What Is This Even

[Content Note: Misogyny; disablist language.]

Politico Magazine: "What Is Hillary Clinton Afraid Of?"

That is the actual title of an actual article detailing the decades-long and deeply misogynist press hostility toward Hillary Clinton. And this is an actual fucking excerpt:
Over the 25 years Hillary Clinton has spent in the national spotlight, she's been smeared and stereotyped, the subject of dozens of over-hyped or downright fictional stories and books alleging, among other things, that she is a lesbian, a Black Widow killer who offed Vincent Foster then led an unprecedented coverup, a pathological liar, a real estate swindler, a Commie, a harridan. Every aspect of her personal life has been ransacked; there's no part of her 5-foot-7-inch body that hasn't come under microscopic scrutiny, from her ankles to her neckline to her myopic blue eyes—not to mention the ever-changing parade of hairstyles that friends say reflects creative restlessness and enemies read as a symbol of somebody who doesn't stand for anything.

...And while the white-hot anger she once felt toward the media has since hardened into a pessimistic resignation (with a dash of self-pity), she's convinced another campaign would inevitably invite more bruising scrutiny, as her recent comments suggest. Public life "gives you a sense of being kind of dehumanized as part of the experience," she lamented a few weeks ago to a Portland, Ore., audience. "You really can't ever feel like you're just having a normal day."

That, right there, is evidence of the very dehumanization Clinton describes. If she feels bad, for even a moment, about being subjected to a ruthless campaign of smears, exaggerations, and outright lies, drenched in vile misogyny, casting her as a monster at every conceivable turn, then she's indulging in "self-pity."

The implication being that she should just be willing to take it. That it's just the price she has to pay for her public service. That it's all fair. That if she reacts to that like any human being might, she's self-pitying.

Any hint of expression that she is harmed by, or made angry by, an onslaught of fuckery designed specifically to hurt her and derail her career, for reasons entirely separate from legitimate criticism of a national candidate, is acknowledged only in sneering asides that reiterate the pernicious narrative that she sees herself as a victim.

What a neat way for media who victimizes her to distance themselves from the emotional consequences of their unethical behavior.

This reprehensible emotional policing, of the same sort that happens to President Barack Obama all the time, denying them—each members of marginalized populations—the ability to express a full spectrum of human emotion, is the most basic form of dehumanization. Humans have emotions.

And if Clinton communicates any upset with the way the press mistreats her, she's self-pitying. While if she doesn't communicate any upset, she's a robot.

Can't win. Can't fucking win.
"She wants to be president; she doesn't want to run for president," another Clinton veteran told us. "The worst part of running for president for her, clearly, is dealing with the press."
Irrespective of your feelings about Hillary Clinton, that should be profoundly concerning. Viable candidates for the US presidency should not be discouraged from running because the press is so personally destructive that it might not be worth the emotional cost.

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