successes and failures of the Clinton gambit

I’m much less harsh these days on terms like “be a man”. Usually when people say this, they are talking about how a physically mature male should grow up and act like an adult and not in reference to some ridiculous ideal of masculinity even if it comes off as “bad form”. More recently I’ve heard people say “woman up” when speaking to women who make a litany of convenient gendered excuses for their bad behavior. Though I think such an inverse of a masculinized phrase is fraught with problems, it’s amusing enough and perhaps reflective of where we should be at as a society. For all the cooption and intelligence meddling in feminist movement in the west — not to mention how many women its victorious liberal variant has left in the dust  — women are largely viewed culturally and in everyday transactions as competent adults. Whether they receive all the material benefits that are usually attached to competence is a matter of class, race, and often body and beauty standards.

Liberal feminists are here to remind us for eternity it seems that incompetence is determined by one fact alone: sex. Privileged liberal feminists can move in and out of social networks proving their cred with hyperbolized tales of male assumptions about their abilities, having their bonus slimmed due to the existence of a married male coworker with children, or any number of things that just don’t rate among the many struggles that most of the women on the planet have to deal with daily. That’s not to say that these occurrences aren’t sexist, it’s just that they are magnified within a spectacle that simultaneously allows for a greater perception of feminine ability while cutting more women off from the tools and resources they need to simply exist.

Of course this is what Hillary Clinton tapped into, and while her campaign is widely deemed a failure, I’m not so sure I agree. Almost a year ago, I fired off a quick comment:

Clinton wins any way you slice it. her franchise owns virtually all of the feminist blogosphere through swift maneuvering of trends using teams of savvy digital directors and her influence throughout establishment women’s organizations. what else has this produced besides a topsy-turvy inversion of what feminism means – lackeys who’ve conditioned petty bourgeois women into opportunistic defeatism they work to beat working class women over the head with. “rights” have come to mean only those privileges that can be secured by bureaucratic or judicial means, and so the narrative goes that under this structure they can be decimated with the stroke of a pen at a moment’s notice. this disciplining is key whether she gets the presidency or not. she does not need this on her resume to secure herself a greater job after one or two terms; Clinton Inc extends far with their hands in many pies. it’s a joke. if people are going to purport that the presidency really means “nothing”, they need to back it up with analysis and quit playing in the fucking sandbox.

This defeatism that Clinton’s media camp is martyring themselves with needs constant reinforcement. After the election, a mother of three told me she was sure Clinton lost because she is a woman and most of the country cannot see themselves with a woman as president. She has been out of waged work for years as she stayed home to take care of her children, but this has not been an easy road for her family as much as a “privilege” this is assumed to be across the board — this is often viewed as a middle class luxury without any thought put into how much child care costs if a mother does work. As an example, a cousin of mine had to save up money to move to a better paying school district in order to go on teaching; otherwise, her entire paycheck was gradually eaten up by daycare and transportation costs. It broke her heart to leave her students in the lower paying (urban) district, but these costs in addition to the amount of her own salary that went into buying school supplies for children whose parents could not afford them and that the state certainly didn’t provide were breaking her. And why should a woman and a mother not be able to even work in the career she chooses?

Back to this mother of three however: the amount of labor she has to put into domestically engineering her home so that they can all survive on her husband’s income is not all “lucky her” and roses. And that’s what I know of what she’s willing to share with people in topical conversations. Yet she identified with the Clinton brand. Being “with her” profoundly erased class and apparently all the demands of american working class women presented as consumer choices they have to make as stultifying as they may be: when to buy what food stuff that can be stored for future use and how long it lasts, what sale to hit when in order to buy clothes for kids who grow a size every few months, when vehicle maintenance is due and where to go this time, when an insurance deductible might be close to being met to most conveniently schedule unpredictable health issues around. These are worries that Clinton and her blogger acolytes have never faced without a team of assistants, and yet the spectacle worked.

And that is all it is, of course. When further pressed, the mother of three couldn’t believe the tears coming from some of Clinton’s more fervent supporters she knows. Shrugs from her and “well we’ve lived through a lot, we’ll get through this”. The coherent “we” is something that is still fleeting to my mind when I hear it invoked in everyday conversation, but it does represent a class interest even if it’s not fully articulated. She’s not in the streets demanding Clinton’s coronation and neither are her tearful acquaintances.

Pacification and neutralization of an emboldened feminine  — womanly — working class consciousness was a victory for Clinton and her class with the lackluster response from those who supported her merely on ballot paper serving as a trophy to the predominantly male ruling elite which represents how little they think of female ability as a whole. Clinton’s robotic presence was to be celebrated as rebellious deviance from feminine expectations. Never addressing any concrete economic concerns of working class women was key for the venal professional bloggers still carrying her torch, and mobilizing photogenic crowds of most likely hired “protestors” to repeat “no really, it’s your pussy they hate” was icing on the cake — preferably accompanied by a pint of ice cream to stereotypically drown those girly blues in. Or hot chocolate or whatever these vapid, weepy liberal women were endlessly tweeting about in the wake of their supposed defeat.

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Reportedly, Clinton’s campaign cost around a billion dollars. “That’s when you’re talking real money.” How much GDP of how many nations is this equal to? Clinton, the supposedly relatable face that continues to assure girls they can do whatever their heart desires, and who purportedly represents the pinnacle american female leadership, is the loser cunt to dump on. But the real losers on the receiving end of the virtual bukaki money shot are nowhere in the picture as liberal feminists bemoan this supposed loss for all of wo-manity.

