More College Men Are Adopting Right-Wing Views in Response to Perceived Threats Against Them

Elle Silver

According to two American political science professors who published an op-ed in Newsweek, we’re beginning to see a backlash against #MeToo. The social movement that resulted in pushing women’s rights to the forefront and helping to even out the gender playing field has left many young men feeling under attack.

College-aged men around the country have responded to #MeToo politics by moving toward the right. According to Professor Samuel J. Abrams of Sarah Lawrence College and Professor Jeremi Suri of the University of Texas at Austin, 39% of men in college now identify as Republicans as opposed to only 20% of college women.

The divide is even greater at elite universities. At top-25 schools in the U.S., 40% of male students identify as Republicans while only 7% of women do.

While young men feel attacked by left-wing politics in our society, more women are voting for the Democrats. This is because they feel the opposite is true. Young women believe their rights are under threat as their reproductive freedoms have been significantly hindered after the striking down of Roe vs. Wade by the Supreme Court last June.

Older Republican men also feel discriminated against as a result of #MeToo

Men in universities are not alone in their belief that their status as men is under attack in this country. Polls show that a significant majority of Republican men believe that ever since #MeToo, men are being unfairly discriminated against.

In a 2020 survey, the Public Religion Research Institute found that 70% of Republican men agreed that “these days society seems to punish men just for acting like men.”

And not just that, white men feel specifically under attack.

Tresa Undem, a Democratic pollster, found in a post-election survey after Donald Trump lost to President Biden that 65% of men who voted for Trump agreed with the statement: “White men are the most attacked group in the country right now.”

Polls have also found that Trump supporters no longer believe that discrimination against women is a problem in this country. Yes, even though abortion is now illegal in 11 states and has been severely restricted in others.

We need to find a middle ground

Abrams and Suri worry about what their findings point to: a future society where educated men and women are distinctly divided along political lines. Our future may hold a world where the majority of men vote Republican while the majority of women vote for the Democrats. This could prove an obstacle to our democracy.

The hope of these professors is that these intelligent men and women will find a way back to the center.

What do you think? Do you think this is possible? Do you think that men are correct in their thinking that these days, their status as men is under attack?

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