Dear Feminists: Hillary Didn’t Save You
Feminists didn't need Hillary to instigate a major cultural conversation, even change.
The Handmaids’ Tale. Worse than Saudi Arabia. Decades back in time.
These are all things America became after Donald Trump was elected President, according to mainstream feminists.
By mainstream feminists, I mean the ladies who mourned Hillary Clinton’s loss like the death of their own mother. Like Katy Perry, who wrote this worshipful ode to Hillary the “Phoenix” and her fire-lighting powers. The women who dramatically changed their hair as one does after an ugly break up. Or gave up dating because Trump won.
We’d been told Hillary would ring in a new era of women’s empowerment. Under women-molesting Trump and his slithering, sexist, dines-only-with-his-wife sidekick Mike Pence, women would get beaten into the dark ages of rampant misogyny.
But they were wrong.
A Feminist Moment in Trump’s America
Right now, we’re experiencing a major cultural moment. A feminist moment, if you will. That moment is #MeToo.
The former president accused of rape and impeached for lying about sexual impropriety has long scampered freely behind feminism’s petticoats. To conservatives, it was obvious and despicable. Just as it was obvious and despicable that Hillary campaigned on female empowerment while shoving his accusers aside. Most despicable was that her worshipers allowed it.
But not today. Today, American men and women are examining whether their own conduct — including who they voted for (or defended in an op-ed) — is up to par.
Costs and Benefits of #MeToo
Of course, there are dangers with #MeToo. Some will undoubtedly latch onto the movement’s coattails for attention. Some will use it to smear good men. But many are not out to smear or get attention. They’ve been actively avoiding attention. But as the New York Times wrote last month, “Harvey Weinstein’s Fall Open[ed] the Floodgates in Hollywood.”
And not just Hollywood. Now, more and more women — and plenty of men, too — are gaining the courage to come forward with stories of how they were abused. Serial predators who roamed free for too long are facing justice. Hopefully future victims will be emboldened to speak up sooner. Hopefully their would-be assailants will think twice.
Things aren’t perfect. There are still swaths of people who refuse to believe anything bad about their hero. No matter how many women come forward. No matter how credible their claims. But in a big way, people are listening as women say, en masse, “Me, too.”
If She’d Won
Trust me, I’m not lauding the greater motives of whatever-wave-this-is-feminism. Most of modern, mainstream feminism is a crock.
My point is that feminists didn’t need Hillary to instigate a major cultural conversation, even change. They’ll never concede this, though, because they put their hope in that one woman. Moreover, in one idea: that a female in the White House would be the pinnacle of female equality. That feminism would arrive as soon as soon as a woman took the helm.
Imagine if Hillary had won. The Weinsteins, Spaceys, Halperins and Louis C.K.s would not have quit their nasty habits. They’d still be celebrities at Democratic fund-raisers, posing for pictures with the new feminist president herself. Everything Hillary did “for women,” like push abortion and contraception, wouldn’t stop them from abusing women.
Were Madame President perched comfortably in the White House, mainstream feminists might not even be angry enough for #MeToo. They might be too busy toasting to her long and happy reign to deal with the real problems that persisted despite her ascendance.
They sure as heck wouldn’t have the gall to admit their failure in the Bubba department.
Will feminists like Katy Perry argue that Hillary inspired them to make change? Sure. And in a way, that may be partly true. But when it comes down to who’s doing the changing, it isn’t Hillary and it isn’t the White House. It’s a few women who finally had the courage to come forward, and a few million others who joined them.