This makes twice in as many weeks that a mega-star of the Democratic Party has implied that women who opposed Clinton not only committed gender treason, they did so because they’re too subservient to the men around them. And not just women in the general election either. Hillary herself said in mid-September, citing something Facebook honcho Sheryl Sandberg had told her, “women will have no empathy for you, because they will be under tremendous pressure — and I’m talking principally about white women — they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for ‘the girl.'” She continued, “we saw a lot of that during the primaries from Sanders supporters.” Even the most progressive of progressives, the Bernie fans, can’t resist bowing to the patriarchy when the chips are down, apparently.
These are the things you tell yourself, I guess, when you don’t want to admit that scandal and coziness with Wall Street and lack of charisma and a half-assed midwestern strategy — all matter under your control — played a bigger part in your failure than sexism did.
I realize Trump’s personal history, starting with the “Access Hollywood” tape, makes him a special case in ye olde “How could white women vote for a Republican?!” debate. But imagine a man purporting to tell the mass of America’s women voters a la Michelle Obama here that he knows better than they do what their electoral interests are.
“Quite frankly, we saw this in this election. As far as I’m concerned, any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice,” Obama said.
“What does it mean for us, as women, that we look at those two candidates… and many of us said, ‘That guy? He’s better for me. His voice is more true to me.’ Well, to me that just says, you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like,” she added, referring to President Trump.
“You like the thing you’re told to like?” She’s not even accusing women who voted for Trump of having bad politics. She’s accusing them of being soft-headed and servile. Put that patronizing sentiment in, say, Paul Ryan’s mouth, in any context, and it’s a story for days.
Here’s Hillary talking to MSNBC a few days ago about women at Trump rallies “publicly disrespecting themselves” by supporting sexist sentiments aimed at her. That idea, that legitimizing sexist attacks on any woman will legitimize them against all women, is sturdier than Obama’s point. “Do they not see the connection?” she wonders. This too, though, I think is offered in service to the broader Democratic belief that women who backed Trump are guilty of blindness or stupidity instead of reckoning with the hard reality — that women, like men, were stuck with a choice between lousy candidates and went for the one who might serve their interests on balance slightly better than the other would. Oh well.
Hillary Clinton on sexism: "It is still not viewed as the serious threat it is to women's aspirations" https://t.co/IuUXpcOjhU
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 23, 2017