In an op-ed for TIME magazine, Robin Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, writes that the FBI’s criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified email documents during her time as secretary of state is really a “bitch hunt” attack on Clinton simply because she is a woman. “It’s not about emails,” Lakoff writes. “It’s about public communication by a woman.”
From Lakoff’s TIME magazine op-ed:
I am mad. I am mad because I am scared. And if you are a woman, you should be, too. Emailgate is a bitch hunt, but the target is not Hillary Clinton. It’s us.
The only reason the whole email flap has legs is because the candidate is female. Can you imagine this happening to a man? Clinton is guilty of SWF (Speaking While Female), and emailgate is just a reminder to us all that she has no business doing what she’s doing and must be punished, for the sake of all decent women everywhere. There is so much of that going around.
The people are demanding Clinton act like moral exemplars, thundering from the pulpit like Jonathan Edwards or Cotton Mather. But Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and their many conservative friends are not remotely Clinton’s moral superiors. They are simply bullies, using gender discrimination to give a veneer of plausibility to their accusations.
FBI Chief James Comey has shown himself to be another bully of the same kind. He has repeatedly talked down to Clinton, admonishing her as a bad parent would a 5-year-old. He has accused her of “poor judgment” and called her use of a private email server “extremely careless.” If Comey’s a Boy Scout, here’s one old lady who will never let him help her across the street.
If the candidate were male, there would be no scolding and no “scandal.” Those very ideas would be absurd. Men have a nearly absolute right to freedom of speech. In theory, so do women, but that, as the creationists like to say, is only a theory.
Read the rest here.