Women across the continent are being commanded to mourn in situ awaiting instructions for the next empty symbolic gesture they are to make called “activism”, acquiescing to the manufactured consent of their eternal victimhood. This is a billion well spent to my mind as Clinton, the chosen face of american femininity, is declared a failure over and over again. Who knew burlesque would be performed in pantsuits and with finely feathered highlights in 2016? The messaging appears to be maturely conservative with the thinnest of progressive candy glazes over the top by so bravely acknowledging that queer and trans women exist, but Clinton’s momentum required infantile, narcissistic acting out performed by liberal feminists in her thrall as they continue to feverishly work to dumb down anyone still paying attention.

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It is appalling that women in Honduras, Syria, Palestine, Libya, Mexico, Ukraine, Haiti — basically any female body outside of american borders — do not factor into the liberal feminist vision of what a just society looks like. They are made invisible, and I don’t think this erasure can be overstated. As american working class women are sold out for a false image of “failure” in designer frocks that amount to years of their salaries, to suggest that women struggle outside of the US is enough to make one a “true radical”. To go further and explain how Clinton has been a direct cause of their misery is treason as evidenced by the most up to date headlines.

The overwhelming presence that, among other top offenders, Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte, and Sady Doyle command of the american feminist psyche extends beyond simply demanding agreement with their substance-free filler. The false “hardcore”, “edgier” feminist opposition that passes for left was willing to tepidly warn of “Clinton’s brand of feminism” as if they read a bell hooks book jacket once, but further criticism has proven just how shallow they are. If not for the more obvious shills, they would not be able to carve out their niche audiences. And when pressed, their single shared biological trait that Valenti and company rely upon to pathologize women with allows for more “nuanced” reasons to lump dissenting feminists in with alt right MRA haters.

A recent example of this phenomenon is the case of the widely respected Rania Khalek who has done a magical 180 on NATO advances she heavily propagandized for just two years ago without explanation or acknowledgement. Critics are called misogynist and told to stick to criticism of the male superiors she reports to (which has been an ongoing project of these same critics). Clinton’s branding has cast a wide net, and so the story goes there is no use in holding women — but only those, in practice, of a certain class and those angling toward it — accountable for their actions. There is always a man behind them really pulling the strings who has carried out so many worse actions so these actual criminals in mascara can do nothing more than blink. Simultaneously these pundits wield power in a brave new age of female empowerment and rely on a sock defensive line when anyone hints that they are indeed competent adults who can read, write, and appeal to an audience.

Women in the US are typically conditioned to believe that their most important goal in life is to meet mass marketed male expectations of beauty. I would estimate that most shake this imposed burden off and go on to actually develop their intellect or simply cultivate hobbies and interests that do not revolve around makeup brands. The rote response here is “there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that”, but the parade of beauty vloggers seamlessly integrating advertisements for countless beauty brands with their tutorials is a worrying trend and not far removed from the branding, the pure image that subservient female pundits must construct in order to rank at all. The narcissism this mode instills is evident in their older, similarly minded counterparts who find their botox sagging at 50 with few who can stand to be around them since they let their minds stall a few years after puberty in futile pursuit of ideals. I’ve seen the resulting behavior referred to as “cognitive regression”, and it is of course theorized to be present in many overtly narcissistic adults who do not consciously strive to meet the traditional conventions of physical attractiveness.

Cognitive regression is often expressed by malignant narcissists in the form of “temper tantrums” that they refuse to reasonably explain. In fact, it’s assumed that they don’t have the capacity for the perspective necessary to understand why they should. They want what they want, and that’s it. Stomping fits and often abusive verbal outbursts are never explored after the fact and the unfortunate souls on the receiving end are to go along with sweet words and Cheshire grins when a narcissist finally gets their fill for the time being.

Narcissism can be a gendered barb at women who commonly find themselves trapped in a rigged house of mirrors attempting to achieve perfection which does not exist. The most hardworking women I know of a certain age, around their mid 20s, struggle with this and I feel fortunate and blessed to be a voice with a decade on them to tell them it doesn’t really matter. It’s gonna be all right, you’re gonna be fabulous and accomplished despite all the exhaustion for as long as you like if you throw all this crap off. Clinton’s team also realized and exploited this element of struggle with careful photographic progression of every wrinkle she has while maintaining a strongwoman facade. She is crafted to embody a desire many women have in trying to may-yake it after awl. But the disconnect implicitly felt by working class women due to Clinton’s disgust and disregard proves how futile this attempt is. Again, they remain in their workplaces as the digital teams try to drag them out and browbeat them for how they are the ones who’ve let Clinton down.

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Working class women are indeed women; they are adults required to meet daily responsibilities thrust upon them too early with a childhood that was further chipped away by massive advertising campaigns their forbears did not experience. They live lives that Clinton and her team cannot imagine exist with them in the same universe. And as they mature, they also too often find themselves dealing with neurotic, medicated, and aging female one-time caregivers who have been transformed into ill-equipped role models, run ragged by an order that is eager to discard them after their stamped expiration dates.

What that order put before them as they try to catch their breath was a successfully demoralizing and damaging presidential campaign sold as a failure that undermines and mocks the beauty and discovery that is involved with developing into a multifaceted adult woman. The team of petty bourgeois girlchildren who were and still are necessary for this monstrosity will not be kindly looked upon by history as they whined and hid behind Clinton’s truly sinister shadow like the narcissistic babies they are, accountable to no one and expecting to seduce the tired and frustrated with a no-filter selfie.

Will they ever grow up? First and foremost, who cares. And in their inability to do so, they resign themselves to irrelevance in the real movement that for all the roadblocks refuses to stop and notice how they TOTALLY DID NOT WEAR LIPSTICK because they are ALL OUT OF FUCKS TO GIVE. SO OUT. So goodbye, and with more pressure exerted from the margins toward the center, working class women will eventually determine their expiration dates.

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