Is there nothing he can’t do?

The God-Emperor is liberating men from their ill-considered marriages to angry, batshit-crazy women:

“Shortly after the election is when I became aware of it,” says Lois Brenner, a New York–based divorce attorney. “People were thinking about splitting up their marriages because of political differences.” She’d never encountered this before, but she’s since found herself litigating two such divorces. “After people got over their shock,” she says, “they started arguing.”

By now it’s a truism to point out that the election of Donald Trump and the #MeToo movement have prompted a wholesale realignment of American politics. But it’s also sent shock waves through heterosexual romance.

Donald Trump and the Republican Party have plenty of female supporters, of course, especially among white women. But politically speaking, as evidenced by the recent midterms, there is an undeniable, and growing, gender divide in American politics: In 2018, almost 60 percent of female voters supported Democrats, compared to 47 percent of male voters — outpacing the gap in other recent elections. What can make matters unworkable for couples whose viewpoints aren’t aligned, says Stephanie Coontz, a professor of family studies at Evergreen State College, is that Americans have become increasingly contemptuous of those who hold different positions on divisive political issues — and contempt is singularly destructive for long-term relationships. “Mary Matalin and James Carville,” says Coontz. “How the hell do they make it work?”       

Many people with divergent perspectives from their partners have not been able to make it work in the Trump era. A Reuters/Ipsos poll completed in early 2017 found that in the months following Trump’s election win, 13 percent of 6,426 participants had cut ties with a friend or family member over political differences. This past summer, another survey of 1,000 people found that a third declared the same. More generally, 29 percent of respondents to a May 2017 survey said their romantic relationship had been negatively affected by Trump’s presidency. And even people ostensibly on the same side of the issues as their partner have run into challenges, with the climate exacerbating or revealing new fault lines. Herewith, two couples, and four individual women — all except the final pair using pseudonyms — talk about how conflict over politics is testing, or even ending, their relationships.

This is what software engineers describe as “a feature, not a bug.” It’s also Exhibit 47,339 in Why Female Suffrage was a Cataclysmic Mistake.


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