Author: Sheena Kwon, Greenhill School '21
As the election date approaches closer, Trump supporters are growing more agitated about the possibility of a Democratic nominee declaring victory on the night of November 3rd. Their desperation for a win has translated to focusing on the most asinine of solutions: repealing the 19th amendment.
The 19th amendment stands to uphold the right to vote for all people, regardless of sex, which, to many Americans, seems to be an undisputed right. However, to the few white males supporting Trump, this has become a standing point behind a campaign of sexist and discriminatory movements.
Many Trump supporters have come to the consensus that the safest way to win the election is by getting rid of one of the most fundamental rights granted to citizens in American democracy. The movement started four years ago after FiveThirtyEight released a report that Trump would win the 2016 election if only men voted. Although many have since claimed that the hashtag is a joke, the neutralization of such extreme viewpoints continues to further alt-right groups' goals and validate misogynistic organizations. It's not about whether the intent behind the message was created for comedic effect but the effects of the hashtag existing in the first place.
Albeit few, there are still numerous groups within the US who believe that the 19th amendment should actually be repealed, and this movement only goes to further their agenda. The Repeal the 19th hashtag is ethically flawed and pushes for a world in which groups can publicize movements that seek to take away many Americans' rights. It's a matter of principle because advocating for something as ridiculous as taking away the right to vote from women, as well as the danger behind supporting inequality with the justifications of being funny, is the stepping stone to worse policies and a heavily politicized and divided country.
The fact of the matter is that this is the culmination of four years of prejudice against women from Donald Trump. The terrifying result of a president that does not claim to support feminists or view women as equal is this political movement that seeks to push women away from the political sphere altogether. The scariest part has been that some women have stated that they would be willing to give up their right to vote if it means that Trump would get elected. The danger behind this movement lies in its effort to terrorize women while also claiming that it has no material consequences.
However, it stands that there is no movement to remove men's right to vote. Women are and continue to be the back end of jokes and the negative focus of conservative movements. Repeal the 19th is not another 'funny' way to anger feminists; rather, it's the continuation of centuries of gender discrimination and a clear sign that we still have a long way to go before we reach true gender equality.
Image from Unsplash