"when the drama starts to hit the fan/raise your voice but not your hand..."--Keke Wyatt
I've self-identified as a feminist since my teens. While I have some ideas that are more traditional than your average textbook feminist, I am fundamentally someone who supports the equality of the female gender and the rights and ability of women to do nearly anything a man can do (yes, sometimes better).
However, there are times when I shake my head at "those feminists"--not "us feminists", but "those" feminists--the hardcore factions of the group that are not only humorless, but also physically incapable of picking their battles. I've felt this way for a long time, but when I received an irate (and lengthy) email from a lib women's group today about a moronic game that some likely bored, AWM conservatives have invented in which the objective is to "slap" Hillary Clinton, I'd had enough. The email had a decidedly feminist bend--because of course to have all these Republican men sitting around slapping Hillary Clinton in their head is a brand new thing that must be immediately abolished.
First of all, it's a game--and a dumb one at that. Who thinks it fun to sit in front of a computer pretending to slap someone they don't like after the age of 10? Second of all, it's the GOP. A game, in the rawest sense of the term, is identified as a "pastime" or "source of amusement". Most people affiliated with the GOP, in the rawest sense of the term, are identified as dicks. Have they as a collective not proven that they will mock, denigrate, and otherwise abuse fellow Americans based on race, sex, creed, class, and a number of other inexorable demographic classifications? Why is anyone still trying to chastise them for simply being themselves?
You can't silence a Rush Limbaugh, a Sean Hannity, or an Ann Coulter. They're the tools from high school who got louder when people started paying attention to their inane ramblings. They're the kids who petitioned the administration for less disabled parking spaces and a White History Month celebration. At some point, you have to acknowledge who these people fundamentally are and allow them to congregate and complain amongst themselves with their solipsistic opinions and their pertinacious discourse.
Why does it matter ladies? Why are we wasting your time writing an email about this? Why are we wasting my time skimming an email about this? The anger over something this infantile is beyond anachronistic; there was a time when headbands and hairstyles and quibbling over Tammy Wynette lyrics were par for the course in regards to the Clinton gang, but that time is past. Fast forward and Hillary Clinton is poised to be the first female major party nominee for the Presidency of these United States, and she is one tough cookie. Trust and believe she's not for spending 30 minutes drafting an indignant mass email about something this stupid. Hillary has learned to pick her battles; if she went after everyone in the public sphere who disrespected her, she'd never get any real work done. And if she borrowed her supporters' ears to complain about every little slight, she would lose their support.
If the base wants to get people riled up for Hillary, talk about what she's doing, not what's happening to her. We care decidedly less about what these men--who have always and will always despise HRC and everything she stands for--think about her, because we already know how they feel. Not to mention it's far too early in the game to be feeling insulted, because when Hillary wins the Democratic nomination, we will all be shocked at how low these folks can go. Hillary Rodham Clinton has clearly decided to be someone who keeps her eye on the prize, not someone who gets side-tracked by the puerile recreational concerns of the Far Right.
Now, make no mistake: If she could somehow maneuver this little "game" into a political issue to be used strategically in her quest to win the White House, she would certainly do that--and that is a win. But it is a loss for everyone who cares about women's issues when we become symbols of the very thing we're mocked for [stereotypically] being: nags and hags, sitting around bitching and moaning about respect. The times call for real discussion about real issues affecting women. Who cares about this stupid game when women cannot legally carry tampons into the Texas Capitol Building?
The 'Feminazis' get one thing absolutely right: "they" are afraid of women. They're afraid of our power; they're afraid of our assembly, they're afraid of our vote. But let's take notes from Hillary and be serious contenders, focusing on the things that matter. Let them slap Hillary. Because if we know anything about the 'fairer' half of the Clinton power duet, it's that she'll come back up, swinging.