I went off on one from there.
Writing about her emails and asking her variations on the question, "Why doesn't anyone like you?" (Yes, that really happened. Often.) https://t.co/2y59r1lZiX— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
"Why don't people like you? Why don't people trust you? Why is there no enthusiasm for your candidacy?" It was a sickening trap.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
They framed her as a ruthless bitch whose ambition annihilated all traces of any authentic humanity, leaving her unlikable & untrustworthy.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
She knows exactly why voters saw her that way. We all know. But she couldn't answer truthfully. Because it was a cruel trap.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
If she had, she'd have been excoriated for playing the victim, for shirking accountability for her flaws, for complaining, for being weak.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
It's the only thing she could do to avoid days of manufactured outrage at her "arrogance" if she placed the blame, rightly, at their feet.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
Asking questions like, "Why don't people like you?" wasn't about trying to establish facts about her fundamental truthfulness or integrity.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
The persistent and recursive exploration of negative feelings toward Hillary was about shaming her, and nothing more.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
So, yeah. There are a lot of us who are FUCKING DONE with political press who played that sadistic game and now sniff it's all her fault.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
"Let's get back to the Lady Macbeth imagery." A perfect compilation of the history I was referencing. https://t.co/Tdma1MD8Qj— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
This is a central piece of the national gaslighting about which I wrote yesterday. We remember this happening. We understand that it matters. It is not immaterial that a female presidential candidate has been asked, over and over, why she isn't "likable," as if that is a universal fact. As if it doesn't invisibilize her millions of fervent supporters, who like her very much indeed.
As if many of those female supporters don't experience the same damn thing ourselves. Judged on our likability, our fuckability, our willingness to be "nice" in response to harm.
No one holds male candidates to this standard. Trump, now president, with historically low approval ratings, still does not get asked why he's not "likable."
No one asked Bernie Sanders whether he thought his irascible temperament might be a hindrance in a general election. Further to that, no one ever asked Sanders, or Trump, about his palpable antipathy toward Clinton. No one ever posed the question to either of them: "Why do you so obviously not like her?"
It was Hillary Clinton who was expected to answer why it was that people hated her, as though there is a politician alive who isn't hated by some people. And most of them for reasons more concrete and convincing than, "There's just something about her..."
It is not immaterial that Clinton has been publicly and repeatedly asked why people don't like her, why people don't trust her, and sundry variations. Those questions themselves create a narrative. Especially when they exist in a space in which she is never, ever, asked why it is that so many people love and admire her, why so many people are so loyal to her, why so many people see themselves in her.
And the reason why she is not asked those questions is because they aren't designed to shame her. Because they subvert the narrative that she is uniquely loathed.
Because those questions would have made it more difficult for people who undercut her campaign to blame her and excuse themselves.