In 2016 after her loss in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton warned women, “You have to be prepared for what it means to literally be brutalized. ... It’s not to say men don’t get harsh treatment, but you are carrying the burden of the double standard.” She said a few months later that “[Women] get constant messaging our whole lives: You’re not thin enough, talented enough, smart enough. Your voice isn’t what we want to hear.”
I rarely say this, but Hillary is right.
She was talking about her experiences, not of the women who are now being dragged through the mud every single day: the women working for the Trump Administration. These women are experiencing the most brutal and personally spiteful attacks in recent memory.
This weekend’s shocking treatment of Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family at the hands of the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia serves as only one more data point in a litany of hateful examples of – in Hillary’s words – “brutal treatment.”
Based on Hillary’s claims, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that it is the women in President Trump’s family and administration who are singled out for the most vicious attacks. Here are just a few:
Sarah Sanders, the Press Secretary of the Trump Administration, is an especially favorite target.
Chelsea Handler called Sarah a “harlot” and “trollop” on her show. She made fun of her makeup with a parody tutorial. Wonkette columnist Evan Hurst went on an f-bomb benderagainst Sanders for a litany of perceived wrongs.
Dana Milbank, the creepy Washington Post columnist who has made it his life mission to dehumanize conservative women, mocked Sarah’s accent. And David Horsey, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, disparaged Sarah so badly as a soccer mom that the newspaper was forced to take down his column.
Kellyanne Conway, who holds the distinct honor of becoming the first woman in history to lead a successful presidential campaign, has had to endure criticism for her hair, her weight, her makeup, and her family.
First Lady Melania Trump is frequently in the crosshairs of public humiliation at the hands of the media, celebrities, and comedians. Jimmy Kimmel mocked her accent, and several high-profile individuals made fun of her looks while she unveiled her anti-bullying campaign.
Ivanka is a target of ire as well. Both she and Melania were called out in a Newsweek piece because they wear stilettos. You can’t make this stuff up. The left doesn’t even like their beautiful shoes. Samantha Bee took it to a new low and railed against Ivanka recently, calling her a “feckless c***.”
C-list comedian Michelle Wolf went from funny to mean girl at the White House Correspondents Dinner, brutally insulting Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Sanders, and Ivanka Trump. She insulted Kellyanne, made fun of Sarah’s looks, and implied Ivanka cares nothing for women.
These attacks on conservative women who work for or are part of the Trump administration have gotten so bad that even the New York Times felt compelled to call it out -- a year ago. Karen Finney, an advisor to the Clinton campaign, told the Times that “These sexist memes are not the purview of one party. … We fear strong women and women with power. These attacks are meant to delegitimize that power.”
That’s true. If the left can marginalize and dehumanize conservative women, then they render them ineffective. It is sexist, and despite decades of big talk from feminists, they have been largely silent, except to join in the cattiness.
Remember when Madeleine Albright went so far as to say that there is a “special place in hell for women who don’t support other women?” Does she really believe that? If so, why hasn’t she come to the defense of these women?
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem expanded on Albright’s words, saying that, “Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood.”
Whether it’s disparagement of Hillary Clinton’s clothes or Kellyanne’s svelte figure, clearly there is a problem.
So I am asking you, Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem, to say something now. Your lofty words about equality and respect mean nothing if they don’t apply to all women. Did you mean it, or are you complete, hypocritical phonies? This is the moment for you to put up or shut up. You can either rise to the occasion, or we will know for sure that – as we have long suspected – you value leftist ideology above all, even women.
This nastiness is a disservice to all women. We can disagree on policy, but going forward, let’s all take a stand against petty personal attacks. As the first lady reminds us, “Be Best.”