By Gustavo Buenrostro
A discussion of why women voted for President Donald Trump was a main topic discussed in “Debriefing the 2016 Election: A Gender Perspective” on Tuesday in F2-201.
A panel of East Los Angeles College professors discussed the issues that arose from the 2016 presidential election. Barbara Dunsheath, a history professor and host of the event, said that the purpose of this event was to educate and encourage discussions.
“There are two main themes. One is a woman president again didn’t win and what does that mean? Second is that we elected a misogynist and how do we grapple with that? There are also tangential issues that are connected to women’s issues like health care and equal pay. All of those are really in question,” Dunsheath said.
The Women’s March in January was a topic of discussion was and if any of the panelists went. “I marched when I was a lot younger and had hoped to have to never march again. My agenda when I was younger was to provide a platform for the younger generation of equality and visibility, ” sociology professor Rin Kahla said.
She said that she was outraged over the election outcome and that being a part of the march was the only thing she could do. “‘What really stopped me?’ Probably my own apathy and my own laziness. If I’m honest with myself, I had higher priorities. Looking back, I regret not going there. If I had marched, I would have been limping around,” philosophy professor Tim Snead said.
Snead says that as the country move forward, the focus on diligence over ignorance is key. Political science professor Natalina Monteiro says she doesn’t call President Donald Trump the president but “the predator in chief.”
She said she wants people to ask “What do we do next?” Monteiro wants people to vote in the election next year where people vote for the House of Representatives.
She knows it’s likely the house will remain the same but it sends a message that women have a strong voice. “ Protest has turned into policy,policies that matter, policies that count because otherwise we are doomed. Why? because of that damn Electoral College,” Monteiro said.
Monteiro explained what the Electoral College is and how it functions and said that the states that benefit from it are the former slave states.
Another question discussed was: “Why do you think that a woman has never won a presidency and what happened despite the experience Hillary Clinton had?” Dunsheath brought up statistics of the election she found from the New York Times and The Washington Post. Anthropology professor Julie Bernard said that there were multiple factors to why Clinton didn’t win.
Bernard said that if the genders of Trump and Clinton were switched with both candidates still having the same history and same policies, Clinton would have won.
“When I looked at how this happened, I looked at what type of woman would vote for Trump. We have so many women that feel that we need to be taken care of. “ Kahla said.
“Everything that Trump was putting out there was so rooted in fear and said it many times over: ‘I am the only one who can fix it.’ From a physiological point of view, when there is threat, people look for someone to hold on to and he offered that,” Kahla said. Dunsheath said that she hopes events like these trigger people to not only get into women politics, but politics in general.
Dunsheath believes that if more people are involved, the more people can affect change.
The next panel discussion will take place on Tuesday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the G3 foyer and will focus on the political climate and its impact on the community and society.