Wil Wheaton has a post on his blog entitled “Hillary Clinton: the psycho ex-girlfriend of the democratic party,” and there’s really nothing more you need than the title to understand what the post is about.
I’ve seen altogether too much of this from Obama supporters; not just sexism, but also bitter derision and gloating.1
My message to Obama supporters such as Wheaton: Stop it. If you’re so sure Obama has won, then it’s time to start acting like smart winners. We can’t win in November without the nearly 50% of Democrats who prefer Clinton to Obama, and every unnecessary word you write that dismisses, alienates or otherwise pisses off Clinton’s supporters is a word that helps John McCain win in November.
I’m not saying to keep silent regarding substantive disagreements, but if all you’ve got is sexist jokes and sneering mockery, then do Barack Obama a favor and shut the hell up.
Wheaton ends his post with this:
And allow me to just head something off right now that’s already come up on Twitter: I’m not sexist. This isn’t sexist. That’s a stupid straw man, and if you try to make that claim, I will point and laugh at you.
Is it not sexist because it’s mysogynistic instead?
Is it not sexist because it’s funny?
Is it not sexist because it’s a metaphor that speaks to you?
So. Those were all questions. Here is a statement:
“Dude. You don’t get to decide what’s sexist.”
Here’s a reason to think that it MIGHT be sexist. You can g’an and point and laugh, but I’ll take this seriously for a second just to see where it goes:
The metaphor evokes a trope in sexual politics, that of the irrational girl who cannot accept that a relationship is over. Labeling, categorizing, pigeon-holing someone in this way “he’s a geek, she’s a slut, he’s a pig, she’s cow” is at once appealing to a fragment of truth, and also making the target controllable.
If they are controllable, they are marginalizable. And they can be dismissed. The problem with controlling and dismissing Hillary using a trope from sexual politics is that it moves her from the realm of discourse and debate into the realm of sex (as in “getting it on”). And labeling her as batshit crazy in an ex-girlfriend sense means that she is not only sexualized, but her sexuality can be controlled.
And that’s the heart and soul of sexism.
But I can understand if you didn’t really want to engage anyone on this. It is a funny piece, and sometimes maybe we want to hang on to the things we like even though someone else might think they’re inappropriate.
According to U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, she may be starting to more closely resemble another famous movie character: The psycho lady played by Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction.”
When asked about whether Clinton should drop out of the race on Fox 13′s “Good Morning Memphis” program today, Cohen said: “Glenn Close should have stayed in that tub.”
Rep. Cohen, would you please GET THE FUCK OFF MY SIDE!!!
(Curtsy: Talk Left.)
- And yes, I’ve seen plenty of bitter derision from Clinton’s supporters for us “Obamabots,” as they charmingly call us, but that’s not the subject of this post. [↩]