I've got a new essay up at BNR on Donald Trump's imagining away Hillary Clinton's womanhood:
After both of them solidified their places as their respective parties' nominees, Donald Trump used his victory speech to go after Hillary Clinton: "Frankly," he mused, "if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote."Click on through to read the whole thing!
There's a lot wrong with that statement, not least of which is the embedded implication that being a woman is somehow beneficial in US politics—though the low percentages of women at every level and in every branch of government certainly does not bear that out, not to mention the little fact of our never having elected a female president.
But the most significant, if less obvious, problem with his statement is that it presupposes if Hillary were a man, she'd be the same person she is now—just with a different gender.
And that is fundamentally false, representing Trump's incomprehension of—or indifference to—how culture works. We do not grow up in a vacuum, but are socialized within a context steeped in oppressions that shape us.
I may literally write my actual damn fingers off by the end of this election. But I swear to the fates that I will not let up on calling out Trump on his misogyny and defending Clinton against misogyny when there is so much at stake in this election.