Courtney Enlow’s frenzied “all-caps explosion of feelings“, a contrived, unabashed defense of Hillary Clinton, has become a rallying cry for many bourgeois feminists invested in the Clinton brand. The article, to its credit, has been enthusiastically shared by the former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, and Texas State Senator, Wendy Davis, and Enlow has amassed a sympathetic following since its publication.
The content is just as expected. Enlow writes that she is “infuriated on [Clinton’s] behalf”, and so she has taken it upon herself to speak sharply in lieu of Clintonian rage:
Hillary cannot yell, since by the virtue of being sane and not a white man she is forced to be the biggest adult in the room, just like Obama has had to for eight goddamn years, I will yell for her.
The article rapidly follows with, just as advertised, an all-caps mess that reads like an outburst from someone who is in the throes of a tantrum:
AND IF YOU COME AT ME FOR EVEN ONE GODDAMN SECOND WITH A “YOU JUST LIKE HER BECAUSE SHE’S A WOMAN” I WILL DESTROY YOU WHERE YOU STAND. I LIKE HER! I LIKE HER POLICIES, I LIKE HER PLANS, I LIKE WHAT SHE STANDS FOR, I LIKE THAT SHE’S GROWN AND EVOLVED AS A HUMAN AND POLITICIAN! I LIKE THAT SHE WAS FOR MANY OF US MY AGE ONE OF OUR FIRST ROLE MODELS OF A SMART, PROFESSIONAL, KICKASS WOMAN AND THAT SHE ISN’T AFRAID OF THE WORD “FEMINIST” AND I’M SICK OF HAVING TO APOLOGIZE FOR LIKING HER, FOR HAVING TO QUALIFY AND SEE YOUR SIDE AND RESPECT YOUR OPINION WHEN I FUCKING DON’T AND YOU FUCKING DON’T RIGHT BACK. I LIKE HER! […]
IT IS ABSOLUTELY GUT WRENCHING THAT THIS BADASS, IMPORTANT WOMAN HAS BEEN DIMINSHED [sic] AND WRITTEN OFF AND HATED HER WHOLE CAREER, HER WHOLE EXISTENCE AS A PUBLIC FIGURE. YOU LIKE BERNIE BECAUSE HE DOESN’T PLAY THE GAME, BUT FOR HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FOR A WOMAN, SHE HAS HAD NO OTHER CHOICE. […]
SO, YES, I’M EMOTIONAL AND I’M YELLING. BECAUSE THIS IS FUCKING EMOTIONAL FOR ME. I WANT A FEMALE PRESIDENT AND I WANT PRESIDENT HILLARY CLINTON. I WANT BOTH OF THESE THINGS BUT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE I WANT WOMEN TO HAVE AN EQUAL FUCKING FAIR SHAKE. I’M SICK OF THIS STUPID BULLSHIT DISGUISED AS POLITICS, MASQUERADING AS POLITICAL OPINION.
SO FUCK EVERYTHING. I’M WITH HER.
Mainstream political discourse regarding Clinton is formulaic; instead of focusing on material realities authors concentrate their efforts on the cultivation of superficial, reflexive agitation. In this case, this method is primarily executed by way of obscuring the line between misogynists and those offering genuine, and arguably aggressive criticism of Hillary Clinton’s policies. Enlow seems to exist in a space many liberals occupy, one where assessment of Obama’s presidential legacy is conclusively satisfying. “Most of you like [Clinton’s] policies because they’re basically [Obama’s policies]”, Enlow contends. Obama’s policies include an immigration strategy which has further militarized the US-Mexico border, deported an astounding number of families, led to the abuse of immigrant women forced inside for-profit detention facilities, and a drone war that has surpassed that of George W. Bush’s in its horrific blood-letting.
And so it must be asked: What lives hold value, and why are they valued over others. What policies are you willing to misrepresent, or excuse? For example, Enlow recently aimed her fury against those who she alleges are going to offer their vote to a GOP candidate, just to spite Hillary Clinton if she receives the Democratic nomination. She tweeted:
“…the most upsetting comments I’ve gotten repeatedly and in large numbers are those saying they’ll vote GOP if Bernie doesn’t get the vote […] Really? You’ll roll back protections for trans people? You’ll eradicate reproductive health measures? You’ll support a giant goddamn wall?”
This tiring use of marginalized communities in order to castigate political opponents and mislead audiences has become procedural. The “giant goddamn wall” she decries was supported by Hillary Clinton, and not just once, but on numerous occasions. During a town hall campaign event in November 2015, Clinton was asked by a member of the audience what she thought about border security, and her boastful response was that she “voted numerous times [as] a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in.” She followed this comment saying that she believes the US must control the border.
When it comes to women’s reproductive health, Clinton’s most recent response to the idea of single-payer healthcare was shouting to a crowd of supporters that it will “never, ever come to pass“. Reproductive justice which discounts the intersection of class and race in terms of access to healthcare programs ignores prohibitive realities wherein many women are denied access to these services.
[T]he regulation of reproduction and the exploitation of women’s bodies and labor is both a tool and a result of systems of oppression based on race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age and immigration status. – Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (ACFRJ)
The banking industry and private prison lobbyists aren’t the only one’s who have compensated Hillary Clinton and the Clinton foundation for her speeches?so has the healthcare industry. Clinton made a staggering $2.8 Million from 13 speeches in the span of two years, according to a report from Zaid Jilani. While Enlow laments having to “apologize for liking her” she has yet to engage with a single critique of the candidate she is investing herself, and her rage, in.
Adding to Clinton’s long list of troubling policies and affiliations are her political relationships with people like Wesley Clark, who has called for the internment of Muslims who are ‘disloyal to the United States’, war criminal Henry Kissinger, and Madeline “the price was worth it” Albright. During her presidential campaign, Clinton has defended her foreign policy experience by gloating about the support being offered to her by the aforementioned group of war mongers and villains, and bourgeois feminists have said little to nothing in response. Despite Clinton’s own criminal history in Haiti, Libya, Honduras, and Iraq, she has been immersed in praise for her role as a proponent of muscular foreign policy. Again, this should lead us to question why so many pro-Hillary feminists are refusing to afford women around the world a voice, and why they are instead working tirelessly to strip them of their very existence.
Enlow is free to support Hillary Clinton, but using feminism, social justice rhetoric, and Clinton’s identity as a woman as weapons in order to reprimand critics, and to shield herself from criticism is manipulative and inexcusable. Enlow calls out Sanders as a privileged white man?who she also smears as “crazy” and unkempt?and yet Hillary Clinton is spared from being privilege-checked solely due to her being a woman. When Sanders took the stage in New Hampshire alongside Hillary Clinton he was accused of “mansplaining“, not due to what he said or how he said it but for having the audacity to respond to Hillary Clinton. It’s “her turn“, so how dare he get in her way.
Using neologism’s like “mansplaining”, and throwing in people of color when it best suits you in order to undermine justifiable arguments, no matter how uncivil, no matter how rude, is groundless and shows a level of profound cowardice. It’s time to debate Hillary Clinton for what she has stood for during her political career. If you’re unable to defend Clinton’s troublesome history then it may be time to let go, or at least time to stop performing, and acting as though you’re invested in her campaign because of these policies. And if you’re going to use marginalized people, specifically women, as props in your political adventurism don’t be so surprised when they refuse to accept this dehumanizing role.