was Obama who put the end to affordable health care. His mess is still there in all it’s glory and gradually rotting away by being unaffordable.
    And if you think race relations with blacks are worse under Trump than under Obama, you have a VERY short memory.
    I also must assume that none of the author’s disenchanted have any investments. If they did, they would be sending Trump congratulatory letters for the 30% rise in The Dow Jones since the day he won.

    • Not so fast to give DJT the credit….plus, he can take credit that he doesn’t deserve for himself. :) The stock market growth continues a trend set under former President Barack Obama. The Dow has reached a new high, on average, once every seven days since recovering from the Great Recession in March 2013. The Dow hit a record high more than 100 times under Mr Obama after that point.

      • Under Obama it rose 72% from the crash to his goodbye-that’s 9%/year. In Trump’s first year, it has gone up 32%. If it followed had instead followed Obama’s trend, holders of the Dow index would be 23% poorer today than they’ve enjoyed under Trump.

          • BTW, Clinton got 3 million more votes than Trump; so your narrative on the election also fails to stand up to reality. Not surprising, really.

          • Lets look at the real Dow data. The day Obama got elected, the Dow was 8776. The day Trump got elected and Obama ended it was 17888. Today it’s 23563. So the REAL numbers are, that under Obama, the Dow rose 103% over his eight tears or 13%/year and under Trump it has risen 32%/year.
            As for your 3 million more votes for Clinton note below. Before California was rolled in, Trump was ahead in the popular vote as well. So let’s crown Hillary the Queen of California and declare peace.

          • Lol, ok, so 103% now? So the original numbers you spouted out were just stuff you pulled out of your backside? Or are they these ones? And to compare a piddling eleven months in office to eight years, and the ups and downs that go with it, is just another example of the ridiculousness of your arguments. But thanks all the same for confirming that you’re full of it.

            As for California, gee, I didn’t realize that they’re no longer a state of the US anymore. Oh, they still are? Ok, then their votes still count; that’s how elections work, FYI.

          • Mr. Moustache,
            After your B.S. numbers, I went into the Dow Jones data base and got the exact Dow values on the exact dates. Where the hell did you get your 148% from?
            Re California, I was just trying to point out where the crazy, Hillary lovers were. And as I would hope you know, in the US, the popular vote leads to nothing as it did for Hillary. The Electoral College vote is what decides the winner and by that metric she got nuked! That’s how US elections work.

          • I linked to my numbers, do you need help reading as well? Doesn’t matter anyways because you’ve already proven my main point. That you’re just making things up as you go along.

            Re: California. Nice try at deflection; but lets bring it back to your original point, that voters didn’t trust Hillary and is only defensible if you pick and choose where votes come from. So, no, you still don’t have a leg to stand on.

      • Obama said we’d never see 3% GDP again. Wrong , thanks to Trump erasing Obama’s regulation war on business, the economy is taking off. Obama continued the recession. BTW, worst president ever. Trump won as a repudiation of all things Obama.

  4. When women made sexual accusations , including rape, against her husband Hillary Clinton did all she could to smear them and blamed the right wing conspiracy. Now she is held up as some sort of beacon for
    women worldwide? Disgusting!

    • Fine point Jimmy. I recall her calling them sluts and trailer park trash.

  5. So women don’t want a strong military, a good economy (GDP above 3% for the first time in ten years), proper vetting of refugees, a secure border and ending illegal immigration, a HC that doesn’t rob the middle class, and all because of Hillary losing. Or are you talking about murdering the unborn. As if women want to see the unborn murdered at five months and beyond. Clueless.