“Stressed” is the most common word that women use right now to describe how they feel as females in today’s world, according to the results of an exclusive new Yahoo survey.
But while that blanket statement could be taken at face value and make some powerful headlines, digging a little deeper will reveal that women’s feelings on the current state of America are not black and white — but rather nuanced shades of gray.
March 8 is International Women’s Day, and because our audience is pretty equally split down the center when it comes to politics, Yahoo Style + Beauty decided that instead of going on strike to support “A Day Without Women,” like many women’s websites, we’d present the results of a survey of a nationally representative group of 650 American women of different ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Among the findings: Women are worried about finances (but not so much about equal pay), were basically behind the Women’s March (but say their community involvement has not changed that much since Donald Trump’s election), and have some very complicated feelings about the current state of feminism.
So back to being stressed. As we said, “stressed” was the top word chosen by the women surveyed to reflect their state of mind. And women ages 35 to 54 were the most stressed, with 40 percent giving that answer versus 34 percent of women ages 18 to 34. But women age 55 and older had a decidedly different outlook than their younger counterparts. Their most popular sentiment was “happy,” with 37 percent choosing that answer. In fact, “happy” and “motivated” were the second most popular sentiments overall, with 29 percent of women expressing these feelings.
When broken down by race, white women’s most popular answer was “stressed.” But black women are spinning the moment into a positive, listing “motivated” as their top sentiment. Hispanic women, overall, said they feel “happy.”
So what’s stressing women out? They’re highly concerned about money, with 69 percent choosing financial issues as a concern — and this was reflected across all ages and races. Health care was a close second, with 66 percent of women stating that they were concerned about their ability to access or pay for health care for themselves or their families.
Other hot-button issues, though still a concern for many women, were a lower priority than the top two. Forty-one percent of women said they were concerned about workplace equality for women, while 45 percent said they were not. And the lowest concern was “being a good parent,” with 39 percent stating they worried about having the time and resources to be a good parent, and 49 percent saying they didn’t.
When it comes to the Women’s March that took place in Washington, D.C., in January, the majority of women are on board with the movement: 45 percent said they supported it, and 49 percent think that activities like it have a net positive effect on society. But not many participated. In our survey, only 7 percent marched, while a whopping 93 percent did not. Why the disparity? Top reasons included not living in an area where there was a march— and, interestingly, general feelings of discomfort about marching and protesting.
And while 22 percent say they’ve become more involved in their communities over the past 12 months, 60 percent say nothing has changed for them. Maybe that’s because armchair activism — which in recent months has shifted to encompass what we’re calling T-shirt activism — is popular among women.
When asked how they’re taking action for causes they support, the most popular answer — given by 37 percent of respondents — was sharing articles and videos about these causes on social media.
But some of our most interesting findings were about women’s feelings about the current state of feminism. We broke out the results in a dedicated article, and are sharing the overall results here. Only 33 percent women describe themselves as feminists. Thirty-eight percent do not, and the rest are undecided. And, when further pressed, women say they’re put off by many of the ideals that modern feminism has come to embrace.
Fifty-five percent of women who would not describe themselves as feminists said that they did not want to be associated with the “stereotypical” view of feminism, which they saw as “loud, aggressive and complaining.” An equal number said they personally don’t feel they need the movement to attain equality. Forty-five percent of women felt that the movement was too extreme for them, and that feminists are too liberal in their views. And 42 percent said they felt isolated by the feminist movement.
They’d change their views if the feminist movement reflected more on different goals. Thirty-one percent of women said that the next steps the movement should take are uniting the conservative and liberal wings around common goals, and 40 percent want more guidance about what these goals are. Our survey respondents listed what they think the goals of feminism should be, in order of popularity: Finances (70 percent), safety Issues (69 percent), health care (69 percent), workplace issues (69 percent), and parenting issues (63 percent).
When it comes to the election, 28 percent voted for Hillary Clinton, and 21 percent for Donald Trump. But 47 percent did not vote at all. Eighty percent of the women who voted for Trump said they did so because they didn’t want Hillary Clinton in the White House — beating out belief in the issues he supports (73 percent), liking that he is a political “outsider” (66 percent), and the fact that he’s a successful businessman (63 percent) as their top reasons for doing so.
And so far, the women who voted for Trump think he’s doing just fine. When asked what they would do if Election Day were held again tomorrow with the same candidates, 93 percent said they’d vote for Trump all over again.
Read more from Yahoo Style:
- T-Shirt Activism Is Back — and This Time It’s for Trans Rights
- Pussyhat Project Founder Has Powerful Answer for Transgender Critics
- Is Ivanka Trump What ‘True Feminism’ Looks Like?