Unflagging Hillary Supporters Perpetuating "Bitter Madwoman" Stereotype

Illustration for article titled Unflagging Hillary Supporters Perpetuating "Bitter Madwoman" Stereotype

The members of P.U.M.A., that utterly inane group of outraged Hillary Clinton supporters who insist on "being heard and heeded" in their continued support of Clinton for President, also seek, according to their mission statement , "to critique and oppose the misogyny, discrimination, and disinformation in the mainstream media, including mainstream blogs and other outlets of new media." However, as Slate's Dahlia Lithwick points out, the P.U.M.As are perpetuating female stereotypes just as aggressively as they allegedly hope to debunk them."You know her. She's got wild eyes and rumpled hair. At some point she stopped caring about the stains on her blouse. She's hurt, angry, rejected, and she's willing to take the whole damn place down with her. She is Lady Macbeth," Lithwick writes. "She is the oldest literary type around-the bitter madwoman, hellbent on revenge and willing to act against her own interest to win some respect. " Look, we all agree that Clinton was treated with outrageous misogyny by some detractors. But even Hillary herself asked supporters to get behind Barack Obama, so to me, the P.U.M.A's aren't just perpetuating the stereotype of the "bitter madwoman," they're perpetuating another, more modern meme: one of self-absorption. There's been a lot of decrying of Generation Y narcissism, but the women of Hillary's generation were trailblazers in that sort of age-of-Aquarius "me" culture just as they were glass ceiling breakers. P.U.M.A. found support in a very 2.0 way — through a Facebook group — so younger, social-networking happy narcissists are likely buying into their mission statement as well. Each one of its members is more concerned with "being heard" than with their own welfare or the welfare of this country. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had very similar platforms, and they are pro-female. As Lithwick notes, "These disgruntled women-whether they plan to vote for John McCain, sit out the election, or simply gobble up airtime-are tacitly working toward electing McCain; a candidate who claimed last week at a presidential forum at Saddleback Church that life begins 'at the moment of conception' and who voted against legislation ensuring equal pay for women." Reading what P.U.M.A. spokesperson Will Bower said in an interview on HuffPo really reinforced the utter selfishness of the group's pursuit. "It's amazing," Bower said. "It's been wild. My phone is just attached to me. I'm up always. It's been the most invigorating time of my life." How nice for you. It's the increasing inability to think about anyone but ourselves that is a far scarier trope than the perpetuation of the "bitter madwoman." The Madwoman In The Blogosphere [Slate]

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JosephFinn
JosephFinn

@labeled: "Right. Yet please note the pronoun used in your comment."

I'm not sure I understand your point here. I referred to Margaret Thatcher by the pronoun "she" as she is of the female gender, just as I would use "he" to refer to Ronald Reagan. "Vile," on the other hand, is the adjective that I would use to refer to both of them and that has nothing to do with either person's gender.

@smopenna: I'm still betting on OBama picking Kansas Governor Kathleen Sabelius of, a well-respected Democrat who managed to get elected governor in a fairly Republican and conservative state. Maybe not the most exciting pick for those who keep going on about Richardson (don't see it, as he'd be rightfully hammered for his tenures as Energy Secretary and UN Ambassador) and Biden (who clearly stated this week that it's not him) but a good solid pick.