Remember when the field of candidates vying for the Oval Office was the most female in history? Now we’re trapped inside a frat house basement and the keg’s tapped. Sigh.
The moment from 2020's first presidential debate that of course instantly trended on Twitter, that will undoubtedly end up on a t-shirt and all over headlines in the morning, that will be replayed on cable news, late-night shows, and SNL until our eyes bleed—the one where, understandably exasperated with President Donald Trump’s constant talking-over and interrupting, democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said, “Will you shut up, man?”—was the most singularly male thing in this, the most singularly male election. Sigh, again.
As Pres. Trump repeatedly interrupts Joe Biden, Biden says, "Will you shut up, man?"
"That was really a productive segment, wasn't it?" Biden says sarcastically. "Keep yappin', man." https://t.co/5Bl4Ob3O2t #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/XvNahLC1Rm
— ABC News (@ABC) September 30, 2020
And this was just in the first segment of tonight’s 90-minute debate.
Think about it. What if then-democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had said something similar when Trump was doing literally the exact same thing during the 2016 debates? I mean, she couldn’t even turn around and tell him to stop *stalking her* on the stage back then because what would America think of her?
You have no idea.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 30, 2020
Or, what if one of those women running for the Democratic nomination—Senator Kamala Harris, perhaps, Biden’s vice presidential running mate—had won the party ticket and was standing on tonight’s Case Western Reserve University stage? The reactions would have gone something like this:
She lost her cool.
I can’t believe she let him get the best of her.
God, what a bitch.
She’s so unlikeable, isn’t she?
See, women are too emotional.
I’d hate to be her husband…
Actually, you know what? This list isn’t even that good, so I’m gonna stop. Because you know, and I know, the words on this list would be a hell of a lot bleaker, more chilling, too vile. So let’s not even go there. Let’s go here:
Have you ever been in a professional setting (reminder: these men are literally at work rn) where women were telling each other to shut up?
Where women were either laughing at each other’s responses to questions during a meeting or just fully interrupting and calling each other "liars?"
When they were incessantly shouting over someone but the only response was just politely asking (i.e. more shouting) that they just let you finish your question and then they can keep shouting?
Never talk to me about my Real Housewives habit again.
So yeah, tonight is difficult to watch. Not because of the name-calling (“clown,” “Pocahontas,” “dumb”), the shouting (Trump shouting at the mic, Biden shouting at Trump, moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace shouting at Trump, me shouting into the abyss), or the fact that the no-commercial-interruption policy actually made me miss commercials. But because of words like:
"Joe has the biggest mask I've ever seen!"
Translation: what a pussy! Trump carries a mask in case he needs it, of course. He’s not opposed to masks, but he’s not, like, a giant wuss, you know? BTW, Trump brought back football—he was very happy to do it. You’re welcome.
It’s the machismo. It’s the fact that repro rights weren’t even considered as a debate topic. It’s the fact that toxic masculinity continues to, somehow, never feel more fatally toxic.
And yes, I know, we have a history-making vice presidential candidate in Harris. And the number of women working and fighting for these men behind-the-scenes is huge, just like the activists in the streets and women who are running for office, making an impact in ways that fill even the most hopeless-feeling (hi) with hope. That is more important than a bar fight.
But this is where we are. Watching two bros yell at each other and we can’t get a single word in.
You Might Also Like