Here Lies My Anger

Last night on Twitter, the Resisterhood tweeted [moving GIF in link]: "Just watching the 'Hillary has nobody to blame but herself' hit pieces roll in from journalists who spent all of 2016 writing about emails."

I went off on one from there.

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.

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