Can We Spell Misogyny?

Okay, we all know what Donald Trump thinks of women. But how widespread is sexism, and how much Hillary-hatred does it explain?

A recent article in the Huffington Post was titled, “Stop Pretending You Don’t Know Why People Hate Hillary Clinton.”

It began

We go on endlessly about how “untrustworthy” she is, while fact checkers rank her as the second-most honest prominent politician in the country. (And her opponent as by far the least.)

We say that she has trouble with transparency, while her opponent refuses to release his taxes and the current administration sets records for secrecy.

We decry her ties to corporations and the financial industry, while supporting a walking tax shelter or mourning the exit of a president whose re-election was funded by a record-shattering Wall Street haul.

We list so very many explanations, all of them complete bullshit.

The remainder of the article (okay, rant) points out that for every accusation leveled at Clinton, similar or far worse behaviors have been exhibited by male politicians, many of whom are widely considered to have been excellent public servants.

The truth is, Hillary Clinton is held to a wildly different standard than male politicians–even when you discount the fixation with her clothes (pantsuits!), her voice (annoying!), her laugh (too shrill!) and other attributes that rarely merit mention when the politician is a man.

As the author noted,

When the Bush administration was discovered to have erased millions of emails illegally sent by 22 administration officials through private, RNC-owned accounts, in order to thwart an investigation into the politically motivated firing of eight US attorneys, just one talk show covered it that Sunday.

When Mitt Romney wiped servers, sold government hard drives to his closest aides and spent $100,000 in taxpayer money to destroy his administration’s emails, it was barely an issue.

When Hillary Clinton asked Colin Powell how he managed to use a Blackberry while serving as Secretary of State, he replied by detailing his method of intentionally bypassing federal record-keeping laws.

Gee–I wonder what the difference is….

Talk about your double standards: as Clinton is expected to walk an impossible line, we learn that, among his other sexist and predatory behaviors, Trump wanted the restaurants at his golf courses to fire women he found insufficiently attractive. If there was any doubt, the recent disclosure of the taped discussion with Billy Bush made it abundantly clear that, in his opinion, females are merely for decoration, sexual gratification and (inconveniently) procreation.

How dare one of us run for President!

As many of the readers of this blog know, I ran for Congress in 1980. Relatively few women had been candidates, even by that time, although the men who ran for public office depended mightily on the women who staffed their campaign offices, stuffed their envelopes (we actually used snail mail back then) and handled the nitty-gritty of campaign work. I can attest to the double standard that was applied, and to the patronizing attitudes even of many who supported me.

That was nearly 40 years ago. You would think we’d have made more progress.

News flash, misogynists: These days, being President or Congressperson or CEO rarely requires the ability to pound your hairy chest after killing large animals or capturing a mate. What today’s political or commercial jobs require are skills that are as– or more– likely to be found among us “weaker sex” females: intelligence, yes, but also a penchant for collaboration and compromise, an ability to learn by listening, and a genuine concern for the well-being of others.

So–all you men who are uncomfortable with a loss of male dominance and privilege–Get over it.


  1. “So–all you men who are uncomfortable with a loss of male dominance and privilege–Get over it.”

    In addition, I suggest that all women who support male dominance leap into the twenty-first century and take control of their own lives.

  2. Golda Meir; “A leader who doesn’t hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader.”

    Dilys Lainge (Scottish poet); “Women receive the insults of men with tolerance, having been bitten in the nipple by their toothless gums.”

    We, who watched the second presidential debate last night, witnessed Hillary Clinton displaying both of these incredible quotes by strong, incredible women from our past. She remained poised, respectful and responded to questions put before her.

    We AGAIN watched Donald Trump display his train-wreck political platform system as he spent the entire debate disrespecting Hillary, the two competent moderators, both political parties and this entire country by pacing around the stage and at times lurking over Secretary Clinton. Evidently he listened to those who warned against his constant interruptions during the first debate. This is Misogyny and Chauvinism at it’s worst and at the highest level of egoism by this country’s current leading Republican public figure.

    Trump is running as a “public figure” and purported to be a Republican by the GOP – some Republicans say they are pulling their support but have not come outright to say they will NOT vote for him. There is a difference; intelligent Americans recognize it as it continues to happen no matter what “The Donald” says or does. The question has been put to the public, should the GOP pull him out of the election at this late date. That is illegal; Trump knows this and states he will not remove himself, the only way this can happen. The GOP caused this national situation and are being forced to ride it out to the end. What that end will be is still unknown; what is being forgotten by too many in this country is the fact that the outcome of state level elections is just as vital as the presidential if we want to regain a working government.


