This Tuesday, President Trump said that it is “a very scary time for young men” amidst the allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against his supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
“It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of. You can be somebody that was perfect your entire life and somebody could accuse you of something…and you’re guilty”
Trump’s comments are reminiscent of remarks made by his son Donald Trump Jr. in an interview with the Daily Mail on Sunday. When inquired as to which of his kids he is worried about following the Kavanaugh accusations, he said that he worries more for his sons.
“I’ve got boys, and I’ve got girls. And when I see what’s going on right now. It’s scary. “
The GOP and its allies have keen to present the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh as not only false, but as an example of #MeToo gone awry. Trump claims that there is now a situation in America where you’re “guilty until proven innocent”.
Many experts believe Trump’s GOP is attempting to reignite the fire in America’s white working-class male population, those who won him the election in the first place. Polls show his Republican base tends to learn in favour of skepticism with regards to Christine’s Blasey Ford’s testimony #MeToo movement more broadly, and perhaps Trump and the GOP are attempting to string up support among his base in the wake of another midterm election.
According to Julian Zelizer of Princeton University, this is part and parcel of one of Trump’s fundamental arguments that men “are somehow victims or they’re losing out to other people or they’re unfairly persecuted in an age of political correctness”.
However, experts say that this issue may leave him struggling with suburban white voters, who may have voted Republican otherwise.
According to a poll released on Monday by Quinnipiac University, there is a significant gender gap when it comes to public opinion on the Kavanaugh nomination. 55% of women do not believe he should be confirmed as opposed to 40% of men. However, 52% of men believe Kavanaugh to have been wrongly harmed while just 43% of women hold the same view.
According to Jim Malloy, assistant director at Quinnipiac University, the disparity is almost unprecedented.
“You usually don’t see this kind of divide between men and women on seminal, important issues.”
Regardless, Trump has been keen to take this stance and defend the accused in the wake of recent #MeToo scandals. When asked whether he had a message for America’s young women, Trump simply responded:
“Women are doing great.”