Hilary Clinton, sexism, and fighting sexism

I was tentatively hopeful last year that America would finally put a woman in the Oval Office. November dashed that hope, but I take some comfort from remembering that the majority voted for the woman. But as Echidne of the Snakes points out, sexism made a difference (Rebecca Solnit has more). Including pre-election arguments that Clinton winning wouldn’t matter to regular women: she’s just a routine politician, and putting women in office doesn’t benefit women anyway. So no big. And at the same time, she’s held to higher standards than any male politician (as I’ve pointed out myself).

Plus we have two decades of right wingers painting as a hybrid of bin Laden, Lex Luthor and D&D’s Demogorgon. Several Trump supporters have said they despise her for not condemning Clinton’s infidelities, but if she had done so the script wouldn’t change. Instead of the bitch who destroys other women to further her ambitions she’d be the bitch who betrayed her spouse to further her ambitions.

Electing her wouldn’t have mattered to women? Seriously?  She’d promised to axe the Hyde Amendment, which bans any federal spending (Medicaid, say, or federally subsidized ACA insurance) on abortion. The House has just voted to make the amendment permanent (it had to be regularly renewed before). And Trump has reinstated a rule that bans money going to family planning groups overseas if their services include abortions or abortion counseling (at the link, the Dutch government announces an international initiative to make up the funding). And in fact he’s made it worse, applying not only to groups that provide family planning but any medical aid (mosquito netting, vaccines, childhood nutirtion programs). Not to mention possibly cutting grant programs that fight violence against women. But who cares? It’s biased to say Republicans have gone off the rails.

•Women protested Trump this weekend, and right-bloggers have freaked out (I know, they always do) that the women’s protest marches outperformed Trump’s inaugural address. Concern troll columnist David Brooks is shocked, shocked and appalled that the women were addressing the wrong issues — reproductive rights, affordable health care, equal pay — when the important matters are “balancing the dynamism of capitalism with biblical morality.” Because capitalism is under siege and that’s much worse than worrying about women’s rights and “identity politics.” Besides, real change has to come through legitimate political parties, not street protests. Brooks always wants people to work that way, even if it doesn’t get results. Because we must accept the superiority of our leaders. And our leaders must impose unity top-down — we can’t have a united movement rising from the streets.

•Jere are some of Jezebel’s favorite protest signs.

•After the march organizers passed on including a right-to-life group, people objected feminism should be a big tent. Samantha Field agrees it should — but draws the line pro-lifers who want to restrict abortion and birth control because that gets women killed. She has another post on protesting to change culture, not just the law (more examples here).

•One woman who claimed Trump assaulted her is suing him for defamation, for saying he lied. And Christopher von Keyseling, a Greenwich, Connecticut town official (and Republican) has been charged with grabbing a woman’s crotch and telling her he no longer has to be politically correct about such things. An assault von Kesyersling apparently admitted to in his legal response (it was just a joke! Why does everyone have to be so PC?)

•But never mind, according to the right-wing Acculturated, Ivanka is such an awesome mom she proves feminism is bullshit. Or something like that. Fortunately, as Quartz points out, women’s magazines have been covering serious issues for a while now — it’s not just Teen Vogue. I particularly liked the point about the sexism implicit in assuming that fashion articles and serious writing can’t possibly be compatible.

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

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