Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Election 2016 Fallout Parts 5 and 6: On Misogny and White Women

(5) On misogyny.

It is true that more people voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, which gives me hope. But hoo-boy the poetic (in)justice of the system not protecting us from a predatory man governing us without the consent of the governed.

The misogyny of Trump and many of his supporters could fill volumes. I will grieve for what Hillary Clinton (and we, vicariously) had to endure, probably for the rest of my life.  And to lose, in the electoral college anyway, to this man?

Donald Trump is a privileged, predatory, incompetent man who fell up. His vastly-more-qualified female opponent was pushed down while doing everything in high heels, backwards, and over towers of double-standards.

When you see enlightened dudebros in your lives doing their hot takes about how Clinton was the wrong choice because she was "the establishment candidate" you can tell them that when Rape Culture and Patriarchy are two of this county's most enduring establishments, electing Hillary Clinton was never "the status quo" option.

(6) On white women.

Jeeeeesus, the intersections on this one.

This loss is largely on white people, who disproportionately supported Trump while minority groups rejected him. We also saw white women voting against their own interests for a racist misogynist candidate.

Despite that, I also refuse to demonize white women more than white men.

I mean, really, the pieces that instantly came out about white women "selling out the sisterhood"? Yeah, they did. And people are surprised by this why, again? Oh, right, because nobody fucking listens to feminists, that's why. EVEN THOUGH it's the sad lesson from The Handmaid's Tale (1985): The very worst, most patriarchal, racist dystopia would not exist without the complicity of privileged classes of women.

Men alone cannot make racism and sexism "work." It is always a tangled knot. Forgive the circularity here, but many women hate women because women are hated. White women have a long history of benefiting via their kinship and marriages to racist, misogynist white men. It pays to be a cool non-feminist girl, for a time anyway. ("Trump can grab my pussy," boasted one Trump supporter, who both completely misunderstands the consent element of things and perhaps thinks her offering will insulate her from even worse misogyny than what she sees around her, inflicted on "other" women).

And this sweet, fresh hell in The Nation? In it, the author argues that white working class women in particular rejected Clinton because Clinton spent too much time cozying up to Lena Dunham and Big Feminism, whatever the fuck that is, when she should have been promoting:
"...[A] robust economic agenda focused on women’s needs: a $15 minimum wage, universal child care and pre-K, paid family leave, free college, and tough laws that crack down on wage theft and guarantee fair scheduling and equal pay for women."
You know, the very policies Clinton supported, to varying degrees, had anyone in the media stopped talking about her emails for 10,000 straight days and actually fucking covered them.

Sure, everyone has their theories about whose fault this is.

What seems clear is that white men are almost completely being given up on as people who can contribute to the electorate as anything other than angry beings who must be coddled and centered lest they elect nightmare authoritarians to make life hell for everyone else.

Example: An actual think piece in The New York Times, which I won't link to but is titled "The End of Identity Liberalism," sneers at the "failure" of liberalism's "narcissistic" "identity politics." Here's my summary of this piece and the dozens like them I've seen: As Trump fills his cabinet with KKK-supported white guys, white guys everywhere think liberalism has failed them because liberals talk too much about race and gender.

And so, the twin narratives about white people are that we ought to empathize with white male feelings of aggrievement while being disgusted at white female complicity. That, my friends, is just another fucked-up misogynistic fallout from this shit-show of an election that I refuse to indulge.

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