#feminismisdead: Trump’s moniker, “Crooked Hillary”, was a masterstroke
Trump’s moniker, “Crooked Hillary”, was a masterstroke. Snappy yet vague (and thus irrefutable), it gained instant traction. But it was hardly original. In portraying his opponent as untrustworthy, corrupt, and unfit for public office, Trump was reworking a theme common in the anti-feminist rhetoric of the post-war period.
Writer Philip Wylie’s 1942 best-selling polemic, Generation of Vipers, excoriated American women for disempowering their husbands, emasculating their sons, and leaving a once great American nation on its knees. You don’t have to look hard to see shades of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra here.
For Wylie, women in political life are “crooked” by definition, and part of a national slide into “moral degeneration, civic corruption, smuggling, bribery, theft, murder, homosexuality, drunkenness, financial depression, chaos and war”.