Why are women more Left-wing now?
Women used to be more conservative – not anymore. And the Democratic Party wants this
Unlike a surprising number of British political types, I have no interest in the US midterms; I don’t know anything about Clark County in Nevada, or maybe it’s Arizona, or who controls ‘the House’. I’ve never watched West Wing and I imagine I never will; I think we focus way too little on the continent, compared to America, and I look forward to performatively taking an interest in the next round of obscure European elections to show how much cleverer I am. (Will the Christian Democrats hold onto the Bavarian Landtag? Interesting.)
What are worth noting, however, are American voting patterns, in particular the the big trend of our age: the overwhelming leftward drift of women.
American women have since the 1970s shifted massively to the Left, especially those with a degree. Women with college degrees now vote Democrat by a 38-point majority. Today, around 40 percent of young American women identify as liberal or far-Left, twice the figure from the 1980s, a trend that has accelerated in the 2000s. Why are women, especially educated women, only now so much more Left-wing than men?
Polls in the US consistently show that, while women were more conservative than men in the 1950s and 60s, that has now reversed. As of tt the start of this decade females under the age of 35 today supported the Democrats by a margin of 68 percent to 24 percent, while younger men are pretty much evenly divided. In American politics the biggest gulf now is the chasm in voting between college-educated women, who have drastically moved Left, and non-graduate men, who have gone to the Right.
In fact the divide is now so great that, as Conor Fitzgerald suggested, the culture war might effectively be described as a battle of the sexes. Women show greater levels of support for BLM, Fitzgerald pointed out; they are far more supportive of transgender rights than men are, and have a consistently more liberal approach to asylum seekers. They are also far more likely to consider climate change a serious problem, and more likely to believe that Covid restrictions were a good idea. Women are also more likely to vote for Labour in Britain and the Democrats in the US.
Most significantly, however, ‘women are more likely to support speech restrictions and Hate Crime laws, to believe the range of things considered hate crimes should be expanded, and to believe that current laws do not permit hate speech.’