Ed West Ed West

A female culture war has begun

I didn’t go on the women’s march last weekend, and it’s not the kind of thing I’d go to. However, Trump’s previous form with regards the female sex is a reasonable cause for at least registering a protest. This is not to deny there are things I wish would be protested more, such as Rotherham, but I accept that’s basically whataboutery and no reason to ignore Trump’s behaviour.

But you’d think, looking at an event like this, that there was a sort of culture war in which women were set in conflict with the patriarchy, represented by the three-times married president. Lots of women were marching for the right to have abortions, for instance, and this came as the new president reversed Obama’s policy on funding overseas abortion (as all Republican presidents do).

Yet despite the way it is portrayed, polls consistently show that more men than women are in favour of legal abortions, both in Britain and in America. In this country 59 per cent of women want to reduce the legal limit from 24 weeks, compared to just 35 per cent of men. In fact, 10 per cent of British women would ban abortion outright.

Pro-life women tend to be the most pro-life, while pro-choice women tend to be much more pro-choice than their male comrades. Overall abortion is not a male v female issue but a female v female one, with men much more dotted around the centre, or being totally apathetic. This obviously makes sense, since it is their bodies involved and so more emotive; I have my views on the subject, but when it comes down to it I’m pretty sure I’m never going to get pregnant and so my opinion carries less weight.

In general, culture war issues are more polarised among women than men because women have to make bigger life choices and sacrifices, whether it be career or baby.

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