What Gillian Flynn told us about the women who voted for Trump
Pundit Molly Jong-Fast eloquently wrote that the past four years of the Trump administration have felt like being held hostage.
I definitely think she’s on to something there, but I have also increasingly felt like it’s similar to being in a really bad relationship.
You know… one of those that some of us know is bad, but those in the relationship don’t see the trouble? They’re convinced he’s the best person for them — and their bank accounts — despite his overall ineptitude and his inability to care about other people or this country. (Insert references to this administration’s failed response to the coronavirus pandemic and its abhorrent efforts to separate children from their parents at the border, just to name two.)
And while the bad boyfriend may be on his way out of the White House (eventually), the men and women who support him aren’t going to quickly get over it. That combination of I’m-owed-something anger and owning-the-libs indignation has been repeatedly doused with gasoline byTrump over recent years and it’s going to burn for a long time.
I saw that myself over the past week when a few of my MAGA family members let me know that they were going to stand in line on Election Day as long as it took to “to save our country” and, when Saturday’s results were announced, they let me know that “our country is really in trouble” and they’re “praying for HELP.”
Not-so-surprising spoiler No. 1: We've been in trouble for some time now. Even-less-surprising-spoiler No. 2: Both of these comments came from white women.
After four frustratingly turbulent years of the Trump presidency, he went on to receive more votes from white women this year than he did in 2016 when he beat Hillary Clinton. I am not one of these women, but I know them. I’m related to them.
Author Gillian Flynn didn’t know it when she wrote her book “Gone Girl,” which was published in 2012, but she was actually giving a pretty accurate description of white women who have supported Donald Trump and voted for him. They are Flynn’s “Cool Girl.” They are the women who think our gender has all the equality we’re ever going to need and they are the women who think they are “color blind.”
Flynn wrote about the Cool Girl: “Men always say that as the defining compliment, don't they? She's a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer … Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don't mind. I'm the Cool Girl."
I’ll be happy to see us move (however slowly) from Cool Girls to Smart Women… you know, like the one who will be sworn in as Vice President of the United States on January 20th.
Amy Bailey was a member of the Michigan Capitol Press Corps from 2000-2006. She lives and works in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband, son and an easily excitable Australian Shepherd named Max. Amy's guest column, Something to Say, publishes periodically. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.