American women are in crisis mode. The economic fallout of the pandemic is impacting us at disproportionately higher rates, so much so that the recession is being called a “she-cession.” Mothers are drowning, shouldering more of the burden of remote learning than male partners. But, don’t worry women: President Trump wants you to know that he’s right on top of your husbands’ job prospects.
“I’m getting your husbands, they want to get back to work, right? They want to get back to work. We’re getting your husbands back to work, and everybody wants it,” Trump told his rally in Lansing, Michigan on Tuesday. Lest there be any lingering doubt that the president is stuck in a retrograde past.
Is it a surprise that Trump is preoccupied with the plight of men, presuming, in the year of our lord 2020, that women still largely stay home when, in fact, they make up almost half of the American labor force? No. Trump has five children, never changed a diaper, and it shows. But broadcasting his antiquated worldview so baldly, just days before the election, is hardly a wise message for a man already losing support with suburban white women, a group that has “turned away from the president in astonishing numbers,” as documented in a recent episode of The Daily.
The president’s comments prove he is woefully out of touch with so many women’s daily reality. A staggering 865,000 women dropped out of the workforce between August and September alone—four times more women than men, according to the National Women’s Law Center. Black and Latina women, in particular, have experienced 11-percent unemployment rates, disproportionately higher than white men and women.
Not that women of color are on Trump’s radar; when he appeals to “suburban women,” however poor his pitch, it is yet another dog whistle to white women. As ProPublica reporter Jessica Huseman tweeted: “All that Trump’s messaging to women in suburbs this cycle has shown me is that he thinks the suburbs are singularly populated by 2 parent families with stay at home moms all of whom are white.”
In 2016, an estimated 53-percent of white women supported Trump. The 2020 polls will tell the conclusive story, but some have changed their minds, and Trump is getting desperate. “Suburban women, will you please like me?” the president pleaded at a recent rally in Johnstown, Pa. “Please. Please.” If focusing on their husbands’ is the best Trump can promise, he may be the latest American man who’s out of a job.