Here's a pretty safe prediction: Hillary Clinton will win a nice majority of the female vote this year. But that's not so much because Clinton is a woman. It's more due to the negative reaction most women have to her opponent, Donald Trump, and the traditional advantage the Democrats have with women voters because of the party's religious devotion to abortion rights.
Is there any way Trump can cut into this deficit among women? He could go the usual route and hire some expensive pollsters and analysts or he could just go and watch the new hit film, "Bad Moms."
You know, the movie where Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Christina Applegate are moms on the brink – ready to snap from the pressure of being overworked and underappreciated, all while trying to make everything look perfect? It's a sort of "Moms Gone Wild," by co-writers/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the same guys who brought us "The Hangover."
"Bad Moms" doesn't just depict this high-pressured set of expectations we put on moms today, it spells it out in the midst of a riotous and down-and-dirty PTA presidential election. Kunis' character delivers a campaign speech that lists just about all of these unreasonable standards that moms face and lets her fellow moms know that it should be OK to be a "bad mom" in such an atmosphere. It also helps that her opponent in the election eerily resembles an odd composite of Hillary Clinton and the stereotypical Republican image of the perfect mom (played by Christina Applegate). Later, the film brilliantly doubles down on its on-target message as Kunis tells her son that if she keeps making his breakfast and doing his school projects for him, he's going to grow up to be another entitled white male in a bad Ska band who has a goatee and is mean to girls.
This movie may seem like just a fun diversion from the serious news headlines about Clinton, Trump and the future of America. But it's actually a very telling political lesson about how to connect with female voters.
Forget the handouts and lofty promises about how we can help you "have it all." What if a politician just stood up and said: These expectations we put on moms are unrealistic! It's unfair and I understand. How can we help you?
I know a few moms (and even women without children) who might just stand up and cheer for that.
"Bad Moms" may have been written by two men, but that's all the more proof that a good persuader/candidate can really connect with female voters regardless of that candidate's gender.
As it stands now, no candidate or political party seems to be interested in spending any significant amount of time talking about providing relief to working parents.
Ivanka Trump did try to address some of these issues during her speech at the Republican convention. But her message, which was about how her father will help working women by fighting for equal pay and affordable childcare, was light on details and not really backed up by the candidate himself after that.
The Democratic National Convention spin masters made sure that Chelsea Clinton went into great detail discussing how her mom always spent hours with her every night and attended all her piano lessons, etc. even after spending all day saving the world as a lawyer and First Lady. At some point, these kinds of images and expectations go beyond just being admirable goals and venture well into burdensome territory. It's like Martha Stewart with the perfect soufflé – life just isn't like that for most people.
Hillary herself has focused mostly on alleged sexist comments by Trump and focused on her own shattering of the electoral glass ceiling. Neither of those things solve the problems real moms face.
When even the so-called pro-feminist candidates don't seem to realize that relating to women politically goes beyond discussing just the legality of their reproductive choices, you know that we're in the relative Stone Age when it comes to earning the women's vote.
What we need is someone to say 1) You don't have to be perfect. That's BS. And 2) Here's how we're going to help you with affordable child care, a more flexible work schedule and a better work-life balance. These policies won't make things perfect — but they won't make you feel like chugging rosé out of a can every day. (Unless you like rosé in a can. In that case, carry on.)
How funny is it that an off-color R-rated comedy is way ahead of the curve when it comes to our national political discourse?