Today in misogyny, we're all consumed with which women in the political landscape need to be thrown out.
The fights over Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert and Liz Cheney (not to mention Speaker Pelosi and AOC and Ilhan Omar and still Hillary, always Hillary) are giving political cover to really bad actors. All of whom are men.
The fights over these women and their views and their votes and their guns make it seem as though the political landscape is so chock full of women that we can spend all our time debating their sanity and their veracity—and maybe even get around to their policy.
(Spoiler alert: The political landscape is not chock full of women.)
So not only is this red herring damaging to women currently in office, it sends a clear warning to those women who might have contemplated a run, who might be contemplating a run. Flashing red lights. Look what happens. Look what we do to the women who come here.
Meanwhile, over on twitter, there are multiple reminders from patriotic Americans who support the Constitution—Democrats and Republicans alike—as to just who needs to be held accountable for the lies that led to the violence that killed 6 people on January 6, 2021.
There are only two women on this list. Yet, somehow the two women are the only two people we're talking about.
Liz Cheney is not even on the list—and she's the only one to face any consequences at all. She's also been the focus of practically every news cycle since January 13th when she voted for impeachment.
The national news trend finally reached peak WTAF yesterday with her censure from the Wyoming GOP. (We'd include links for this, but where would we even start? It was in the WaPo, NYT, LATimes, The Hill, CNN, Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, Politico, MSNBC, OAN, New Republic, The Bulwark, Slate, Casper Star Tribune, the twitterverse, all the places we haven't mentioned. Because it was *literally* in all the places.)
Couple of points on this.
First off, it was widely reported (because it was in the resolution to censure) that she would need to repay the funds the state party had contributed to her campaigns. Reader, you should know that these contributions are $0. If you would like to help Rep. Cheney, you can contribute $0 today to help repay her debt.
Second, the Wyoming GOP, as with so many facets of the GOP, is largely dominated by men. These are also largely unelected men. Which results in this:
Reader, we submit that these unelected men feel emasculated that a woman not only represents them but also is among the most powerful people in the US Congress. And, even more than that, among the most powerful people in their party. Apparently, feeling emasculated is a real problem. It also appears to be a political prop and a rallying cry of the alt-right. (See this, this, and this for more on that.)
Third point, which goes back to the point of this essay: WHY ARE WE ONLY TALKING ABOUT THE WOMEN?
(And, yes, we are yelling now.)
When women take crazy positions (see: MGT) or principled stands (see: Liz Cheney), we cannot stop talking about them. Yet, men do these things all the time. Witness, Rand Paul all day every day everywhere. Josh Hawley all day every day everywhere. Yes, they get press. No, they do not get consequences. (See: Donald Trump forever and ever.)
Because systems of power are still built by and for men, controlled by men, and function in service for and deference to men. (White men, specifically.) (Wealthy white men, even more specifically.)
Or, as this guy says more succinctly:
We seem to be singularly comfortable vilifying women, calling them hysterical and crazy, questioning their emotional and mental fitness for power and elected office. We don't do the same with men. Or, when we do, it does not have the same effect. They don't suffer the same consequences—censure, stripped committee assignments—if they suffer any consequences at all.
Remember, Josh Hawley started this whole thing. Josh Hawley who has both written and said some things that have a tenuous relationship with objective truth. Josh Hawley who has been unrepentant in his position. Josh Hawley who we're now more likely to talk/hear/read about in somewhat reverent tones, about the striking trajectory of his ascent in conservative politics, about his likely future run for President.
Blaming the women functions like close up magic. Don't look here! (At Josh Hawley or Donald Trump, for example.) Look HERE! (At Marjorie Taylor Greene and Liz Cheney.)
So when we start talking about the "crazy ladies", we need to be really, *really* clear that we're not also contributing to a misogynist project of pushing women out, foreclosing future possibilities for women, and papering over the (many) misdeeds of the (many) men in elected office.
FFS. No sooner had we posted this than one of the Men on the List impugned one of the Women We Mentioned. Look for yourself.
ADDENDUM TO THE ADDENDUM
Turns out, not ~fin~.
There's more. (There's always more.)
Over on Culture Study, Anne Helen Petersen just posted a piece about the (alleged? anticipated? likely?) end of Armie Hammer. More broadly, she is writing is about handsome, wealthy, white men in Hollywood when she says: "The leeway afforded these men is unceasingly astounding."
Yeah, we're over here talking politics. But. Same, same.