Hillary, Pizza and Witch Hunts

Hillary and witch hunting

Hillary Clinton and witch hunting

“She’s a witch!”

The accusation once moved the masses to mindless fury.

I’d thought we’d outgrown that. Guess not.

It’s not hard to imagine the same folks who shout “Lock her up!” today yelling “Burn her!” a few centuries ago.

Secretary Clinton has been accused of all manner of devilish insanity. And people actually believe it!!!????

A few bullet points from the many offered by MarketWatch:

  • She murdered her friend and White House lawyer Vince Foster
  • She murdered hundreds of other people, too
  • She invested in commodities futures and made money, proving she’s a crook.
  • She invested in real estate and lost money, proving she’s a crook.
  • She mishandled classified State Department emails (except that she didn’t)
  • She has ties to the mafia.
  • She’s plotted to let children sue their parents for making them take out the trash.

And while, “unnamed and unverifiable sources have told Peggy Noonan things about the Clintons that are simply too terrible to repeat” here’s a doozy that’s been repeated a lot lately: Mrs. Clinton is running a child sex ring at a pizza parlor.

A lot of folks actually believe this.

One gullible man even took a rifle to the pizza place to “self-investigate” and started shooting.

Any surprise no abused kids were found?

But opening fire may have traumatized any children who were there. (I know a boy who was deeply traumatized by an armed robbery at a grocery store.)

That gunman should self-investigate why he’s so drawn to witch hunts.

Why aren’t men accused of witchcraft? Or politically skewered?

Why aren’t male politicians skewered nearly as much as Mrs. Clinton?

And why weren’t men accused of witchcraft nearly as often as women?

Probably because in both cases female power threatens patriarchy: a system where men rule and men are more valued.

Those initially accused of witchcraft were those who kept practicing the old pre-Christian religion.

The old religions of Europe were the last remnant of women’s power. In them, both priests and priestesses officiated the worship of gods and goddesses. Women also held power as diviners and healers.

Likely, those more gender-equal religions — and women in particular — were demonized because female power felt so threatening.

Likewise, a woman president would usher in a more gender-equal world.

Many folks think that’s scary.

Which brings us to MarketWatch reason # 66 for why Hillary is demonized:

66. Oh, yeah — and she totally has a vagina.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on December 9, 2016, in politics/class inequality, sexism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Could a man have endured the amount of political skewering that HRC did and still become the democratic presidential nominee? I don’t think so. If that many accusations would have been leveled at a man he would have never been the democratic presidential nominee. No matter if they were true or not. I don’t want to call it female privilege but she did have some type of privilege to get the democratic presidential nomination after that many accusations.

    • Well, people who are attracted to the Democratic Party are people who care very much about equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of gender race or class. So they are much less likely to demonize, and much more likely to recognize that it is just demonization and not real.

      If others are like me they thought that most Americans would recognize that the demonization was coming from a small right wing reactionary contingent. So we nominated her anyway.

      Even now I suspect that the main reason she lost was not focusing enough on her economic message — which was actually much stronger than Trumps. Especially in the last couple weeks when Comey came out with the false accusation (that he later cleared up, but not in time) so she ended up being defensive instead of being able to talk about how she would help working people.

      • I think the main reasons HRC lost was hubris, no one will vote for Trump. Not only hers but the democratic party itself. They choose a candidate with a lot of baggage. I don’t think they would have picked a man with a similar background and with similar baggage over Bernie Sanders. It was because she is a woman.

      • I agree that Democrats were overconfident that he was unelectable. Looking at the numbers of people who believed he was not up to the job compared to those who believed she was, His numbers were very bad. Who would’ve thought that people would elect such an incompetent person? And maybe some people voted for him because they wanted a protest vote, Thinking he wouldn’t actually get elected. Sexism played a role too, as you can see from the fact that she’s very popular when she’s not seeking power, But as soon as she starts to seek power her popularity plummets. And since she was one of the first women to tried to hold power she had been attacked for a quarter of a century, which seems to have made it easier to demonize her. I could be wrong but I suspect that Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t have been as demonized as Hillary since she hasn’t been attacked for a quarter-century — and during a time when people were even more uncomfortable with female power.

  2. “Likewise, a woman president would usher in a more gender-equal world.”

    This is a false assumption.

    Today more than ever women feel they must act just like men. Perhaps society is responsible for women acting as they now do. But, we cannot allow feminism to escape blame. Feminism has taught women two things: 1) to be like men and 2) to downplay their natural feminine qualities. Why? Because that which is feminine is perceive as being weak and undesirable.

    So, in a world where women are increasingly acting just like men (and men are becoming feminized), I don’t see your assertion as being valid.

    I will give you some examples. Studies show that men have a greater sense of equality than women. The more educated a woman is, the LESS likely she is to be willing to “marry down.” Studies now even find that white women are just as racist as white men in their attitudes towards minorities. Lastly, studies also show that educated women tend to view lesser educated women with considerable disdain. Why look at how harsh the female supporters of Hillary Clinton are towards the “uneducated” women who voted for Donald Trump.

    So, I scoff at the idea that a woman president would necessarily usher in a more gender-equal world, at least not here in America today.

    • Well, more gender equal as opposed to less gender equal because of this: people would get more used to the idea of a female leader. Little girls would be raised with a female president which would have a really positive impact, decreasing unconscious bias.

      I don’t doubt that that would be accompanied by backlash as it did with Pres. Obama and race. But having a black president had to have a positive influence on the formation of brains of little children, African American or otherwise.

      I don’t know what you mean by “Women feel like they have to act like men.” Can you give me an example? And how you think it is harmful?

