SDSU panel discusses gender roles in the 2016 election

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SDSU panel discusses gender roles in the 2016 election

Christian Hicks, Staff Photographer

Christian Hicks, Staff Photographer

Christian Hicks, Staff Photographer

by Kayla Jimenez, Assistant News Editor

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Five days before the general election, a panel of San Diego State professors encouraged students to vote for Hillary Clinton and discussed how gender impacted both presidential nominee’s campaigns.

One male and three female professors from the women’s studies, communication and political science departments spoke on a panel about “Gender, Politics and the 2016 Presidential Election,” on Nov. 3.

“This election has oddly not been about gender at all, but has been all about gender,” Communications Assistant Professor Charles Goehring said. “The expectation was we were going to have these attacks over Clinton because she’s a woman very overtly and we haven’t seen that.”

More than 100 students attended the event which was moderated by Jessica Nare, the Women’s Resource Center coordinator.

Nare said the university needs more spaces where people are able to have conversations about how gender has influenced the presidential election.

“Because of Trump, the issue of gender has been raised over and over again,” Chair of the Political Science Department Ronnee Schreiber said. “Clinton has not had to do very much of that because of the hyper-masculinity and sexism of Donald Trump.”

The panel led with a video of sexist comments toward Clinton in the 2008 election by members of the media and politicians to emphasize the media’s role on this year’s election.

“Another word for sexism would be e-mail in my vocabulary now,” Ghosh said. “The fact that they’re not going beyond that shows that she is really the more capable leader in respect to who she is running against.”

Doreen Mattingly, women’s studies department chair, said this is the first presidential election where she has over-identified with one of the candidates.

“It’s painful,” she said. “I felt like I had a lot more critical distance eight years ago.”

Schreiber said she does not agree with everything Clinton has done, but this presidency in particular will have a significant impact on the U.S. and the world.

“It’s very important to look at who is voting for whom and the huge gender gap, meaning the difference between men and women and who they vote for,” she said. “Eleven percent more women are voting for Clinton over Trump and vice versa for men.”

Panelists also discussed the impact of both candidate’s lack of efforts to engage with Latino voters.  

Mattingly said neither party has put much effort into learning how to make contact with Latino voters because they are not going to have much impact on swing states.

Goehring disagreed and said the Hispanic vote is very important in this election.

“I think Hillary did do a poor job of reaching out to the Hispanic community, but on the other hand Donald Trump absolutely annihilated the connection with hispanics from the get-go,” he said.

The panelists encouraged students to vote, but said that there will still be a new president elected on Tuesday with or without their ballots.

“The undecided voter should not look at whether they like the person or not, but what they stand for.” Goehring said. “Maybe they’re not likable, yet on the other hand they have totally different stances on issues so it’s up to the undecided voter.”

One student said she believes Clinton’s foreign policy agenda is preventing liberal students from voting for her.

Others asked the panel about handling sexism toward Clinton if is she is elected and addressing the work she has done for women’s rights.

Bernie Cervantes, a computer science junior who attended the event for a Women’s Studies class said he learned about the media’s portrayal of the candidates policies.

“I don’t really talk about politics too much because I come from a very conservative family,”  computer science junior Bernie Cervantes said. “To get other people’s opinions is what was really inciteful for me because I don’t get any of that at home.”

Schrieber said Mattingly sent out an e-mail and said the professors had a teaching moment that they wanted to take advantage of a few days prior to the election.

“I really encourage people to think about how to move forward on the issues that they are interested in,” Mattingly said.  “With whoever is elected, it is our duty to press pressure on them to make the kind of laws that we think should be made.”

A polling location will be held at Montezuma Hall on Nov. 8 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for registered voters who live on campus.

Students can find their polling location at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place/.

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