Early Tuesday morning, a statue depicting a mostly naked (save for a thong) Hillary Clinton popped up outside Manhattan’s Bowling Green subway station. The statue depicted Hillary with a contorted, yelling face, cloven hoofs, and a “Wall Street banker rested his head on her bare breasts.” It lasted less than three hours before some seriously pissed off women tore that shit to the ground.
I didn’t want to include any images of the statue (it’s Googlable), but the video over at the New York Daily News is worth it to see the women ready to tear to pieces not just the statue, but any asshole trying to defend it. It shows one woman— with another standing by her while MANY others stand around watching and filming— knocking over the statue and refusing to let what appears to be the douchebag artist and another asshole put it back up, even going so far as to sit on the piece at one point. The images in the video are NSFW and totally fucked up, obviously.
“This is obscene!” shouted the woman, an employee at the nearby National Museum of the American Indian who would only identify herself as Nancy.
“To put something up like this in front of my work place…I shouldn’t have to see this,” she later told the Daily News, fighting back tears as she gestured toward the crude figure.
Not long after, the statue was removed since the artist didn’t bother to get a permit. No one was arrested.
I’m sure some of you are thinking that following the naked Trump statues erected in multiple major cities earlier this year, turn around is fair (if gross) play. I’m going to call bullshit on that.
The Trump statues (titled The Emperor Has No Balls) featured a fully naked Donald with a small penis and no testicles. Many people found it a funny, if obscene and eye-poisoning, jab at Trump’s overly proud thin skin. But it also drew criticism from everyone who wanted Trump taken down on the basis of his words and ideas and behavior, without resorting to body-shaming.
Is this statue the same thing? No, it most definitely fucking isn’t.
For one thing— and this isn’t a support of the Trump statues, but merely stating at least one perceived intention of their conception— Donald’s nudity seemed to be not so much a mockery of his actual body, but a displayed view of him that would offend him (not us) most: with such exposed vulnerability, missing masculinity in the only form he understands it, being laughed at all over the country. I may be projecting, but that’s what I HOPED the artist intended.
With Clinton’s? Depicting women as vulnerable or exposed by removing their clothes doesn’t exactly have the same effect, BECAUSE THAT’S BEEN THE LAZY, UNWELCOME GO-TO FOR LITERALLY EVER. Showing an unflattering image of a naked Hillary Clinton is not the same as that image of Trump. Exposing a powerful man’s body in an unflattering way has infinitely different connotations than doing the same thing for a powerful woman. Even in a flattering way, there’s a reason why no one tries to hack the phones of hot male celebrities. A take-down does not look the same for the genders.
Also, if you think the “male gaze” is something that only exists in Women’s Studies textbooks, kindly fuck off. Would anyone have thought to put a female figure into that naked Trump statue? Of course not. It would have muddied the message. But to truly take down Hillary (as these assholes see the task), there needs to be a male figure pressed right up against her breast. Sure, it’s meant to symbolize Wall Street corruption teet-sucking, but it’s also undeniably about a man leering at Clinton’s naked breast. Because that’s the only way that idiots like this “artist” and the man in that video defending him, know how to do “symbolism.” It’s total bullshit, and the falsest of equivalencies. Our hatred of Trump is universal. But this sort of hatred of Hillary can only be properly conveyed by including a man— any man, any nameless man, leering at her breast.
This isn’t art. It’s a young man trying to frame his hatred of a strong woman as some sort of statement. But it’s not. It’s just obscene misogyny. And good for these women for refusing to be told they have to take it.