      Researchers tried to figure out what was a masculine versus feminine trait and found that they couldn’t rarely predict weather someone was male or female based on their interests:

      Men, Women not from Mars, Venus
      https://broadblogs.com/2013/02/27/men-women-not-from-mars-venus/
      More typically, people learn to fit themselves to gender roles so that they won’t be teased. Like boys acting “tough” so that they will be respected.

      I do agree that that which is feminine is often perceived as being weak and undesirable. And part of the feminist goal is to appreciate our whole selves — both the masculine and feminine parts.

      Masculine being what any society associates with men and feminine being what any society associates with women, Which varies from culture to culture.

      But being kind and nurturing our so-called feminine traits, Which men are completely capable of. And very positive, good traits.

      The example you gave suggesting that men are more pro-equality than women doesn’t make sense to me. Women are not not pro-equality because they are reluctant to “marry down”? To the extent that that is true of some women, It is equally true of some men. See this for instance:

      Man Chops Off Wife’s Fingers Because She’s More Educated Than Him
      https://broadblogs.com/2013/08/30/man-chops-off-wifes-fingers-because-shes-more-educated-than-him/
      And what lies behind the discomfort in either case is patriarchy: Ranking men over women. When that happens, men tend to feel uncomfortable when their partners are higher ranked than them in money or status, And vice versa.

      Feminism seeks to and the ranking of men and masculinity over women and femininity, Which would make everyone much more inclined to not worry about such things, And men would be happier marrying up and women would be happier marrying down.

      I’ve started watching Netflix “The Crown” which shows the change in dynamic once Elizabeth becomes Queen Elizabeth II.

      When her father became King George it didn’t stress her parents marriage because the wife was used to being “lesser-than” as a woman who lives under patriarchy. But when Elizabeth outranks her husband Philip, this stresses the relationship, And he tries to find ways to gain power.

      Because we are all raised in a racist, sexist society, we all unconsciously internalize it. In studies, blacks often also have a prejudicial views towards blacks, and women often have prejudicial views toward women.

      Some of us have worked harder than others to overcome it. Most people have a strong association of “science” with men, I have a weak association — but I still have that association, which shows my unconscious sexism. While most people, White, black and otherwise, have a moderate preference for whites, I have a slight preference for whites. Better than most, but still unconscious bias.

      What evidence do you have that highly educated women view less educated women with considerable disdain? Their frustration that so many of them voted for Trump?

      That’s not a disdain for uneducated women. But it is definitely frustration.

      I’m an educated woman who is frustrated, But here’s how I see it:

      People who are uneducated have a harder time making ends meet, They are more worn out at the end of the day, And they have less time to focus on political issues. So they are less likely to have paid a lot of attention to the way that different politicians vote, and they are less likely to realize that Democrats are much more likely to vote in ways that help the working class.

      But because Democrats also vote in ways that help people who are even poorer than working-class — and would like to extend that more and more to the working class (but Republicans always block those attempts) you end up with resentment of working class toward poor voters.

      Democrats are also more likely to help Women and people of color. Which creates resentment among white working class voters. A white male doesn’t feel like he is privileged, and if he is working class in many ways he is not, but he is still advantaged historically by being white and male. Historically he has had an easier time getting a union job, For instance.

      Now he can’t get a union job because Republicans are really good at busting unions (look at the way they vote if you don’t believe me). Plus, off shoring and technology have taken away a lot of their jobs.

      Meanwhile discrimination has lessened so that women and people of color are more likely to get jobs. And he feels resentful because he feels like they are taking jobs at his expense. Even though the problem is really things like union busting and technology.

      It works like a charm for Republicans who want to divide and conquer the less moneyed half of the population. Get the working class to resent the poor, women, and people of color. Use racism and sexism to convince them that you are on their side — even as your policies all go against them.

      The one thing I liked about Donald Trump, and even Breitbart, was that it was helping the working class to see that elite Republicans pretty much completely ignore them. If you look at their voting record Republicans pretty much only vote to cut taxes on the rich — which means cutting programs for everyone else, and a desire to get rid of things like Social Security and Medicare — which is on the agenda right now — in order to balance the budget. You could balance the budget by getting the rich to pay more taxes which would help support programs that help the middle class.

      In the long run that would actually help the wealthy because people would have more money in their pockets in sales and profits would go up instead of stagnate as they continue to do.

  3. Discriminate against women happened so often and so long and I even doubt that what we did to the men to be treated as “witches”. In this system “where men rule and men are more valued,” female are limited too much, that we are not right to do the things but at the same time, men are told they should do. Just like education in a famous school, work outside, or be a president. Men and Women are treated so differently since we were born. We are all human beings, we have the same right to have a dream, a same value of life, or a dependent life that women live for themselves, not for the men. What they scared? The truth that women can do the same thing or even better than the men.

  4. Great post, dear Georgia… I particularly liked the part in which you wonder why aren’t male politicians skewered nearly as much as Hillary Clinton.
    Your answer is sadly conclusive: Mainly because “powerful” women threaten patriarchy.
    I have been thinking about this issue after Hillary being defeated in the elections… And I think Misogynist voters counted (and made the “difference”). I thought that USA was “ready” for a woman as Commander in Chief, after the Obama Era… But woefully , I am hinting I was completely mistaken. What scares me the most is the “accusations”, as they seem to have not Solid bases at all.
    Sending best wishes. Happy Holidays! 🙂

    • At least Hillary did get almost 3,000,000 more votes than Trump, suggesting we are more prepared for a woman commander-in-chief than the electoral outcome suggests. But because of a strange history, We have an electoral college that gives voters in more conservative, and more sexist, states a bigger say.

      Happy holidays to you too!

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