Opinion: Lesson For Africa On The Women’s Vote From The U.S. Election

Written by Staff

By Gitura Mwaura – From New Times

As the implication of Donald Trump’s election as the next US president continues to reverberate across the world, many have reconciled themselves with the fact of his forthcoming leadership.

President Barack Obama has since rallied to the inevitable, pragmatically urging the disappointed US voter to now root for Trump’s success because his success will be America’s success.

Obama’s sentiment aims to give the President-elect the benefit of doubt that the rest of the world should share: Trump just might turn out to be a responsible national and global leader befitting his new office, surprising us yet again with what he might pull off by the end of his first term – if he successfully completes it.

In the meantime, scrutiny continues to mount on the various factors that led to his taking the vote. One of the more poignant factors was the role women played, spurning Hillary Clinton. This, despite allegations of Trump’s sexual misconduct and that, by electing him, women’s and minority’s rights were under threat.

Let me start with the minority voters. A much shared YouTube video shows Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, dismantling apologist arguments by the apparently clueless editor-in-chief of the American Spectator, R. Emmett Tyrrell, after he referred to Hispanics and people of color who voted for the President-elect.

Now, let it be clear that none can deny anyone their democratic right to vote for whomever in a free society. Neither will I say each one of us is not entitled to our own prejudices – of which I have quite a few against The Donald. (See“Donald Trump: What would be his likely policy for Africa?” The New Times, January 30, 2016)

But, as is wont of Chimamanda’s spontaneous wit in the heated argument, she deftly pointed out that “every system of oppression has people who are in the group of the oppressed who somehow contribute to that oppression”– call it the Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological phenomenon in which hostages defend and positively identify with their captors, that variously plays out in all sorts of relationships.

Does this explain why majority white women – 53 per cent – voted for the alleged sex pest? What does it tell us of women everywhere, including in Africa?

Read more at New Times