Author, civil litigation attorney, law professor, United States senator and U.S. Secretary of State. But all you see is a dang scrunchie?
When we talk about Hillary Clinton, who announced her decision in April to run for president, we tend to talk about her pantsuits and her hair.
At the Republican National Convention in Anaheim, California in 2013, an unknown vendor sold large buttons that read, “KFC Hillary Special: 2 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts … Left Wing.” Granted, these buttons were created for a demographic that widely disagrees with Clinton’s views, however these buttons in no way addressed her views as a politician. This was a personal attack on her appearance and gender.
The sexist way Clinton and fellow accomplished women are discussed and dissected for their appearance and their sex lives must be stopped, and new speech must begin on the progress and endeavors made by these women.
All attention surrounds superficial subjects such as their hair, skin, breasts, teeth or sexuality. Any accomplishments or expertise become null and void in a conversation where men, and let’s face it, women who suffer from seeking male approval, tear down another woman’s appearance.
The reason for this verbal assault on the physical body is because the idea of a woman being able to achieve things in a male dominated world without sexualization or infantilization is a threat to the male ego. It is as if a woman’s voice must ultimately be silenced.
Female public figures, from presidential candidates to book authors to celebrities, have this issue exacerbated by being in the spotlight.
According to Joanne St. Lewis, a lecturer for the University of Southern California’s Program on Counter Terrorism, this dedication to tearing down women who create success for themselves while existing in public spheres, is gender terrorism that hinders the progress of women and feminism.
“It might initially seem that referring to the online speech targeting and silencing of women as terrorism is over-blown,” said St. Lewis. “However, these attacks are having a real-time impact on the lives of individual women activists and result in pre-emptive censorship, by the women initially targeted and other women to avoid further attack. This is limiting our ability to advance our rights, shape our activism and participate in democratic policy-making processes.”
The only way for women to win this game is to refuse to play it. To speak louder even when people attempt to silence them. To keep achieving, accomplishing and surpassing people who want to shut them down, and not once mention their failure to meet constructed physical beauty ideals.