Worse yet, I feel like I can't get through a single fooking hour, no less a whole day, without having to document some egregious example of sexism against a woman who has the unmitigated temerity to think she can run for president. If it's not some tosser comparing Clinton to a pregnant bride-to-be, then it's some other tosser comparing her to Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction.
On the April 27 edition of CNN's Sunday Morning, National Public Radio political editor Ken Rudin, during a discussion about the Democratic presidential primary race, stated: "[L]et's be honest here, [Sen.] Hillary Clinton is Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. She's going to keep coming back, and they're not going to stop her." In response, co-host T.J. Holmes said: "What, Ken?" Rudin replied: "Well, we'll figure that out, there's a lot of ways to imagine that." Rudin returned to the analogy later, stating of Clinton, "[T]here may be a lot of pressure on her from the party bigwigs, whoever they are, to say, look, it's time to go, but she'll say, look, I'm in it until the end. I expect her to be in until the end, as Glenn Close was."For those unfamiliar with the film, Media Matters helpfully explains: "In the 1987 film, Close plays a woman who begins stalking her co-worker, played by Michael Douglas, and his family following a one-night stand with him. In the film's climax, Douglas' character seemingly drowns Close's character in the tub, until she suddenly springs from the water wielding a knife. She is finally shot dead by the wife of Douglas' character."
Goddess Echidne, who gets the hat tip, points out that there are two ways to interpret Rudin's message:
The kinder one (yes, this is the kinder one) is that Hillary Clinton can't be stopped by anything less than being killed by Michelle Obama, that she is an almost unkillable monster.Yes, the less kind interpretation is that uppity women should be killed, and, as we've seen, there are men in the media (Keith Olbermann, Jack Cafferty) who are patently willing to go there. Just jokingly, of course, hardy har. Thing is, these days you can't get most people to go along with the idea that uppity women deserve actual murder, or even the voluminous public humiliation preferred by polite society (death of a promising career), just for having the audacity to seek equality—so the less kind interpretation is also predicated on casting uppity women as deserving of their deathly punishment by virtue of their being vindictive, simultaneously hysterical and sociopathically cold, robotically calculating, crazy, and generally unlikable.
The less kind interpretation has to do with what that particular movie was all about. It was a parable about bad women: working women, uppity, independent, demanding; and about good women: mothers who stay at home and support their husbands through thin and thick. It was a movie about the loathing, fear and hatred of women who don't follow the "good woman" code of behavior, and what happens to those women at the end.
It could always be the case that Rudin is unaware of that interpretation. And pigs also fly almost every day.
Where have I seen that list before? Oh yeah: Vindictive, simultaneously hysterical and sociopathically cold, robotically calculating, crazy, and generally unlikable.
Because I need to say this every time I post about Clinton, yes, I think there are reasons to not support Hillary as a candidate. (If I didn't, I wouldn't have worked for John Edwards, now, would I?) But the media's coverage of Clinton is so relentlessly entwined with misogynist frames that I quite genuinely believe that it takes some conscious effort to diligently sort through all that stuff and carefully extricate legitimate objections to Clinton's candidacy from prepackaged hatred delivered via vaguely reasonable-sounding media memes.
Before this campaign season started in earnest, I held a lot of reflexive opinions about Hillary Clinton's candidacy that were really just half-baked misogynist horseshit. I still have policy disagreements with her, but my list of objections, reduced to what's fair, is a hell of a lot shorter than it was before I spent some time giving it a long and critical look.
I sincerely doubt I'm the only one whose perspective was in need of an adjustment, who was decidedly foolish to not consider that a media which regularly trades in sexist swill wouldn't magically set that aside for any woman, even a presidential candidate.
Then again, maybe I am. In which case, consider this series my penance.
[Hillary Sexism Watch: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty-Two, Forty-Three, Forty-Four, Forty-Five, Forty-Six, Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight, Forty-Nine, Fifty, Fifty-One, Fifty-Two, Fifty-Three, Fifty-Four, Fifty-Five, Fifty-Six, Fifty-Seven, Fifty-Eight, Fifty-Nine, Sixty, Sixty-One, Sixty-Two, Sixty-Three, Sixty-Four, Sixty-Five, Sixty-Six, Sixty-Seven, Sixty-Eight, Sixty-Nine, Seventy, Seventy-One, Seventy-Two, Seventy-Three, Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five, Seventy-Six, Seventy-Seven, Seventy-Eight, Seventy-Nine, Eighty, Eighty-One, Eighty-Two, Eighty-Three, Eighty-Four, Eighty-Five, Eighty Six.]