A few weeks ago, I posted some pro-Hilary articles on my Facebook page. I assumed that the large part of my Facebook friend population consists of left-leaning, democrats or otherwise who respect my intelligence and would be up for a friendly debate. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
First of all, I don’t think most Bernie supporters are assholes. Most are thoughtful people who just happen to prefer a more ideological platform. What’s not to love about Bernie Sanders? However, since I avowed my pro-Hilary stance on Facebook, I have had to block and restrict more vitriolic comments than ever before. I’ve not only had my own intelligence and reasoning attacked, but have had to delete attacking comments towards my Berkeley aunt WHO VOLUNTEERS TO GET ARRESTED FOR CAUSES. She bristles if I call her “liberal” (she prefers “progressive”) and accuses me of “not doing anything to change the world.” She also prefers Bernie Sanders in an ideal world. (No sarcasm meant on the word “ideal”). The point is it got unnecessarily ugly on my FB page. It’s one thing to insult me, but leave my 70-year-old aunt alone!
Jesus. What the hell? Are we on different teams? I could understand this hysteria if I supported for Trump. But the fact that we all want the same things (economic equality, health care reform, the protection of women’s rights) makes these attacks unreasonable. And about something else.
I have been accused of voting for Hilary based on gender lines. I don’t ask Bernie supporters, “Are you AGAINST Hilary because you’ve internalized the ubiquitous message that power and ambitious women are shrill, evil demons?” From the legions of comments I’ve read (on other articles), it’s becoming clear that a Bernie-loving stance could be the perfect guise for hiding a deeply harbored misogyny. (And women can be misogynists, too).
Weirdly, among white liberal people, supporting Hilary Clinton seems risky, alternative, or as this article says, a “subversive act.” She’s not a glamorous candidate, she doesn’t make you feel better than anyone else. She’s not a perfect candidate or a perfect democrat. But a “lying “war monger”? Yes, she voted for the Iraq war, but it only takes one lazy Google search to find out how she felt at the time. Does a war monger say things like, “This is a difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make. Any vote that may lead to war should be hard…” She has the best truth telling record of any Presidential candidate of 2016. (If you don’t have time to click on the link, this is written by a little known reporter named Jill Abramson.)
As this great piece pointed out, to support her, is to “empathize” with her. Which I don’t have a hard time doing. She’s taking huge bullets for Team Powerful Women. I think about all the smirks, eye rolling and condescension I have endured in my less than stellar career. I sorely lacked Hilary’s resiliency and fortitude. I cry and wimp out when my writing is rejected. Boo hoo. Poor me. This woman has been attacked for decades for the color pant suit she wears. And for aging. Ladies, we will all be there if we aren’t already.
When Gloria Steinem faced a torrent of backlash for telling Bill Mahr that young women vote for Bernie Sanders because “they were going where the boys” I couldn’t believe that stripper-loving Bill Maher got off scott-free. He set her up. But we live in a world where women are taught to tear each other down, where men routinely paint women as shrews and hags, where the biggest crime is not to be attractive.
Even if I didn’t believe she would make a phenomenal president (and I do). I would still pay respects to anyone who has endured the hate and still kept going. It only seems to make her stronger.