Today an excerpt of Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming book What Happened was released. The one from the book talks about how Clinton felt as she was on the stage with Cheeto looming over her. The reaction at the time was mixed-many people noticed how he was trying to intimidate her. I personally had always wondered if he was going to hit her since she does know how to get under his skin.
It speaks to a lot of women because they remember the same time that a male did that to them. Stood over them in an attempt to force them to bend to their will. Men have for centuries used the power of their bodies to make women do as they want rather than what the women want. It is a subtle act of power and control that was for once incredibly obvious.
Yet when Clinton talks about it, it is the same mix of reactions that happened at the time. She wonders if she should have told him to back off and thinks her failure to do so was a mistake. (Look media, one of those mistakes you insist she admit to in order to appease your abusive view of her!)
I don’t think it was really that much of a mistake. She was in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t moment. Do you acknowledge the inappropriate behavior of a male so people assume you are making too much of it? Because that is the reaction even when the person is watching it happen in front of them. “No, no, he wasn’t trying to intimidate you. You are overreacting.” If you don’t then people will say “why didn’t you speak up then?” Which each action comes a cost.
This is one of those where I think she played it right for the time. Now of course she could probably sock him in the nose and everyone would cheer. But that is because what she said about the racist, sexist, violent, idiotic smeghead has been shown to be true by his having won the middle class white person vote in three key states. Now people get why it was important.