Not 24 hours after my colleague Peter Daou published an open letter to the media admonishing them for tipping the scales in Donald’s favor, the New York Times has published a headline casting Hillary as a hunter stalking the “elusive prey” of white men, trading on one of the most sinister anti-feminist tropes – that feminist women want to kill men.
UPDATE: Common sense and decency have prevailed, and the New York Times has revised its headline, which now reads: “Hillary Clinton Targets a Skeptical Crowd: White Male Voters.”
The story is headlined: “Hillary Clinton Hunts an Elusive Prey: White Male Voters.”
It was promoted on Twitter the same way.
In an election in which I have encountered and covered countless misogynist swipes at Hillary, no headline has made me as angry as this one.
This inexcusably gross headline trades on the anti-feminist narrative that feminist women are violently aggressive toward men – constantly used to try to discredit and insult feminist women, whether in direct accusations that feminist women want to hurt and destroy men, or embedded in “jokes” like a man who disagrees with a feminist woman ending his comment with “ducks!” as though imminent physical harm awaits him.
Further, it is an analogy that exists at the expense of the very real threats that Hillary faces as a public progressive feminist woman. She has, since 1994, had to occasionally agree to wear a bulletproof vest when threats against her have reached an alarming pitch. She is not “hunting” anyone, but she herself has been hunted by people with literal, not metaphorical, intentions.
And then there is this: Hillary is leading the way on taking on the powerful gun lobby and calling for meaningful gun reform to address our national scourge of gun violence. What a cruel subversion of the work she’s doing on guns to cast her in the role of a hunter going after prey.
This is intolerable treatment of a historic female candidate. The New York Times needs to change its headline and issue an apology to Hillary Clinton now.