What did the 2020 Election Tell Us About White Male Voting Patterns?

“A vitally important and timely new film.”

— Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. | Senior Scholar, Wellesley Centers for Women

Now that the 2020 presidential election looks like it’s finally coming to an official close, it’s a good time to begin making sense of some of the key political and cultural forces that shaped the race and laid the ground for how future presidential elections will likely play out.

That starts with taking a close look at exit polling data showing that white voters — especially white male voters — were far and away Trump’s biggest base of support, and asking why the white male vote, in general, has been moving so steadily to the right over the past five-plus decades.

If you want to help your students explore and think critically about this crucial question, don’t miss the eye-opening and timely new documentary The Man Card: White Male Identity Politics from Nixon to Trumpdirected by acclaimed filmmakers Peter Hutchison and Lucas Sabean.

Ranging from the 1960s to today, The Man Card exposes a deliberate and highly successful strategy by the right to frame Democrats and liberals as soft, brand the Republican Party as the party of “real men,” and position conservatives as defenders of white male power and authority in the face of seismic demographic changes and ongoing struggles for equality.

For information about how to watch the film or acquire it for your organization or university library collection, check out the film’s newly launched website. The site includes links to a number of national media pieces that are good resources for classroom research and assignments, including media interviews and articles about the film and the politics of presidential masculinity, and articles by Jackson Katz, the creator and co-writer of the film.

The Man Card was based on Katz’s book Man Enough: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton & the Politics of Presidential Masculinity (Interlink Books), and was co-produced by the Media Education Foundation and Eat the Moon Films.

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“In this fast-paced documentary using compelling footage from political ads and events over the past half-century, Jackson Katz shows how presidential candidates from Nixon to Trump have mobilized masculinity as a central means to attract the support of white working-class men. Sure to generate a lively discussion about politics and masculinity in gender studies and American government courses.”

— Dr. Valerie Sperling | Co-author of "Trumping Politics as Usual: Masculinity, Misogyny, and the 2016 Elections"

“With vivid imagery and insightful analysis, The Man Card shows how, for more than half a century, Presidential politics in the U.S. has been driven not just by dog-whistle messages against people of color and women, but also by overt endorsements of narrow, destructive and unhealthy conceptions of white men’s masculinity. This film comes at a perfect time to contribute to the growing intersectional movement that is turning the page on the politics of hatred, fear and violence, as it bends the arc of history toward a future of peace and social justice.”

— Dr. Michael A. Messner | University of Southern California | Author of Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace

“Masculine posturing has been part of U.S. presidential elections throughout our history. In The Man Card, Jackson Katz brilliantly illustrates just how problematic this is and documents the ways these political masculinity contests have picked up the pace and become increasingly partisan. This is a vitally important documentary to more completely understand the gendered and racialized ideologies shaping political polarization in the U.S.”

— Dr. Tristan Bridges | Associate Professor of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara and co-editor of "Men and Masculinities" journal

“Jackson Katz methodically shows that Trump’s strategy to connect masculinity to presidential politics is nothing new. This is a must-see documentary for anyone interested in American politics and contemporary democratic struggles.”

— Dr. Farida Jalalzai | Professor of Political Science, Associate Dean of Global Initiatives and Engagement, Virginia Tech University

“Essential viewing for not only every gender and politics course, but for any and all students of American politics.”

— Dr. Lori Cox Han, PhD | Professor of Political Science at Chapman University and author of "Women, Power, and Politics"