What Betsy DeVos’ Title IX Review Reminds Us About White Women’s Enabling Of Toxic White Masculinity

A key tenet of the feminist movement is rape and sexual assault advocacy. Donald Trump openly bragged about the crime of sexual assault when he boasted about grabbing women by their “p*ssies.” His admission didn’t matter in November 2016; Trump was still elected. Women came out in overwhelming numbers to support Trump’s race-baiting, fear peddling, hate propagating, women disrespecting campaign.

Specifically, white women, many of whom fancy themselves as feminist, came out in overwhelming numbers in support of Donald Trump, Fifty-three percent to be exact. To them, it didn’t matter that Donald John would rather grab their vaginas than regard them as deserving of respect. The “grab ’em by the p*ssy” comment alone was/is reason enough to trust that Donald Trump sees only himself as deserving of any degree of respect, but one female Trump voter said:

“I think he’s a really good man, deep down. This guy has such potential, and I truly believe he cares about our country and wants to help everyone.”


He has a history of making racist comments. He has displayed a pattern of unscrupulous business practices. His campaign had no real agenda other than undoing initiatives of the Obama administration. He has shown no regard for the poor. He is a bully. He flaunts his wealth, status, and education in ways that are condescending and degrading.

Donald Trump is not a “really good man.” He definitely doesn’t want “to help everyone.” Finally, and most importantly, if he hasn’t reached his “potential” at 71 years-old, then making excuses for him isn’t being objective, it’s enabling his foolishness. Endorsements like the one above are the rotten core of why the toxic white masculinity that sits at the root of who Trump is and what he stands for, have been able to stand the test of time and aren’t just limited to Donald John Trump.

In fact, just last week Secretary Of Education, Betsy DeVos, taught some and reminded others that many white women have and may always enable toxic white masculinity no matter how much doing so lends itself to their own demise. This support of white male supremacy on the part of white women, isn’t new, though; it’s just new to being so blatant.

White women have always been active in the KKK. A white woman lied about being accosted by 14-year-old Emmett Till; he was brutally murdered as a result of that false claim. Most recently, the world watched in horror as white women were active participants in the deadly Unite the Right, rally in Charlottesville.

Simply put: White women have always benefited from white supremacy. However, throughout history, it has often been easier for some to pretend that there is some huge divide between white supremacy and what it means to be a feminist. That denial is often cloaked under the veil of claiming to be a liberal and being vocal about women’s rights.

However, just like white women have always benefited from white supremacy, they’ve also always benefited from the success of pompous, arrogant, and wealthy males like Donald Trump. That makes supporting the agendas of people like Trump easier, and provides a “what’s in it for me” that’s sure to render a plentiful return on investment; it matters not that the investment is the selling of souls.

By subscribing to the “many sides” philosophy regarding sexual assault, announcing her plans to overturn President Obama’s Title IX guidance, and being the face of such an asinine decision, Betsy DeVos has openly done what white women have been doing for centuries, but behind closed doors. Even more disgusting, she did so while simultaneously denouncing the very acts that the person who hired her, brazenly admitted to.

Pandering to white supremacy/toxic white masculinity doesn’t usually make people immune to its perils. That’s not true for white women, though. Those who refuse to submit their privilege to help, not hurt others, very much benefit from pandering to toxic white masculinity.

Pandering to Donald Trump has allowed Betsy DeVos, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders et al to confidently support him knowing that his policies are harmful to them. That’s just another one of the many ironies of white privilege.

Featured Image screengrab via YouTube.