Jill finds New Republic's cover depiction of Hillary Clinton "misogynistic."
Misogynistic, mind you. "Hated of women," the dictionary tells us. Not mere sexism or clinging to outmoded stereotypes, but actual hatred of women as women. That's Jill's accusation.
Eric points out both that the cover is not inherently misogynistic (in that it doesn't play on gender stereotypes) and the dangers of crying misogyny indiscriminately. One would hope that Jill's argument avoids the rhetorical trap of equating any attack on Hillary with an attack on women generally, though she veers dangerously close with this in Plundercomment number 9:
- Yes, man or woman, someone who has done and behaves the way Clinton has would be a good target for a lot of what has been thrown at her. However, the misogyny is on top of all that - the sexist remarks - everything that is connected to obvious and far less obvious sexism that exists at so many levels in our society.
Jill's argument starts with the proposition that the cover "has nothing to do with the story" and lacks "journalistic integrity." From that we leap to "it's misogynistic."
To start with, I disagree with Jill's assertion that the cover is unrelated to the story. Both the cover and the story's title, "Voices in Her Head," use voices as a metaphor for the clashing personalities on her dysfunctional campaign staff. It's not the tightest fit, but I hope that we aren't going to say that satire becomes hateful merely by missing the mark. Identity politics are sufficiently fraught without ratcheting to that level.
More fundamentally, Jill is missing a step in her argument. To gloss the cover as misogyny, she needs to make the case that Hillary is being depicted negatively in a way that men are not. A quick review of some past TNR covers should answer that with a definitive no.
TNR cover art has savaged Rudy Giuliani:
Dubya, of course:
Disastrous Democratic political consultant Bob Schrum:
Bad boy media crit Michael Wolff:
A Hillary analogue to any one of these covers could similarly be called misogynistic if viewed in isolation. Now it's possible that TNR management published these covers because they hate Italians, Jews, Texans and fat guys. But probably not. The New Republic publishes blistering profiles of public figures and illustrates them with unflattering caricatures. As women gain political prominence, they will receive the same treatment from TNR and similar magazines.
No one said equality would be easy.