My take on the U.S. election this week.
“To all the women…who put their faith in this campaign and in me…nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.” —Hillary
It was Germaine Greer who asked us what is so special about Hillary Clinton. Well I can answer that. Hillary Clinton has wanted to be president of the United States more than any other human in the history of the world and she has done everything in her power to achieve that aim. She has used every tactic, she has changed outdated approaches, she made sure she had and displayed all the requisite skills. Within her field, when she was told little girls can do anything, she decided “Well, I will do the hardest thing” and she made every effort possible toward that success. She compromised, she endured the unprecedented taunts and ridicule of men (in and out of the press) and she faced public humiliation from her stupid reckless husband.
She displayed a level of long term focus the world has rarely seen. Even if you hate Hillary, you must give her that. Donald Trump said it himself. I happen to believe, if she was allowed to preside, she would have done what she had always covertly threatened to do – turn the electoral focus on a fair start for all children, make advances for women in health care, and turn the nation toward local economies. You may disagree. What you cannot disagree with, is that Hillary Clinton wanted that presidency and she had been carefully steadily and precisely working toward it for decades.
Which is why she had to be stopped. My feminist friend and I had been watching Hillary Clinton’s rise since she was FLOTUS. We adored her. Not because she is without flaws, but because she is so incredibly smart at working the system, and we wanted a hero who knew how to work it better than a man. Hillary Clinton is not male appropriate. She is hated in the same way Fifty Shades of Grey was hated. There is something powerfully on the nose about women who genuinely refuse to pander to male narratives. Michael Moore suggested Oprah for a good candidate, and while I think Oprah would have been successful against Donald Trump, the reason for that is that she represents a style of “femaleness” that is male approved. Hillary doesn’t. She is hardworking, politically astute, smarter than every man around her and likely to have a hidden agenda. Hillary shamelessly wants to succeed. I adored that she was hated. For me, it was evidence of her potential for subversion. Proof that she was dangerous.
However, when the republicans chose Donald Trump to run against Hillary, I knew in my gut it was over. My boyfriend was horrified and amazed. He kept asking how did it happen, why did it happen, and who could take this man seriously. But I knew. It takes rape and violence to keep a powerful woman down, and they needed to go back to basics to defeat this woman. People argue that Bernie Sanders could have beat Trump, but Bernie Sanders would never have gone up against Trump. Ted Cruz – or anyone else – would have been chosen. The republicans would never have pitted Trump against a respectable male. But they needed a man who knew how to punch a woman in the face till the blood stopped her talking, a man who could deny any accusations against him as irrelevant, and a man who could comfortably lie, cheat and steal his way into the White House. They knew this, because that is how men have always defeated women. Hillary was a master of the system, and they needed to change it out from under her.
Now we are left with this carry-on about middle-America being sick of globalisation (!) but that’s just more leftist pandering to obfuscating narratives. There is nothing new in the rise of Donald Trump. He represents the same old system that has always been beating women till they bleed. He acts like my best friend’s father, the men I work with, the man who raped me, and many of the men in my life that have formed and shaped me. He is my normal, as are the trolls on social media threatening the lives of anyone they disagree with. He certainly doesn’t represent a new system or any sort of change. He represents a long term established old world order that we keep pretending has gone away. If he is impeached or magically becomes a socialist or treads water doing nothing till he is elected out (the anemic leftist’s narrative is suggesting all these things) it won’t matter, because he has done his job. His job was to make sure little girls know they can’t be president of the United States, and he’s achieved that.
But he has done something else. He has taught feminists like me that the battle is not the one I thought. He has taught me patience gets us nothing. He has taught me that every time I relax into a system that hates me, I am complicit. He has taught me that this battle is more essential than I ever dreamed. He has taught me how desperately important it is to him and his followers that I don’t succeed. He has exposed his and other men’s fear of me. He has taught me that it is worth blowing up a political party, a political system, and a history that has served him perfectly just to stop me. He has taught me that every aspect of our system is corrupted by the patriarchal narrative and that all of it strives to keep me powerless.
Thank you Hillary Clinton. You are still my inspiration.
An excellent article from Michelle Goldberg in XXFactor supports my views above with more examples and commentary. Check it out here.
Gloria Steinem: “When you look at the predictors of whether a country will be violent within itself or whether it will be willing to use military violence against another country, the strongest predictor is not poverty, or access to natural resources or religion, or even degree of democracy. It’s violence against females,” Steinem says. Check the full article here.