[Content Note: Misogyny.]

Because I am the brokenest of all broken records, I have been pointing out over and over the reprehensible cycle that accompanies Hillary Clinton's possible candidacy, which we've seen before during her Senate candidacy and her presidential candidacy in 2008. First, it's that Hillary must run for the good of the Democrats; then it's that Hillary is definitely running, long before she announces; then it's that Hillary is such an uppity bitch for thinking she's inevitable; then it's that Hillary's entitlement is giving possible male candidates the sads; then it's that Hillary needs to take her boobs and go home. And that's when the real misogyny starts.

I have been documenting this exact pattern surrounding Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 presidential campaign for months.

This weekend, I snapped this pic of a segment teaser on the crawl for ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the host of which, you may recall, knows Hillary Clinton personally and well, as he was a key White House adviser and strategist during Bill Clinton's administration:

image of my TV screen with a crawl reading: 'COMING UP: 2016: Can Hillary Be Stopped?'
Hopefully Obama will appoint a Hillary Czar.

Again, I will note that one doesn't have to like Hillary Clinton, as a candidate or even as a person, to be concerned and angry about a female candidate being discussed like she is a monster or a natural disaster.

It is, of course, eminently possible to have the same discussion without this framing. "Is Hillary Clinton the strongest candidate?" "Is Hillary Clinton destined to win?" "Can anyone thwart Hillary Clinton's chances?" Et cetera.

Naturally, the discussion is not without its inherent problems, in that it presumes she's running. But, setting that aside, there are ways to discuss Hillary Clinton's alleged "inevitability" without asking if she can "be stopped," like she is an unnatural force, inhuman, a thing that needs to be stopped.

There are even plenty of ways to discuss the fact that maybe a Hillary Clinton presidency isn't a great idea—too hawkish; too corporate-comfy—without saying that she must be stopped, as opposed to her potential candidacy.

As ever, there are people who argue that this is just the language of politics, that it has nothing to do with her womanhood, that This Week and the rest of the media use the same language around male candidates.

Setting aside the fact that it's debatable whether this language and its entire context is used around male candidates, the reality is that it doesn't matter even if that's true, because male candidates and female candidates are not the same.

There are words and ideas and tropes and narratives that, when used in discussions of male candidates, do not have the capacity to demean in the way they do when used in discussions of female candidates.

If anyone has a problem with that, they need to take it up with the purveyors of misogyny, who endeavor to make that so.

I certainly can't speak for all women, but, personally, I'd happily trade meaningful equality for what misogynists call my Playing the Gender Card and what I call being exhaustingly obliged to constantly deconstruct this marginalizing, harmful, rage-making misogynist garbage.

And I don't defend Hillary Clinton because I imagine she gives the tiniest, infinitesimal little shit about stuff like this anymore. She couldn't function if she did. I defend her because that's how feminism works.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus