Trump concluded October 9th's debate by calling Hillary "a fighter." He said that she "never gives up."
As a white man trying to reestablish the Third Reich, I'm surprised he noticed. The battles Hillary's had to face — beyond the hours and hours and hours of congressional hearings and FBI investigations — are something he'll never be privy to. Her battles are the kind that don't often get highlighted. They're largely mundane, everyday happenings.
And they're mostly sexist garbage.
What we saw tonight in the way Trump attacked Clinton was reminiscent of the way my grandfather told my grandmother to get back in the kitchen. It was reminiscent of a 70-year-old fourth grader mentored by Hugh Hefner and Roy Cohn picking a fight on the school playground because his father doesn't love him. It was reminiscent of an ex-boyfriend gaslighting me due to his permanent dalliance with sociopathy. What we saw tonight, on his end, was torture.
And what we saw tonight on her end was the torture of 40 years in the making. She sat there, like she learned to do through law school admissions at Harvard, when fellow classmates told her things like, "If you take my spot, I’ll get drafted, and I’ll go to Vietnam, and I’ll die." She sat there just like she learned to do on 60 Minutes, defending her marriage, and arguably saving her husband's campaign. She sat there just like she learned to do when filing her name change to help Bill regain the gubernatorial seat he just lost. She sat there just like she learned to do when she was getting a new first-lady hairdo and new eyeglasses — to be "prettier" and "more palatable."
Torture. Soul-killing torture. She's learned to sit there and listen while fingers get wagged at her. She's learned to smile while large figures loom suspiciously in her periphery (often sniffing and scowling). She's learned to remain calm while being attacked. She's learned to remain presidential. Stoic. Silent. Ungiving. She's had to. She's got no other choice but crucifixion.
So, that's one battle. One in the world where she's also up against tweets about her voice, her pantsuit, and her smile. It's the same world with studies that say things like: When told that a fictional female state senator was ambitious, men and women alike “experienced feelings of moral outrage,” such as contempt, anger, and disgust. And it's the same world where she has remarkably high approval ratings when not seeking power — a la being Robin to Obama's Batman — and remarkably low approval ratings when trying to go outside her "female box."
It's the timeless, vomit-inducing battle of needing to fit neatly into the mold heterosexual white men may — hopefully, maybe someday — be able to stomach her in. At least, when she's not running against a black man. When she's running against a black man, straight white males may approve. But that's a sickening tangent for another day.
The other battle she's fighting? Being fucking brilliant.
Like the time she said, "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession — which I entered before my husband was in public life."
Like the time during one of her speeches in New Hampshire, where a heckler yelled out, "Iron my shirt!" and her response was, "Ah, the remnants of sexism — alive and well."
Like the time she admitted, "I just don't know what to do anymore, nothing I do works... I understand that I'm really threatening to men, that the velocity of change between men and women and the way the country is going and for one generation to the boomers is overwhelming, especially to men,” she said. “I'm threatening to them and I don't know what to do about it."
Like her 1995 speech at the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, "If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely — and the right to be heard."
And about a million other fucking awesome things she's done in the face of sexism — not just said — like the following:
She was the first ever student commencement speaker at Wellesley College
So co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
She was instrumental in passage of the Arkansas Children's Health Insurance Program
She was twice listed by The National Law Journal as one of the hundred most influential lawyers in America
She successfully sought to increase research funding for prostate cancer and childhood asthma at the National Institutes of Health
She helped create the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice
She was the first FLOTUS in US History to hold a postgraduate degree
She held a leading role in investigating the health issues faced by 9/11 first responders
She brokered a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas as Secretary of State
So, no. Trump may be able to see that Hillary's a fighter on some level, sure. He may see that it's been 30+ years and she's still breathing. He may see that she's giving him a run for his money, but he'll never actually understand. In his world where he got handed $14 million by his father, where he and/or his company marked "C" on "colored" employee application forms, in his world where he pays off beauty contestants and his sexual assault victims to remain silent — no, I don't think he understands.
And he never will. Because he'll never be this kind of fighter.
Image courtesy CNN.com