America really, really hates women

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Getty Images

I have a laugh like Hillary’s — a loud, open-mouthed, unladylike, boisterous laugh that sometimes makes people stare at me. My laugh is not an attractive laugh. It’s not cute or girlish. The world, apparently, hates that. The world hates loud, unapologetic women who persevere despite relentless efforts to shut them the fuck up. Especially ones who can still laugh along the way, unwilling to be silenced and stifled by the hatred fueled by patriarchy. (Indeed, when learning femininity people are taught to quiet their laughs to a polite giggle, covering their mouths or simply keeping their mouths closed entirely. Those learning masculinity, on the other hand, are encouraged to laugh loudly, mouths open, unapologetically. In other words, men may laugh freely and authentically, whereas women must aspire towards invisibility and silence, stifling any and every natural impulse they have.)

Hillary Rodham, as pointed out by Samantha Bee, was forced to become Hillary Clinton in order to make the patriarchs more comfortable. America tried to pound the authenticity — the real Hillary — out of her, only to punish her for being a “fake politician robot” when authenticity suddenly became cool.

Of course, the reality is that there is actually nothing women can do that is right. Because they are women. They are always doing everything wrong — they are either too slutty or too prudish, too nice or too mean, not assertive enough or bitches, too fake or too real, too young or too old, too loud, too driven, too smart, too dumb… Regardless of the details, the problem always comes down to too much vagina.

 

Women who are real, who say what they think, and who don’t back down are nasty, mean, lying, hysterical, delusional bitches. LOL! A woman?! Not caving to society’s demands that they sit down and shut up? You must be insane. We are supposed to be weeping quietly, crumpled on the kitchen floor, not cackling away joyously. Not surviving. Not persevering. Not fighting harder. Not winning.

Hillary may well not have been your feminist dream girl, but let’s not kid ourselves: she was not so widely reviled because of her politics (she’s hardly any different, politically, than the much-adored Obama) — but because she is female. She was hated in specifically sexist ways.

This tough-ass, unshakeable woman was not only forced stand on stage and debate a sociopathic, abusive, racist, childish, lunatic rapist (who was likely appalled, himself, at having to share this particular stage with a woman — one who he considers unfuckable, at that), made to face the fact that this is a man people would choose to vote for instead of her, but she lost to this man. American voted for a white supremacist nazi buffoon instead of a qualified, intelligent female candidate.

This was the first time American women had been able to vote for a female president. This was a big deal. And I am so heartbroken for my American sisters. But even more than that — I am heartbroken for all women. This election has taught us that most people truly don’t care about sexual assault, about domestic abuse, about male violence, and about dehumanization. They will put men who call women fat pigs, slobs, and dogs — men who brag about sexual assault — into the White House. Because who really gives a fuck? It’s just women, after all. And let’s be honest: we’re used to this shit. So used to it we don’t even see it as all that bad.

Hillary lost, not because she was a bad candidate, but because she is a woman. White men won this election. Fear won this election — fear of the “other,” fear of losing power, jobs, money, guns, property, and privilege. Hatred won too — of minorities, refugees, people of colour, and, of course, women. The absolute unwillingness, on the parts of white Americans, to consider a woman as president won. Even women voted against themselves — for a man who doesn’t see them as equal, never mind human. Who, quite frankly, hates them.

Misogyny comes from the left, the right, and the middle. It comes from those who should be with us. It’s not just the overt sexism that won this election — the kind of stuff that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth — but the attitudes of our leftist “brothers” who couldn’t stand Hillary’s voice, face, smile… Who could pontificate about how evil she is and have little to say to their friends who call her “shrill” or “unlikeable” or a “bitch.” Little to say when they call me or you any of those coded slurs that bros know they can get away with. Less to say about Trump than they do about “That Woman.” Misogyny thrives across the political spectrum. Men would rather vote for a rapist than a woman. Women still think they can gain a sliver of power and safety by stepping on the necks of other women. I wonder if they, too, are afraid…

I can only hope that this nightmare inspires solidarity. That we will struggle together. That we will seek strength and solidarity among our sisters — not from the men who abandon, abuse, rape, insult, and hate us. That we choose to fight, not to panic and grasp at our husbands or boyfriends or at god, not bury ourselves in feelgood rituals and self-help books, not choose denial as a coping mecanism. That we finally get angry. We need to get really, really angry.

This time, misogyny won. And we need to recognize that before moving forward. No more excuses.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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