BY BEN PENSANT
Donald Trump has done some truly despicable things. From deporting transgender soldiers to mocking a disabled beauty queen, from building a wall around Charlottesville to grabbing his daughter’s p****, there are few depths this dangerous knave hasn’t plumbed in the name of white supremacy.
Yet just when we think he can’t stoop any lower, he horrifies us again with his alarming capacity for perversion. And so it was last week when his latest outrage sent shock waves through college campuses and dinner parties throughout the West.
Because while US pundits were fretting about jobs, hurricanes and the imminent Nazi apocalypse, Trump was pulling off his most disgusting trick yet. No, not pardoning a racist sheriff with a penchant for chain-gangs. Not engaging in a pissing contest with a pint-sized Bond villain fond of launching missiles over neighbouring countries. And not telling football clubs to sack players for kneeling during the national anthem as part of a widespread protest no-one outside of the White House and the Huffington Post give a monkey’s about.
Amazingly, Trump sunk to this most recent nadir via EVEN MORE illiberal means. For when no-one was looking he offended women and right-thinking liberals everywhere by – brace yourselves – tweeting a dumb gif showing Hillary Clinton being hit on the head with a golf ball.
(Apparently, he also gave a speech at the UN or somewhere which I’m certain was racist and offensive despite not having heard it or even knowing what it was about. But like my educated, liberal friends who I regularly send these columns to, I don’t need to actually read something to know it’s racist and offensive and make smug comments about it.)
That the leader of the free world deems it acceptable to make fun of a woman being assaulted with a golf ball when everyday women worldwide are assaulted with golf balls is sickening. Luckily, the media aired their disgust, with principled voices from CNN to The Guardian lambasting Trump’s toxic masculinity and accusing him of glorifying violence against women. The fact that many of the same outraged voices reporting him to Twitter were eerily silent when weird-voiced fraggle Kathy Griffin posed for a photo holding Trump’s dismembered head is unimportant.
Because there is satire and there is sickness and a silly video showing a famous politician falling over is quite clearly the latter. But this malaise is no surprise to those of us who sussed long ago that what people REALLY have against Hillary has nothing to do with corruption or war-mongering. In fact, it’s got nothing to do with politics at all. It’s because she’s a woman. Period. And the reaction to her recent book proves it tenfold.
As feminist fun-sponge Sarah Ditum put it in The New Statesman last week: ‘The vitriol aimed at Hillary shows the fragility of women’s half-won freedom’. It couldn’t possibly show that Clinton is a deeply divisive individual with enough skeletons in her closet to stage a Broadway revival of Jason And The Astronauts. Luckily, Sarah had no interest in debating Clinton’s ‘flaws’, instead filling her piece with straw-man after straw-man without once mentioning the multitude of reasons people dislike Hillary Clinton that have nowt to do with her lack of a Y-chromosome.
‘Look at the reaction to Hillary’s book. Too soon. Can’t she go quietly? Why can’t she own her mistakes?’ wrote Sarah, expertly mocking the overriding consensus about Clinton’s memoir despite providing no evidence whatsoever that anyone other than Sarah actually thought that.
‘Bernie Sanders put a book out a week after the election and no-one said “too soon” about that’. Indeed, they didn’t though no-one appears to have said it about Hillary’s book either. It’s safe to assume, however, that Bernie’s tome was treated like the second coming by the same people now hatefully laying into Clinton simply because she has curvier hips than him.
Because as anyone familiar with Sarah’s joyless work knows, her entire ice-cold output is built on ‘safely assuming’ stuff, whether it’s the inherent sexism of the masses, the inherent sexism of men who criticise her columns, or the inherent sexism of women who disagree with her because they’ve been brainwashed into it by the evil patriarchy or something. Like many modern feminists, her inability to accept criticism without reducing it to misogyny is matched only by her ability to read the minds of millions of people she’s never met.
And when it comes to female politicians she point-blank refuses to entertain the chauvinistic notion that they are just as deserving of scrutiny as their male counterparts. So, the fact that Hillary has dropped more bombs than Darth Vader is irrelevant. That she’s spent so much time in Wall Street’s pockets she might as well be a jar of Rohypnol is immaterial. The millions that have vanished from her and her charming husband’s Saudi-funded foundation is nobody’s business but theirs.
Because as Sarah and anyone else with half a brain knows, the only reason people attack Clinton is because she has a vagina. And that includes the women: ‘I’m angry with the men who engage in Clinton-bashing. With the women, it’s something else. Sadness. Pity, maybe’. As with most issues Sarah tackles, anyone who disagrees with her is to be disdained and patronised, their crime of viewing a female politician unfavourably is a sledgehammer to her concrete heart. Unless the person disagreeing with her is a man in which case it’s simply because he hates women.
Because the only people who need to be preserved from critique are inspirational women like Hillary and Sarah. And now more than ever we need to protect them and their opinions at all costs, especially when we have a lunatic president running around tweeting terrifying ten-second videos depicting him trying to murder one of them with a golf ball.