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Experiment: Trump Would Be More Popular If He Were a Woman

(The Guardian/YouTube)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 04:43 PM

President Donald Trump might be a lot more likable if he was a woman, a surprising theatrical experiment discovered.

According to NYU News, the play "Her Opponent," staged in January in New York City, was based on portions of the 2016 presidential debates with a twist – Trump's persona was "Brenda King" played by an actress, while Clinton's was "Jonathan Gordon," played by a male actor.

The creators, Maria Guadalupe, an associate professor of economics and political science at INSEAD, a graduate business school, and Joe Salvatore, an associate professor of educational theater at New York University's Steinhart School, thought the gender switch would confirm their "liberal assumption": that Trump's aggression wouldn't be tolerated in a woman, and that Clinton's competence and preparedness would seem more convincing coming from a man.

They were wrong.

Many in the audience "couldn’t seem to find in Jonathan Gordon what they had admired in Hillary Clinton—or that Brenda King's clever tactics seemed to shine in moments where they'd remembered Donald Trump flailing or lashing out," NYU News writer Eileen Reynolds reported.

Salvatore agreed.

"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," he told NYU News.

"We heard a lot of 'now I understand how this happened'—meaning how Trump won the election," he added.

"The simplicity of Trump’s message became easier for people to hear when it was coming from a woman—that was a theme," he said.

"There was someone who described [the female Trump] as his Jewish aunt who would take care of him, even though he might not like his aunt," Salvatore added.

Salvatore said he, too, was "surprised… by how critical I was seeing [Clinton] on a man’s body, and also by the fact that I didn’t find Trump’s behavior on a woman to be off-putting. "

A clip of a play rehearsal was posted both on YouTube, and on the NYU News site.

There's a plan to shoot and edit a re-creation of the play, which was performed at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York's West Village, according to The Guardian.

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President Donald Trump might be a lot more likable if he was a woman, a surprising theatrical experiment discovered.
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Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 04:43 PM
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