It is a tough time to be a woman.
I would say that applies to this point in time, but really, it applies to all points in time.
Eve was blamed for the poor choices of a free-thinking man; Joan of Arc called a witch; Hillary Clinton, a nasty woman.
In this election season, the vitriol aimed at the nation’s first serious female contender for presidency does not seem possible in our post-ban-bossy society. I’d like to say it is the opinion of one misguided and egregiously ignorant man, but I fear it is more than money that has allowed his rise to popularity.
In a world where our daughters, our students are taught they can be anything; encouraged by anyone, male or female, an individual asking to run an entire country of democratic citizens mocks and degrades a successful and powerful individual who dares challenge him – even more so because she is a woman.
And the mocking and degrading is not school yard quality. It seeks to degrade the very essence of womanhood. That to be a woman is somehow nasty and brutish.
Rather than counter policy with opposing policy, debate becomes a game of sexual power. Gender specific jibes become weapons, instead of informed discourse. Winning becomes the ultimate trophy – regardless of personal injury or insult, disrespect or demeaning.
Media are correct when they say Trump has created a sympathy of sorts for Clinton; a bond between all ‘nasty women’. But as repugnant as he is, Clinton is insidious.
I was almost tempted to pull the nasty woman t-shirt over my head – until I saw half of its proceeds directly fund Planned Parenthood.
While Clinton offers a face for the rallying cry of female power and pride, she does not offer a platform for all women.
The evil of calling a woman nasty is not countered by supporting an organization that denies the amazing capabilities of the female form.
To deny the claims of nastiness, all of womanhood must be embraced. Feminism cannot assert any sort of power if it seeks to destroy. It is not a matter of subverting individual choice; it is allowing all of the wondrous capability of life. The conception and continuance of life is the most beautiful occurrence in the universe. There is nothing nasty about it. If women want to show the true beauty and majesty of their form, of their essence, of humanity, they will not seek to snuff out life at its inception – simply to prove males like Trump don’t own their bodies and decisions. That is a hollow and soul-sucking proof of power. Death is not a victory. Bringing life into existence – that is power.
That is not to say that women who choose not to or are unable to conceive are not powerful. But we, as a society, cannot view such an integral part of the female essence and physiology as a stumbling block to power.
Women have been taught to fear their fertility. To see it as a barrier instead of a benefit. If we didn’t seek to meet men like Trump on their playing field, but elevate the arena to the full scope of what women are capable of, men would never dream of calling any woman nasty.
No woman deserves to be called such. I do feel sympathy for women mistreated by misguided men and women. But I also feel that neither candidate for president in this election represents the ultimate potential of women, of humankind.
Before Applauding Hillary’s Abortion Remarks, Know the One Fact She Ignored by Christy Lee Parker
Nasty Women Have Much Work to Do by Alexandra Petri
Election 2016: Time to Decide by Fr. Bob Marciano