To paraphrase or even discuss the relevance of this complex poem, “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath to my thoughts on this discovery of the hidden women’s vote would be a long convoluted process. Needless to say, the speaker, supposedly evoking Plath herself, evokes a raw female response of fear, fascination, desire, and rejection toward a seemingly fascist, male authority. Struggling to understand the appeal of Trump’s raw and crude masculine affect for these hidden women whose votes turned the country “red,” Plath’s poem is one way of affective consolation…here are some women’s voices who I think want to benefit and partake of his power. Interestingly there is no fear of him, but of “Others” and of forces like the economy..
According to the report, “early data suggest a clear majority of white women voted Republican, and supporters say Trump’s offensive remarks didn’t affect their decision.” Even among college educated white women, 45% of them voted for Trump. The trend indicated they had faith in his ability to improve the economy, to be a “strong” leader in aspects that mattered to them. His remarks that amounted to sexual assault had a minimal effect on these “hidden” supporters of Trump. Three quotes say it all : ““I voted for Trump because America has struggled with simple economics and needs a change;””Groping is a healthy thing to do. When you’re heterosexual, you grope, okay? It’s a good thing;”I also want someone who is angry about terrorism and radical Islam.”
I specifically want to to address the woman’s comment about “groping” as a “healthy thing” not unlike the shrugging off of his “locker room banter.” Trump is not the first not last politician with peccadillos of sexual behavior, (yes, yes, Bill Clinton); and yes, sexual interactions are are of course a grey area — or an area of many shades –but what Trump’s language has unleashed on the nation is a debased and singularly misogynistic erotic imagination — one which is shaped not by any sense of play or joy for women, but rather by the lurking threat of pornographic violence and coercion.
So before we defend or shrug off Trump’s groping let us ask ourselves: “what do women really want”?