by Jessica Mason McFadden
I’m going to take a moment to deliberately not be nice, for the first time on Gender Focus. It’s time to get mad, again, about the archaic scapegoating of women-who-serve-as-public-officials in the guise of slapstick comedy.
If you haven’t already heard, Hillary Clinton is, once again, on the dark side of the news without having done anything to elicit it. A Republican Super PAC, “The Hillary Project,” self-proclaimed as “the only thing standing between Hillary and the White House,” has revived a “Slap Hillary” game that allows “players” to make a Hillary-head speak with the click of a button, and to slap her with another click. These are the only two options in the game. Make her speak and slap her.
The game is simple. Disturbingly so. But there is nothing simple about the message that this game sends about and to women and girls.
Proverbial “slapping” of ambitious women is old, stinky, mothy, moldy hat. Hat with a big hole and fist full of misogyny through it. There is nothing poignant, clever, or funny about it. Anyone who slaps, even virtually, a woman in earnest or in humor has made a cowardly, unfortunate choice. One with many consequences.
Since when is it okay to invoke a visual rhetoric of violence in order to … wait, I’m hard-pressed to even guess as to a motive. It’s certainly not to promote a political position, that’s for sure. As a matter of fact, it has nothing at all to do with governmental politics. Let’s call it what it is: what’s we’re dealing with is the politics of misogyny, plain and simple. Take the donkey vs. elephant element out of this because that’s the guise misogyny’s hiding behind.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and trust in my personal ethics enough to believe that most rational people who read this article will find themselves in agreement. For starters, people should not be slapped for being outspoken and staking a political or intellectual position. Not Palin. Not Clinton. Not your mother. Not your sister. Not your daughter. Not your brother. No one. If you’re truly angry, then find a productive, non-violent, non-bullying way of expressing it. Advance society rather than devolving it. It can’t be that hard to talk about issues rather than slapping people, right?
Sometimes we need to growl that collective growl, and let loose a big: Humanity, get your shit together! Read more