Clinton’s Anne Hathaway Problem

Emma Lindsay
Nov 9, 2016 · 4 min read

Anne Hathaway has often been cited as a curiously disliked celebrity, but no one’s quite sure why. Is it her voice? Her appearance? An asexual vibe in a hypersexed culture?

Just, something about her people really seem to dislike, but no one can settle on the reason for it.

Now, maybe things are changing for Hathaway (apparently she won the most liked instagram of the election, or something) but things never really changed for Hillary. People disliked her for similarly ephemeral reasons. As the election went on, people started shouting misogyny hoping to PC shame the electorate into liking her — which worked great. But the misogyny point was maybe sort of fair.

A while ago, I thought I read a study that claimed female celebrities are generally less well liked than male ones. I couldn’t find it, but on a few pop culture listicles, there did seem to be a difference to the gender hatred. Often the men had done something wrong (like Bill Cosby or Woody Allen) and the women were “irrationally” hated. In fact, this list of the most “irrationally hated” celebrities was all women. Though I gotta say — Justin Bieber pulled one in for feminism by being an irrationally hated man (aka one who hadn’t done something bordering on criminally wrong.) You go, Biebs. You go.

So… there definitely seems to be a gender bias to “irrational” or “hard to pin down” hatred that we have for some women. But, it’s not straight up misogyny because it doesn’t apply to all women. Just some women.

Like Anne Hathaway or Hillary Clinton.

I remember watching this youtube video of a matriarchal culture, and reading in the comments that one of young woman being interviewed seemed particularly likable. It stuck out in my mind, because of how rarely I hear women described as being likable. As I watched the video, I was sort of inclined to agree that this woman (her name is Cha Cuo) did seem particularly likable.

I thought she was pretty funny around 4:15 when she talks about not wanting to do “walking marriage” (aka a shorter term relationship that’s acceptable in their culture) with the tourists. Even when she says something sort of mean, she’s just so damn likable!

And the thing that this woman has, that Hathaway and Clinton didn’t have is that she just seems so damn genuine. She doesn’t give a shit if the men asking her out dislike her, she just speaks her mind.

I also should maybe point out the obvious… she grew up in a matriarchal culture. She may be less wealthy than Hathaway and Clinton, but there is also a way that they were oppressed that she wasn’t.

I think the way we oppress women in American culture makes them less likable.

In short, men have most of the resources and power, so women need to access their resources and social status through men. This means they have to be pleasing to men, validate male ego, not risk being too scary, find the right husband, etc. And, often the women who get ahead, are the ones who are the most able to be manipulative because we have deprived woman of avenues of success within their own right. They must manipulate success through male avenues. Cha Cuo, on the other hand, gives zero fucks, because she doesn’t have to please men for standing in her own culture. Women can stand on their own.

Trump, especially notably, was beloved for his willingness to “tell it like it is” while Clinton was derided as being overly calculating, overly cautious. In fact, if we were going to go back a few elections, Obama I’d say seemed similarly genuine compared to McCain, as did GW Bush compared to Gore. Gore also had trouble being too “wooden” and unemotional. McCain wasn’t as bad as Gore or Clinton (republicans seem better at this) but Obama just oozes ease when he talks.

Now, if we could get a similarly “genuine” woman to run for offie, I think she’d do great but I also think we’d have a hard time getting her there. There’s a reason the first female candidate for a major party was a time server not a risk taker — because women in our culture have to be cautious. If they have one too many drinks, they’ll get raped. If they negotiate too hard, they may get dropped. We punish women for sticking their necks out, so now we have a nation of women in their shells because they’ve been hurt before. Then, we hate the for their caution.

If you’re a woman, you have to reclaim access to your genuine self. You have to get yourself in a position where you can say — or at the very least, think — your honest thoughts and feelings. Because this repressive caution? It goes all the way down.

It’s part of faking orgasms so your partner doesn’t feel bad. Why would you anyone do this? Because they fear being abandoned more than they care about enjoying themselves in bed. Why do they fear being abandoned? Because they have been denied the means to care for themselves, and must rely on a partner to help them.

It’s part of why women are so out of touch with their own sexual desire.

It’s part of why women are twice as likely to be depressed as men.

We hold all this pain from this show we have to put on to exist in the world, and when the world sees it, they hate us for it.

Sorry, Hildog. Hope you have a happy retirement.

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