Last night’s Hilary v. The Patriarchy Horror Show left me feeling like I had witnessed a college freshman in the first week of school barely escape a rape-y fraternity unscathed. Hilary is no freshman, but by the end of the night That Guy (I can’t even call him by name) felt like he could have been a stand-in for the creature in “Predator.” This “debate” triggered my PTSD from 1) every job where I have had to explain myself to a White Sociopathic Misogynist Male (WSMM) who begins sentences with, “Let me tell you something…” and 2) felt myself in physical danger.
There’s no reasoning with guys like him. There’s no discussion, debate, or conversation. Every time I have tried to explain myself to a WSMM, whether he’s a boss-man, or just an aggressive type, the unspoken understanding in our exchange always amounts to the same thing: testosterone, manhood and white skin “trumps” everything else. Underneath the “words” is the tacit assumption, “I will crush you”
I always felt like these men looked at me in confusion, like, “How could you not know that I will win?” In the end, none of the battles seemed worth it and they really weren’t. Women doing great work leave advertising, technology, medicine or any field all the time. And I wasn’t doing great work. Nor did I care that much about it. Perhaps, if I did, I would have stuck it out. But maybe not.
But in Hilary’s case, it IS worth it. She knew, perhaps at an early age, that she did have the “stamina.” (Which he seemed to give her credit for last night by saying that she “doesn’t give up.”) She also has years of working with white men in politics, the necessary armor to withstand threats, anger, “words” (SHE KNOWS WORDS), not to mention, a non-stop media barrage of negativity on her character, life, professional work, and husband. But she, the mightiest of women, must have still had to suffer some delayed reaction to the toxicity of standing a few feet from a lying, probably violent, large WSMM who appeared, to me at least, to want to harm her. Trump could have given some tips to Jason or Freddy Krueger (ok, so who are the new local murderer guys? ). I thought maybe a Secret Service Agent should step in. In other words, THAT WAS SOME DARK SCARY SHIT.
I felt sick as I watched the debate last night and couldn’t shake the feeling till today. She really didn’t display that much vulnerability, as she launched into standard policy talk…and, yet, she looked like little bird, doing her best to ignore the danger.
Did she even need to show up? Would it have hurt her campaign to say, no thanks, we’re good? Hilary, take a bath in white light and cancel the next debate. You got this, girl.