  3. I’d like to thank Steve and Anthony for being the first to respond to the blog this morning. Some of the best feminists are men.

  4. This election is the most exasperating display of misogynistic idiocy it simply blisters my brain. I’m unable to write a coherent sentence these days from the weight of the stupid.

  5. Sing it, sister! I am post-menopausal, but this campaign has felt like a bad case of PMS for an entire year.

  6. Donald Trump is for real folks. The Republican Party has created a space for a MONSTER, and “The Donald” has taken the space and is running with it. Adolph Hitler took over complete power within 30 days after being elected. “Hitler’s Thirty Days to Power: January 1933” by Henry Ashby Turner, Jr. (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., 1996)

    Trump has to make his BOLD moves now, knowing that he can’t consolidate his power immediately after winning the election because President Barack Obama will still be in power for another 60 days.

  7. If women were the ones who were more physically strong and thus fought the physical fights of the tribe, then they would be the arrogant rulers mocking the weakling males who dared to seek power. The ugliness lies in the human spirit, the result of evolution in a harsh and unforgiving environment. Transcendence is today achieved by the most intelligence among us, while the uneducated and less gifted remain stuck in evolved gender paradigms, also unable to grasp their own mental inadequacy.

  8. Personally I think that Republican rumor mongering courting deplorables is a better explanation than sexism but only because I believe it explains a larger percentage of their cult.

    There isn’t an institution in the world today that can afford to discount half of the brains in the world. Or even one if it’s the right one.

    We give founders lots of credit for America and no question they gave us a successful launch but democracy has been won by progressives working and sacrificing decade by decade.

    We will not go backwards.

  9. So there is no way a male voter might just not like Hillary’s very right-wing foreign policy and trade positions? I am a big Elizabeth Warren supporter, wanted Glenda Ritz for governor, and will probably vote for Jill Stein. But no, I must just be a mysogynist who is uncomfortable with women in positions of power.

    Hateful rhetoric can come from either side of the aisle. Careful about making inflammatory generalizations about those with whom you probably agree 90% of the time. I read your blog regularly and know you are better than this.

  10. Revealing prejudice is not in my opinion typically hateful rhetoric but factual observation. People are or aren’t evidenced by their behavior towards others.

    If one isn’t then claims of prejudice just don’t apply but that doesn’t mean that they don’t apply to others who demonstrate it by behavior.

    There are many who are prejudiced but choose to behave otherwise. Claims of prejudice simply don’t apply to them either.

    We must be held accountable for our behavior because it has consequences for other people.

  11. Irvin – If you don’t know what Pete and Marv are talking about, you are part of the problem. But don’t worry – there are many of you out there. Some won’t even show up on Election Day.

  12. Donald Trump is the logical extension of the loss of civility started by Newt Gingrich, accentuated with Karl Rove, with resultant hate and divisivness amplified by Rush Limbaugh and his Fox News acolytes. ….

  13. I voted!

    Trump is done.

    I’m just afraid for my fellow Americans because when he loses, he’s going to announce it was rigged. What then? Violence and Riots in the Streets?

  14. AgingLGrl; if Trump wins he will set free the full violence of his supporters in celebration. If he loses; they will be in the streets rioting, looting, burning and echoing his claims that the election was rigged. I do NOT see this election ending peacefully whoever wins; it will not be a landslide and will be either a recount or a contested election. Our hopes need to be placed on state level elections; our prayers need to be with Hillary and the civilized American people.

    And Sheila thinks she has a jaundiced outlook on the world we live in!!!

  15. AgingLGrl,

    “I’m just afraid for my fellow Americans because when he loses, he’s going to announce it was rigged. What then? Violence and Riots in the Streets?”


    “AgingLGrl; if Trump wins he will set free the full violence of his supporters in celebration. If he loses; they will be in the streets rioting, looting, burning and echoing his claims that the election was rigged. I do NOT see this election ending peacefully whoever wins”

    That’s the reason we have to STAND UP TO POWER NOW. Maybe just maybe, misogyny is his ACHILLES HEAL. He must think FEMINISM is dead. That’s just not the case. Not yet at least.

    We all have prejudices. I have to admit to mine. It’s that women are as strong as men and maybe stronger. I mentioned to you before that my long-time companion was a great feminist. My prejudice comes from being with Barbara up until the end. Barbara had Parkinsons with Lewy Body. Over her last years, she trusted me enough to handle her short term memory which is mostly lost with Lewy Body. She was a feminist to the end. She had me in contact with the Women’s Center in Jacksonville one hour before her final attack came. During her last week, I made the statement to her that our only chance was with women. Her reply was, “I’m proud of you.” She never said that to me in all our terrific years together. We were finally in complete political UNITY.

