Women Are Making 86% of the Phone Calls to Resist Trump
Resistance is female.
DailyAction.org is a site and service which purports to “make civic engagement easy and painless, with a single action every day—connecting citizens to their legislators with a quick swipe of their phones.” They recently polled their active users, receiving 28,320 responses, and the results were telling: 86% of respondents were women. In addition, the majority of those women were middle-aged: 50% were aged 46-65, and 28% were aged 30-45.
As Vox‘s Josh Stein summarized:
tldr angry young white men may be blowing up your social media, but middle-aged women/moms r doing the real grunt work. (He says on Twitter)
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) April 1, 2017
77% of these women were also “likely to publicly protest an administration policy in the future.”
Of course, we can’t necessarily assume that DailyAction.org’s user base is representative of the progressive surge overall. Its service–one clear action per day, via text–does seem tailored to busy parents, so their user base may be slightly older than that of other organizations or movements. However, even if it is particularly convenient for busy parents, that still invites the question: where are all those busy fathers?
And here we can begin to understand the gender divide. DailyAction.org is a service centered around one of the most deeply gendered forms of work: emotional labor. Calling your representatives involves chatting on the phone, expressing yourself clearly and politely, and interacting with your representatives’ staff. It’s textbook emotional labor, and it works. As seen in the defeat of the AHCA, the GOP about-face on gutting the Office of Congressional Ethics, and Rep. Chaffetz’ withdrawal of his public lands bill, these calls are absolutely crucial to putting pressure on Congress. Unfortunately, despite its obvious effectiveness, making phone calls is exactly the sort of “women’s work” that men feel particularly entitled to skip out on. This may have exacerbated DailyAction.org’s gender divide, as compared to the progressive movement overall.
It’s also worth pointing out that this poll does not break its statistics down by race. According to exit polls, American women voted strongly against Trump–except for white women, 53% of whom voted for Trump. (For comparison, more than 90% of black women voted for Hillary Clinton.) We don’t know whether women of color are bearing the brunt of the work in this poll as well.
As for non-binary participants, only 1% of the respondents identified their gender as “other.” Since our garbage government doesn’t want to count non-binary people in the census, I don’t have a clear percentage of the population to compare to that participation rate, but most estimates I’ve seen place the percentage between 1-5%. So I’m going to extend the benefit of the doubt and say the non-binary part of the population is likely doing their fair share.
Even with all the factors and questions around this survey, though, one thing is clear: given women’s outsize participation, resistance is indeed female. Men, it’s time to pick up the damn phone.
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