A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Okay, folks, this is 2016. We’re a decade and a half into the 21st century, 300 years beyond The Enlightenment, over 120 years since women first voted on this planet, but, for some strange reason, we still have to put up with this crap.
Take a look.
Eight years ago, everybody and her sister was calling Hillary Clinton frumpy for her infinite collection of pantsuits — up to and including some weird up-the-bum photographs of Ms. Clinton from behind. Fast forward. This week, Hillary all but locked up the Democratic nomination for president (first woman ever, etc. etc.) she gave a semi-acceptance speech in a super stylish mega-expensive Armani jacket, and — wait for it — social media went berserk. Suddenly, Clinton’s an elitist cow. And these weren’t just a few snide remarks; people were digging in their heels and really letting her have it. (It’s incredible how insulting a person can be in 140 characters.) The last time the fashionistas got this excited (“bitchy” is such a hard word) Sarah Palin’s skirt was too tight and “OMG! Who’s paying for her underwear?” And let’s be clear: this Twitter, Facebook, Instagram ambush didn’t come from Trailer Trash America. There were no bathrobes, bony feet or bedroom slippers in sight. No, no, no! These social media snipers were (for the most part) sharp-dressed, serious, high-end urban professionals who wouldn’t say “fat girl” if their lives depended on it. What’s the deal?
I’m not naive. I wasn’t raised by wolves. I understand that there’s always going to be a double standard — pie-in-the-sky gender politics be damned. Women always have been — and always will be — judged differently from men; it’s tucked into the chromosome count somewhere. (And, remember: it’s not necessarily men doing the judging.) My problem is this current crop of social media malcontents are playing both sides of the street. Their selective acrimony is a wonder to behold.
For example, any woman who’s ever walked the Red Carpet knows there’s a target on her back. She better get it just right because the knives are out and nobody’s taking prisoners. On the other hand, find a bathroom mirror selfie on YouTube where somebody’s ample ass is stuffed into a two-sizes-too-small corset, yoga pants and rhinestone Reeboks and nobody says a word because — that, friends and neighbours — is “body shaming.” One question: what the hell’s the difference?
In less than six months, Hillary Clinton could become the most powerful person — PERSON — on the planet. She’s going to have the ability to obliterate Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran and everything in between, before breakfast, wrapped in a shower curtain if she so desires. It’s unbelievable that there are still people spilling ink over what’s hanging in her closet — as if that really matters.