Yesterday I heard one of the right-wing talking heads* referring to Hillary Clinton as "Shrillary".
That's the best argument against Hillary that he can come up with--that she's shrill??
Here's the thing, though, she's not shrill. Call her monotone if you want. Boring, sure. Dogmatic, okay. But shrill? Not really.
As a rhyme, it's fabulous. But beyond that, it really doesn't work.
So why call her "shrill"? I believe it's specifically to push buttons. The "you don't want a woman as president because all your deepest fears will come true" button.
If you don't want to vote for Hillary, don't. But for heaven's sake pick a better reason than a cheap shot.
And, yes, my button is pushed, too; my feminist button. There's a certain set of vocabulary that is only used for women, intended to demean women, and "shrill" is part of it. Similar to references to "getting your panties in a knot" and "bitch" and "slut" and even more subtle forms like "whiny" and "domineering". There's lots more but you get the idea. Try applying these to men and see if they work. Yes, you could call a man "pushy", for example, but how many people do? Versus, how often it's applied to women?
When was the last time you heard a man described as "shrill"? Not even Howard Dean, legendary screamer, was described as shrill.
Ron White, who can be outrageously funny, said:
I got kicked off the high school debate team for saying, "Yeah, well, fuck you!"
Isn't it so much easier to go for a cheap shot than to really explore positions and develop a cogent argument?
*Note: The vast majority of them refuse to self-identify as conservative or right-wing or Republican. And they'll protest if someone tries to say otherwise. "Oh, no! I'm a libertarian if I'm anything!" or "Oh, no! I defy pigeon-holing. I'm taking as many shots at the right as I do at the left."
And Fox is "fair and balanced".
I think the reasons are three-fold:
- By not affiliating with a particular brand of politics, they don't have to take responsibility for what that brand of politics does at any given point, if they choose not to;
- By claiming they are open-minded and fair, they think they can lure more viewers/listeners;
- Who would want to be associated with a party who's president has the lowest approval rating ever?