Come endless streams of mundane rubbish.
That is to say, Trump's win reinforced for me that women live in a state of subordination to men and, in a trend most definitely related to this condition, we also see no shortage of corresponding white male opinions regarding what women and people of color ought to now be feeling, thinking, or doing in response to the Trump Administration.
Cultural misogyny, and widescale gaslighting about it, is a key reason why the Women's March, held the day after Trump's inauguration, was the largest protest in US history. It is also a key reason that women, rather than men who consistently fail to understand these conditions, are, and should be, leading resistance efforts.
And yet. According to the Women's Media Center's latest report (PDF), men receive 62% of byline and other credits in print, Internet, TV, and wire news. Men account for three-quarters of the guests on the big five Sunday morning news shows. The Op-Ed Project in a 2012 report entitled "Who Narrates the World?" found that only 20% of articles in Legacy Media were written by women. Legacy Media included The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
So yes, who does narrate the world, and what exactly are they narrating?
What's abundantly clear to me is that many white men, including those with hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and/or op-ed space at major media platforms, do not understand the Trump discontent as they sit on their perches of presumed, detached objectivity and scold women and minorities for engaging in identity politics, instruct us to not call people bigots, act "stunned" that a man as incompetent as Trump could have won, suggest Chelsea Clinton shouldn't use Twitter because it's "bad for the Democrats," suggest Chelsea Clinton should never run for office, and demand that we empathize with Trump supporters so they can live happily ever after.
All of this advice, scolding, and bloviating brings me to perhaps the worst take yet on the 2016 Election although, yes, the competition is very, very stiff:
Just as Trump continues to treat Clinton as his arch rival, so too do many male commentators along the political spectrum. It's as though, whew, she came close and maybe in their heart of hearts that scares many men in a profound way! Political commentator Josh Barro earlier this week went on a clueless Twitter tirade about why he didn't want to ever hear from Hillary, Bill, or Chelsea Clinton again. (Clinton haters can never decide if they hate her more for being silent during the resistance or for speaking out. Such a conundrum! Just see what sticks, I guess.) Per Barro, Hillary supporters are clueless "fans" who think she's a "saint" and who therefore "label every criticism of Hillary 'sexist.'" She was, to him, a "bad candidate" who ran a "bad campaign." And that's that. A man said it, that settles it.
There's such a grotesqueness to what Barro claims, given that no one. Literally. No. One. Thinks Hillary For-All-Her-Faults Clinton is a saint. Many of us, particularly feminists, simply think she's a human being who is entitled to decent, humane treatment in the public sphere. I can see how some men might get that confused.
Men like Julian Assange, an accused rapist who has fled legal process, are treated as heroes by segments of the left and right. Men like Mel Gibson and Casey Affleck can smile on camera live from the Oscars, and one of them can even win one, and that's liberal Hollywood for ya! And, of course, there's Trump himself, a man who has admitted to sexual predation, who nonetheless rose to the very top.
We see every day, repeatedly, that white men get to be imperfect and still succeed in life because they are widely recognized as human beings and, well, humans make mistakes. Humans are sometimes good and sometimes bad. Yet, that Clinton supporters demand that a decent woman be treated decently, like how even the worst of men are treated in the public sphere, and a man like Barro sneers that we've turned a "bad candidate" into a "saint."
We see this dysfunctional narrative whenever we have a candidate other than a white man run for office: the candidate is a target of bigotry, we point out the bigotry, critics claim that those who call out the bigotry are calling all criticism bigotry, and therefore nothing at all is bigotry, really. There's this facetiousness about it, as though thoughtful people don't concede that a politician can be both flawed and a target of bigotry and that, sometimes even, the two are inextricably intertwined.
The "supporters label every criticism sexist" narrative is so fundamentally rooted in misunderstanding, so insulting of people's intelligence, and in the end serves only to benefit the white male candidate. The implication always becomes, Isn't the white guy the one who is truly at a disadvantage here, since he can't play the bigotry card?
I would like to turn the tables here and offer a word of advice to white male political commentator/advice columnists.
If you don't understand many women's discontent right now, and let's be real you probably don't if you're inclined to render any of the above unsolicited helpful hints to women, then listen more, to women. Listen especially to Black women, as they significantly rejected Donald Trump (and also disproportionately rejected "It's not good enough for someone to say 'I'm a woman'! Vote for me!'" Bernie Sanders, a statement by the way, that no female candidate has ever said in the history of the universe, the multiverse, and the upside-fucking-down).
Instead of lecturing from elite media platforms about elite liberals living in elite bubbles who supposedly lack empathy for "ordinary white people," why don't you—white male pundits—try getting out of your white-male-discourse-only bubbles and go on a listening, reading, and empathy tour. Because newflash: Many women already have empathy, and had you known anything about our lives you'd know that empathy is already conceived of and ingrained in many women as women's work.
Start viewing women as your intellectual peers, rather than as people who require your mediocre "devil's advocate" insights, "unpopular opinions," and edgy hot takes.
And what if, just hear me out, you started amplifying voices of people who aren't white men? Related: What if you started following more women and people of color on Twitter? What if you invited more women and people of color on your shows and podcasts and brainstorming sessions?
What if you sought to understand other people at least as much as you sought to be understood?
Maybe then you might come to understand that many people's support for Hillary Clinton is not unsophisticated, ignorant, or a result of millions of people having a Bad Case Of the Neoliberal Sellouts, but is instead informed by our many, varied lived experiences that differ from your own.
So yes, let's do examine who narrates the world and what exactly is being narrated.
You see, right after the flawed-yet-extremely-qualified Hillary Clinton lost the electoral college to an abusive, incompetent, and misogynistic man, she set her own pain aside for a moment and sent this message out to little girls: "Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world."
Like Clinton, I want little girls to believe that. But men, I want more than that. I want little girls to know that you believe that, as well. So please, think harder and think more about what you are saying, or not saying, in furtherance of that narrative. And please, listen to women, especially the ones who refuse to coddle your comfort zones.