Last week, Donald Trump faced a flood of sexual assault accusations. The week before, a leaked Access Hollywood tape heard Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. Yet in spite of all this, some women are still enthusiastically supporting Donald Trump. (With Melania "Pussy Bow" Trump and Ivanka Trump leading the way.)
If anything, Trump's female supporters have become more outspoken in the wake of the allegations, mobilizing their message online, for example with the Twitter hashtag #WomenWhoVoteTrump:
.@TrumpWomensTour doing their part to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain at the Second Harvest Food Bank in North Carolina! #WomenWhoVoteTrump🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/lCfRzfkUwI
— Official Team Trump (@TeamTrump) October 14, 2016
Media outlets sent reporters out to talk to Trump's female supporters. Most of these women brush off the allegations of harassment, saying they distract from "the real issues", or say that Bill and Hillary Clinton face the same accusations. Others reason it with their own experiences.
From Anne Helen Petersen's report for Buzzfeed:
“That was 10 years ago, and he’s a 70-year-old man now, so it’s not going to be a problem,” [a woman] says, leaning in close to whisper. “Look behind you, not now, but in a second — that’s my husband, and he’s 70 years old, and let me tell you, it’s not going to be a problem.”
Victoria, the woman who’d made the “Adorable Deplorable” shirts, tells me, “Women love that. I’m not talking about assault here, but getting grabbed at, it’s a way of saying you’re still cute — I’d like it, and I’m 65! Wouldn’t you like it?”
Patricia Murphy spoke to women at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina for the The Daily Beast:
“I’d be honored if Donald Trump would touch me inappropriately! I sure would! Do it again!” Trina Hudson laughed as she walked out of Trump’s Friday night rally in Charlotte, the second one she’s been to so far.
“Obviously it doesn’t make his character look great,” [Meg Prokopenko] said. “But if you look at Bill and Hillary paying hundreds of thousands to cover up a rape that Bill did, I don’t see her as being a champion for women’s rights.”
And this, from Mary Jordan's report for the Washington Post:
[One woman] said she has heard professional men speaking “very inappropriately and it doesn’t make them incompetent.” And she noted that huge numbers of women bought “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the best-selling erotic novel that centered on bondage and rough sex.
“Women can be just as inappropriate,” she said.
FiveThirtyEight points out that women are a deciding factor in this election, with a "historically overwhelming" number identifying as Democrat, and supporting Hillary Clinton, who has a 20-point lead among women over Trump.
Even so, it's clear that Trump has a very visible and very vocal contingent of women on his side. A strange phenomenon for an even stranger election.