Why are so many young male voters gravitating toward Donald Trump?


“Simply stated, in a time of growing right-wing populist authoritarianism in the U.S. and elsewhere, the ‘masculinity crisis’ has become a threat to democracy.”¹
— Jackson Katz, Creator, Co-Producer, and Co-Writer of The Man Card

As the 2024 presidential election heats up, polls show a huge gender gap emerging among young voters as more and more young men gravitate toward Donald Trump.²

Political analyst and longtime MEF collaborator Jackson Katz, the creator, co-writer, and co-producer of our film The Man Card: White Male Identity Politics from Nixon to Trump, says it’s the acceleration of a cultural trend that’s been decades in the making.

“The GOP’s electoral strategy has long been to gain overwhelming majorities among white male voters, and more recently, to increase vote counts among men of color, and they’ve been enormously successful at doing so,” Katz wrote in Ms. magazine earlier this year.³ “The cultural politics on the right that contributes to this strategy isn’t just about race—it’s about masculinity. Media personalities in the conservative infotainment complex routinely mock liberal, progressive and Democratic men as weak and insufficiently masculine. The idea is to stigmatize them so that insecure white guys won’t want to identify with them, regardless of how they feel about policy positions.”

If you’re an educator looking for resources to help students critically examine how the cultural politics of gender, and dominant ideas about masculinity and femininity, have shaped American presidential elections going back decades, The Man Card is now available in a variety of formats.

In a fast-paced and incisive analysis illustrated with striking archival media clips, The Man Card uncovers a deliberate right-wing strategy to brand “liberals” as soft and position conservatives as “real men” fighting to defend white male power and authority in the face of demographic changes and ongoing struggles for equality. Digging deep into radical shifts in white male voting patterns since the 1960s, the film offers timely insights into the growing gender gap, the rise of right-wing extremism, and the cultural dynamics that confront women who run for high office.

The Man Card is based on Katz’s award-winning book Man Enough: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton & the Politics of Presidential Masculinity, and was directed by acclaimed filmmakers Peter Hutchison and Lucas Sabean of Eat the Moon Films.

For other MEF films that look at the politics of gender, race, and violent masculinity, don’t miss Healing from Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation and The Great White Hoax: Donald Trump & the Politics of Race and Class in Americafeaturing Tim Wise.

Praise for The Man Card 


“A vitally important and timely new film.”

— Jean Kilbourne | Senior Scholar, Wellesley Centers for Women

“Fast-paced and compelling … 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

Valerie Sperling

“Essential viewing for not only every gender and politics course, but for any and all students of American politics….Raises important questions about the inherent and not-so-subtle masculinity of the American presidency and what that means for women seeking the office.”

— Dr. Lori Cox Han, PhD | Author of Women, Power, and Politics

“Shows how 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.”

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

Dr. Farida Jalalzai

“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

“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

“The history lesson we need!”

— Jason Rogers | Writer, Olympic medalist, LA-based writer


1. “Men Need a New Narrative. The Future of U.S. Democracy Depends on It,” by Jackson Katz, Ms. magazine, April 25, 2024.
2. “The Gender Gap Is Now a Gender Gulf,” by Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times, May 29, 2024
3. “Taylor Swift Is a Threat to the Right—and So Is Travis Kelce,” by Jackson Katz, Ms. magazine, Feb. 9, 2024.