I can’t imagine this will actually stop many trolls from attacking the writer instead of the piece, but in case anyone wants to jump immediately to the comments to complain about another Hillary Supporter maligning an industry to excuse her candidate’s failure, I’ll remind everyone I wasn’t really a Hillary supporter. I’m not really that big of a fan of the Reputable Clinton. Except of course when she’s being a bitch. I love Bitch Hillary. And on behalf of Hillarys both Bitch and Non form, I say: The media owes Hillary Clinton a big fucking apology.
But let me back up to state that The Late Show did address the Matt Lauer firing upon their return to the airwaves, and it was brutal and glorious.
So Lauer’s treatment of Clinton seems pretty fucking gross in light of his firing, huh? I mean, before it seemed like he was being a dick, and trying to prove how “tough” he can be on powerful figures by acting like a dickwad at every possible turn. But now, given the blatant level of disdain he’s shown basically every woman he ever came into contact with, it seems particularly vile that he treated her with such disrespect. It was almost like he was telling us with his words and actions that he doesn’t think very highly of women unless they’re serving one of his specific needs. Go fucking figure.
And of course, it would be unfair for me to make a sweeping generalization about how all media treats women based on the actions of one player. Or maybe a couple of important figures. Or maybe at least six other high level, powerful men who have been shown to have patterns of abusing the women around them, and excusing the behavior of other powerful men. Or maybe, oh shit, it’s almost like those in charge of the news are also in charge of the narrative, and they get to decide who’s a bitch or not. Even when the women being labeled bitches are actually only seen as bitches because our sexist society demands that women always behave cheerfully and friendly even in the face of our own abuse. Yay!
But because sexism is a tricky, multi-layered shitshow, it gets complicated. Yes, it’s true that Hillary’s actions are critiqued more often and more harshly than a man’s would, giving rise to her bitch title, but also, she’s kind of a bitch. (Again, I say that with love and admiration. I love a good bitch.) She’s a bitch because we live in a competitive society that demands people be “tough” in order to be successful, and because people are actively coming for her.
Quick example: Yesterday I completed a training through work that will prepare me for hostile environments, in case I ever need to travel to the field offices in dangerous countries (because Internal Auditors are the new Jason Bournes). One of our last activities was to travel through a government checkpoint in a possibly unfriendly country. The rules were to listen to the soldiers manning the checkpoint, follow their directions, and don’t allow anyone from the group to be separated or moved somewhere by themselves. After the activity was over, the actors playing the soldiers agreed unanimously that I was “the biggest pain in their ass.” I was adamant that no one moved from the cars or room to room without at least one buddy. I literally pushed doors open to prevent people from being isolated. I was a bitch, and I wasn’t planning to stop anytime in the near future. So the perception/reality of my actions were influenced by three different things. One, I was being aggressive. This is fact. Two, because I’m a woman, my aggression was probably seen as being a much bigger societal break than if I were a man. Three, I had to be an aggressive bitch because dudes were trying to sneak women away for kidnapping and raping reasons. See how shitty that is? I have to be a bitch to get shit done. People see me being a bitch to get shit done, and are all, “Dude, what a bitch.” But, most importantly, the shit I had to get done was making sure that other people weren’t being horrifically violated, because that’s the shit some people do to women.
So Hillary was a bitch and was portrayed as much more of a bitch than she really is all while people were actively coming for her. The industry built to hold people in her position accountable was filled with men who actively believed they can treat women any fucking way they want to. It wasn’t just that people disliked her because she is a women. It’s because she was a woman dealing with a group of people who actively mistreat women. She made it through that, and the worst people could say about her was, “She didn’t let SexMonster Matt Lauer interrupt her as often as he would have liked to.” Everyone in media owes her an apology. Because sure, she might be a bitch, but given what she went through, she might also be a saint.