    In my condo, I have an art collection from World War I and II. Included is a bronze clock from the 30’s with a man on one side and a woman on the other, holding up a banner over an eagle, reading UNITY.

    The problem for feminism has always been the lack of access to the male power structure. That’s not necessarily the case when men and women are UNIFIED.

  16. Marv, human history had reached the point where full collaboration is simply required. There too many of us too closely connected and too collectively informed for anything else to work.

    We’ll either figure out how to do that or accept chaos.

  17. There is a fine line between being completely crazy and pure stupidity. Thank God I am no where close to going over that line. To my Republican friends who have crossed over – enjoy the journey.

  18. Marv; a powerful statement at 1:02 p.m. You and your Barbara must have shared a mentorship as well as a partnership and obviously much love. You were lucky to have found one another in this world, in this country, in these times without peace. Thank you for sharing parts of you life together with her; it gives me hope that finding a soulmate is still possible.

  19. Pete,

    “Marv, human history had reached the point where full collaboration is simply required.”

    The following is from “Let the People Know” by Norman Angell (New York: The Viking Press, 1942) p. v:

    “Indeed, the underlying proposition of the book is that the war has come upon us because we have rejected the elementary social truth upon which all humane society is based, namely, that the most primary right of all–the right to life, the right not to be killed and tortured–can only be made a reality by the general fulfillment of an obligation of men [and women] to defend that right on behalf of others. The community as a whole, men [and women] collectively, must defend the rights of each to life, or that right cannot be defended at all. Individual defense is in the long run a physical impossibility. If each individual–whether individual person or individual nation–takes the position that he will fight for his own life but not for others, then any VIOLENT MINORITY can, by ganging up, subdue a vast majority, for it can apply “the simple and deadly plan of one by one”: ten men [or women] can overcome a thousand if each of the thousand says: “I will fight for myself alone.” For in that case the ten do not face a thousand, they only face one–one at a time.”

    I thought you would like this as it confirms your excellent post. By the way, Norman Angell was an earlier recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

  20. Pedant, did you by any chance happen to read to whom my question was addressed?
    Secondly I don’t know who you are Pedant. but I have been a voting and informed citizen of our country for many years. I did my duty in the military and tried to teach hundreds of high schoolers the importance of government and economics. Have a jolly day and a merry christmas to you. Don’t bother to answer. 🙂

  21. Marv: “Donald Trump is for real folks.” Is Donald for “real folks” (not likely) or is he “for real, folks”? (also not likely). There are differences!

    The semicolon (;) is also misunderstood and many times used incorrectly. Many, many times!

    Read Lynne Truss’ “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: A Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation”.

    I think “we got this,” but don’t dare breathe until November 9. Later than that when Hillary actually wins. Trump won’t go down to defeat easily. Bet on it!

  22. Marv,
    I’m sorry to have never had a chance to meet your Barbara. She sounds lovely. I’m sorry that her end was met with such pain and heartbreak to you. Sharing her memory is a wonderful testament to your devotion, love and unity. May she rest in peace in her sleep.
    Peace to you for sharing her with us.

  23. Before we leave the subject of misogyny, I thought we should all remember the attempt to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

    Which States Did Not Ratify the ERA?

    North Carolina
    South Carolina

    I sense a pattern here. Am I the only one?

  24. Marv: You’re a dandy! That last ‘Folks’ sentence is spot-on! I always enjoy your posts!

  25. I agree with both the professional and lay diagnosis that Trump is a hopeless narcissist. Now that we know of his view that women are pieces of raw meat to be drug by the hair out of the cave by Ugg Glugg, it appears that he has another mental defect to go along with his reflection in the water (or is that a sub-component of the narcissistic defect?). If elected and he goes to a NATO or EU trade conference in Berlin, for instance, how is he going to have a dialogue with the heads of Germany and the UK, now both led by women, since he has labeled them “pigs?” See any problems, diplomatic and/or otherwise? Parenthetically, he has neglected to advise us that he and his corporate and banking interests are the ones who lobbied congressional patsies for the internal revenue code provisions that make him rich by losing with the result that you and I who pay taxes are paying for the military, pure food and drugs etc. while he and his rich buddies ride the gravy train, complaining of “high taxes” all the way to Zurich.

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