Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has female supporters who freely admit that they are all for the idea of a female president, but also agree that Hillary Clinton is not the best woman for the job. An opinion that leaves many female Trump supporters facing backlash from friends, colleagues and family members.
In order to win the race for U.S. president, Trump needs to gain the favor of young, college-educated white women, according to a report by McClatchy, but he appears to be having a more difficult time securing that favor than former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney did in 2012.
The recent revelation of Trump’s “locker room talk” and subsequent allegations of sexual misconduct, which included a now-dropped lawsuit alleging he raped a teen girl more than 20 years ago, may have cost Trump favor from female voters, but not completely. There are still young, white, college-educated women who stand behind Trump as the next commander in chief.
Erika Jackson, a 22-year-old who recently graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, said she is often told that she “doesn’t look like a Trump supporter.” Jackson, who said she feels she is definitely judged more harshly for her political stance, is sick of the stereotypes and hypocrisy she often faces. Jackson said the whole point is to give women the opportunity to speak their minds, but that idea appears to be one-sided.
“Why is it only OK if it’s liberal or if we support Hillary?” Jackson said at a Trump rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Friday.
She noted this election has been one to celebrate women engaged in political office, but Jackson and other women believe the choice for the next U.S. president isn’t one that should be based on gender alone.
“The legacy of having a woman president doesn’t need to be Hillary Clinton,” said Amanda Rider, a 19-year-old student from Harrisburg, who added, “Just because she’s a woman, doesn’t mean we have to vote for her.”
Rider brushed off the idea that Trump and his supporters are “deplorables,” sexist, racist, homophobic and Islamaphobic.
“If I’m sexist because I don’t vote for you because you’re a woman, then fine,” Rider said, “I’m sexist.”
Likewise, Elisa Seiple, a 28-year-old photographer from Easton, said, “I would absolutely love to have a woman president, just not Hillary Clinton.”
Easton, the mother of two young children, said in the end, for her it came down to core values, something which her and Clinton do not share.
Lydia Humphrey, a 21-year-old college student in Bloomsburg, said she simply does not like Hillary and believes she is “corrupt.”
“I’m not against a woman as a president,” Humphrey said, “But I don’t think she’s the right candidate.”
However, Heather Grieves, a 32-year-old business owner from York, said for her the choice came down to economics. According to Grieves, her company taxes are at an all-time high and Obamacare has forced her company into a hiring freeze.
But while Grieves said she picked her choice for president very carefully, she – like many other female Trump supporters – is often met with anger, resentment and a sense of betrayal. In fact, some female Trump supporters say the pressure they receive is unfair and – more often than not – it’s better to just keep their opinions to themselves.
Emily Meier, a 27-year-old who works at a bank in Allentown, went to the Trump rally with a friend on Friday, but neither were sporting pro-Trump attire or any other such accessories that would lend speculation to their political choices.
“It’s just not worth it,” Meier said, noting that – unlike her Hillary-supporting acquaintances – she cannot even put up a Facebook post without being insulted.