In my twenties, I once debated the electability of a woman vs. a black man with a friend. We decided that a black man would get elected before a woman in this country. As Sady Doyle so brilliantly pointed out in this awesome piece, it sucks to be right.
Liberal white men loved voting for Barack Obama. For many micro-brewery, plastic-frame wearing white dudes, that election healed the burden of guilt they didn’t know they had and made “post-racism” seem like a real thing. Do I need to point out that Hilary Clinton has not had such an effect? The powerhouse, hardest working, most experienced, steel-willed woman in politics still has to (as of this moment) fight to beat the lazy Superhero of White Male Contempt and Hostility (I have yet to hear the proper description of T**p…to call him a Cheeto-faced lazy bigot seems generous). Because unlike racism, prior to this moment, and maybe not even them, sexism has never been a thing anyone feels guilty about. In fact, before 2016, sexism hardly existed.
But thanks to the demon child of America, the man whose name I will not say, misogyny and sexism now has a neon Vegas-style sign that blinks and blinds and, like the empty Vodka bottles found in the trash or the credit card statement with charges to strip clubs, the problem has undeniable hard proof. T**p’s Yosemite Sam-meets-Hitler level of a caricature has illustrated misogyny’s place in America in a way that any Susan Faludi op ed could not. He’s the gift feminism has waited for. A less multi-dimensional Dr. Evil whose message you can not ignore, dismiss or defend. He’s the Ghostbuster’s Staypuft Marshmallow man-proof women needed and no amount of smooth mansplaining can make him go away. Women who have fought and struggled in politics, finance, technology, medicine, or while cleaning hotels (also, a must-read!), don’t have to ask themselves if maybe they just are a little too sensitive, not a “team player,” or PMS-ing. JUST LOOK AT THESE TWO CANDIDATES SIDE BY SIDE AND DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS.
You did it, America! (And you did it for xenophobia, racism and anti-muslim/mexican immigrant sentiment).
My friend pointed out the patience with which I address male friends on Facebook who politely ask in my comments about Hilary: How can I justify her support for the war Iraq? How can I support her treatment of Bill’s accusers? How can Hilary can support Louis CK’s sexist endorsement (cuz she’s a politician!)? All semi-reasonable questions and, yet, set up to challenge or somehow wobble me, like we’re sitting in a conference and I meekly brought up an idea that will get swatted like a lion’s tail on a fly. She’s right. Sady Doyle is right. I don’t have waste my life answering any more questions, just look at the election of 2016 and use your atrophied empathy skills. We no longer need to justify our battle fatigue anymore. THAT TIME IS OVER, BROS. GO HILARY!