Frothing Fauxgressive

Everyone in the multiverse has sent me the link to John Aravosis' unhinged screed about Hillary Clinton, subtly titled "Go away you horrible human being."

I'm not sure exactly what I can or should say about it—obviously I disagree with many of his assertions, not least of which that Clinton is somehow irreparably damaging the Democratic Party. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I've never been a partisan, and this year I worked for a Democratic presidential candidate and have stood in happy awe as the party's nominating process came down to not one but two historical alternatives. In other words, the national Democratic Party is in about as good standing with me as it's ever been, and I'm hardly alone on that.

That's the kind of thing I guess you want to ignore when you're fuming about what a hideous, divisive, catastrophically selfish person one of the people who inspired the likes of me and plenty others is, though.

I suspect, however, the reason most people sent the link to me has something to do with their sneaking suspicion that Aravosis' obscene outrage is less about Hillary Clinton being a "horrible human being" than a female human being. He doesn't go there explicitly in the post, but likening her to a spoiled brat (which is, coincidentally—or, not-so-coincidentally—the same term Bill Donohue used in an interview once upon a time to describe some other uppity woman, whose name escapes me, ahem) is called infantilization, and it's a technique routinely used to diminish and marginalize strong women in particular.

(I'm quite certain he'd tell me that he'd use that descriptor even if she were a man, to which I'd politely suggest he own the context.)

Then there are the nose-wrinkling turns of phrase like "[the DNC can't] fight John McCain because of this woman." This woman. Isn't is just like a woman to ruin everything?

(And, yeah, that conveys something different than saying "because of this man," if the situation were reversed. Know why? Because "man" is so frequently used interchangeably with "person" in the English language—it just doesn't have the same pointedness; it can't even if one wants it to. Specifying "woman" thusly means something in a way "man" doesn't, and please direct all complaints to the Office of Male Privilege Bites You in the Ass.)

And then, of course, there's the usual curiosity of what simply doesn't get said at all—like how it's actually not just Clinton who's caused the alleged "civil war in the Netroots." Just off the top of my head, I'd say that bloggers writing posts with titles like "Go away you horrible human being" aren't, ya know, inspiring her supporters to rally around Obama in the way a post detailing his positives might. And there's the equally sigh-evoking omission that as racism and/or race-baiting emanating from Clinton's general direction has alienated some people, misogyny and/or gender-baiting (as well as pandering to homophobes, about which Aravosis seems amazingly unconcerned) emanating from Obama's general direction has alienated some people, too. Why, then, is it only Clinton who's the horrible human being fostering a civil war among activists?

And if we're not meant to believe it has anything to do with her sex, then whither this comment he left in his own comments thread?

Obama can't tell her what needs to be said. For a variety of reasons he is not the man to tell this particular woman that it's over. (Link)
Dear John, don't you mean tell this particular horrible human being that it's over…?

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