Gender and views on gender (and Donald Trump)

Really interesting Gallup report recently on views on gender (by gender).  This chartstrikes me as pretty amazing.

Basically, both women and men– but especially women– have come to recognize that women’s treatment in society needs to be better.  And, that’s obviously what’s going on because it’s pretty hard to argue that the treatment of women has actually gotten worse in the last five years.  Gallup gives most of the credit to the MeToo movement:

Over the past two decades, Americans’ satisfaction with the treatment of women in society has ranged from the current 53% low to a 72% high in 2002 and 2003. The sharpest decline in satisfaction — 10 percentage points, from 63% to 53% — occurred in 2018 in the wake of the #MeToo social movement in the U.S. that raised awareness about harassment and violence against women. Since then, satisfaction has remained steady at that level.

Women’s satisfaction dropped 15 points spanning the emergence of #MeToo, while men’s fell five points. The latest reading among women, 44%, is the lowest on record, although it is not statistically different from the 46% readings in 2018 and 2020. At the same time, men’s satisfaction with the treatment of women has remained flat at 61% to 62% since 2018.

Looking at that chart, though, there’s no measurement in 2017.  I can’t help but wonder how much of this is actually attributable to Trump’s presidency.  Alas, pretty hard to know as MeToo started in 2017, coinciding with Trump’s presidency.  But, the social scientist in me wants to find more data and try and tease this out.  Maybe, we at least can appreciate that Donald Trump helped shine light on gender inequality in society.  

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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