Hillary Sexism Watch, Part Wev in an Endless Series

[Content Note: Misogyny; dehumanization.]

Sometimes, when in one of the many posts I write as part of this series I note that Hillary Clinton is routinely dehumanized as a monster, someone pops up to accuse me of being hyperbolic.

It is not hyperbole.

To wit: This column (to which I'm not linking, but you can find it easily enough if you are so inclined) at The Hill, which is about how the Republican presidential field is awesome and Carly Fiorina is the awesomest, headlined—I shit you not—"Carly vs. Godzillary."

screen cap of the top part of a column by Robert L. Hugins headlined 'Carly vs. Godzillary' including the first two paragraph, which read: 'Let's see, while the Democrat contest for president in 2016 is shaping up like the classic Bambi Meets Godzilla cartoon (perhaps better re-titled Bernie Meets Godzillary), things on the GOP side are looking downright, well, diverse.  Democratic even. An up-by-his-bootstraps black neurosurgeon is running.  A woman secretary-to-CEO has announced.  Two first-term Latino U.S. senators, one of whom is bilingual, are running.  A former governor, married to a Mexico native, surely will announce, presumably in both English and Spanish. A Midwestern Reagan-wannabe governor obviously is campaigning.  An evangelical ex-governor from that place called Hype, er, Hope is in, too, as is a sometimes-libertarian U.S. senator.  Others are expected.  In sum, the emerging GOP race is wide open, featuring a range of interesting candidates.'

Hillary Clinton isn't just any old generic monster! She's GODZILLARY—a towering, epic, city-destroying mega-monster who must be destroyed for the salvation of humankind!

This monsterization—and the oft-attendant language that Clinton must not merely be democratically beaten but destroyed—was a constant theme of her 2008 campaign. I documented more than 100 incidents of public misogyny unleashed on Clinton, many of which were along these lines. Almost exactly seven years ago, Julia Keller wrote a piece for the Chicago Tribune documenting and deconstructing this violent strain of misogyny directed at candidate Clinton:
Revealed in the coverage of Clinton's campaign is the persistence of an ancient and distasteful cultural theme: the powerful, ambitious woman as cackling fiend, as fantastically terrifying ghoul threatening civilization. And because this creature (or "she-devil," as MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews called Clinton) is not human, the only solution is to kill it. Not just derail its career—obliterate it. Smash it to smithereens. Vaporize it. Leave not a trace of the foul beast behind.

Hence the appalling preponderance of violent, death-infused imagery in conversations about Clinton, smuggled into otherwise ordinary political discourse like a knife taped on the bottom of a cake plate...

Death, death, death. The steady, depressing drumbeat continues. What these commentators seem to seek is not just a proud female's withdrawal from a political contest—but her outright annihilation. They evoke the nightmarish vision of a commanding woman intent on destruction—thus she must be destroyed before she can launch her evil scheme.
Even at Slate, a left-leaning publication, the denouement of Clinton's 2008 candidacy was tracked under the title "The Hillary Deathwatch," complete with a graphic of Clinton on a sinking ship, fixing to drown.

And here we are again. Hillary Clinton is no mere candidate whose competency and efficacy should be assessed on her platform and policies. No: She is a monster hellbent on destruction, who must be annihilated.

This is considered acceptable rhetoric to discuss a prominent female presidential candidate. And then we wring our hands wondering why there aren't more women in politics.

[H/T to Tom Watson.]

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