Nikki Haley’s Woman Problem


Does Nikki Haley have a chance at the White House as a woman candidate? 

Experts say that her upcoming 2024 campaign, which is set to kick off this week, comes at a moment of maximum sexism in Republican politics. 

If this were the Republican Party of 10 years ago, Haley would be a candidate with enviable advantages. 

Haley served as a South Carolina governor, and then as the United Nations ambassador under former president Donald Trump. 

She is staunchly pro-life, and she is a woman of color — significant for a party that has wanted to diversify for years.

But given the reality of Republican Party politics today, her presidential dream could become a nightmare, experts say. 

Under the best of circumstances, women who run for president face a particularly pernicious strain of American gender bias that has overshadowed every previous campaign. This has become especially true under the Republican party, which has plagued female candidates with sexist double standards in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. 

Studies have also showed that women of color in the political arena, like Haley, are twice as likely as other candidates to be targeted with misinformation and disinformation.

Haley could very likely have it worse than the candidates did in 2016, who were victim to a slew of sexist and racist attacks. The same is expected for Haley the moment she declares her presidential run on Tuesday. 

Experts say that this is because the base of the Republican Party has become more male and more far-right since Trump became the party standard bearer. 

Misogynist ideology and hate has proliferated so much among in recent years that the Southern Poverty Law Center has begun tracking “Male Supremacy” groups.

Not all Republicans hate women, but many misogynists feel at home in the Republican party, experts explain. 

Groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys that supported Trump and have seen members convicted of seditious conspiracy for involvement in the January 6th insurrection on the Capitol are also rabidly anti-woman. 

Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes told listeners on his podcast that, “Maybe the reason I’m sexist is because women are dumb.” 

White Supremacist Nick Fuentes, who dined recently with Trump at Mar-A-Lago, has told followers that his ideal world is one where the “women don’t have the right to vote,” one in which “women are wearing veils at church,” and “women [aren’t] in the workforce.”

These extremists now play more and more central roles in the political arena. 

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