Nate Jackson / March 8, 2017

Gender-Swapping the Presidential Debates

What if Trump were a woman, and Clinton a man?

Hillary Clinton failed to break the “glass ceiling” in November, and as the leftist women protesting today would have you believe, it’s partly because she’s a woman. Well, two professors decided to test this theory by re-enacting the presidential debates while switching the genders of the competitors — Clinton was played by a man called “Jonathan Gordon,” while Donald Trump was represented by a woman named “Brenda King.” Real actors portrayed the two, doing their best to copy inflection, body language and behavior, all while quoting actual debate dialogue verbatim.

Naturally, Salvatore explains, “We both thought that the inversion would confirm our liberal assumption — that no one would have accepted Trump’s behavior from a woman, and that the male Clinton would seem like the much stronger candidate.”

They were quite surprised that the exact opposite happened.

Salvatore reflected, “The majority of my extended family voted for Trump. In some ways, I developed empathy for people who voted for him by doing this project, which is not what I was expecting. I expected it to make me more angry at them, but it gave me an understanding of what they might have heard or experienced when he spoke.”

Most of the audience felt the same way, gravitating to “King” and away from “Gordon.” In fact, Salvatore said, “We heard a lot of ‘now I understand how this happened’ — meaning how Trump won the election.” So maybe the whole election wasn’t some misogynist rebellion after all. Maybe there really was something to the perception that Clinton just isn’t likable. Who knew?

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