I Write Letters

Dear Arianna,

I know you hate Hillary Clinton and everything, but do you—mother to two daughters—really believe that the best way to undermine her candidacy is by giving Stephen "Mickey's Brother" Kaus space on your pages to unleash a misogynistic tirade against Hillary, that manages to simultaneously dismiss the concerns of women everywhere who have raised red flags over the sexist treatment of Hillary by the media?

See, lots of women had a problem with David Shuster accusing Hillary of "pimping out" Chelsea, so when Kaus accuses Hillary of being humorless, "prissy and censorious," and a self-appointed "language czar," he's saying the same thing about the rest of us—and, naturally, he's saying it without a trace of irony as he attempts to redefine our language by ripping "pimp" from its very roots, claiming Shuster used it "in a non-sexual connotation," despite the fact that the word is only understood based on its sexual connotations. But Hillary's the language czar. Right.

And lots of women also had a problem with Katie Couric bringing up the nasty moniker Hillary was given by high school bullies, Miss Frigidaire, in an obvious attempt to cast aspersions on her character 40+ years later, so when Kaus deems the boys who gave it to her "normal intelligent people who had a sense of humor and had spotted someone who did not"—again with the old "humorless" canard; these guys can't even be original—he's saying the same thing about the rest of us.

And when he goes on to say that Chelsea Clinton, by virtue of being a political actor, is "fair game, period" and that saying is being pimped out "is mild," he's saying that every woman who enters the public sphere with an opinion is fair game for being demeaned with misogynistic slurs.

Is that really the world into which you want to send your daughters? Do you really believe that letting Kaus disgorge a putrid heap of misogyny onto the pages of the Huffington Post is the best strategy for beating Hillary?

Oh, right. Of course you do.

Get it together, Arianna. There's nothing more unattractive than a successful woman who uses sexism to try to subvert other women. You don't have to like Hillary, but fight her on the issues. Stop calling her a "little girl." Stop talking about her cleavage. And please, for the love of Maude, stop letting patriarchal brownshirts like Stephen Kaus do the dirty work of enforcing male privilege with tired old chestnuts like "hysterical and humorless" on the pages of what's supposed to be a vaguely enlightened space. If you don't care that it's sexist, at least do us all a favor of caring that it's a big bag of hack.


cc. Shaker Gemma

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