Don’t Tell Her to Smile, Idiots

Oh boy. Well, take a sip of coffee and get ready to pour the rest on your laptop: last night, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough told Hillary Clinton to smile.

No, like, seriously.

“Smile,” he tweeted. “You just had a big night. #PrimaryDay”

What fuckery is this, though? Especially since he back-pedalled (not really!) by saying “We’ve called @BernieSanders grumpy for a year. @HillaryClinton is tough as hell.” And then: “We’ve hammered all candidates on their style and substance. We try to hold all candidates to the same standard.”

Nope. Try again.

“I don’t look at HRC as a woman anymore than I did Thatcher,” he continued. “I look at her as a tough candidate who can handle it.”

Dude, no.

“I’ve also made no secret of the fact I like HRC personally and respect her toughness. She’s dealt with a helluva more than a tweet.”

But that’s not really the point, is it? (Nope!) And I’m not sure what’s accounting for Joe — and many other men’s — inability to understand what’s really behind the command to “smile!” Maybe it’s because they’ve never heard it when they’re walking down the street alone, or maybe because it’s never been said to them as a threat, or maybe it’s because they don’t get that it’s yet another critique of our appearances. Maybe they think of it as just as a “suggestion” instead of seeing it as another extension of body policing. Maybe they didn’t get that when Jessica Jones finally tells Killgrave to smile (SPOILER) it’s a huge assertion of power because being on the receiving end of that command makes you feel both livid and powerless.

Maybe it’s those reasons. So let me just say this right here: when you tell a woman to smile — any woman (ever) — you are the embodiment of what comes to mind when we’re asked what sucks about being a woman. You, with your entitlement and warped sense of confidence (or strange idea that you think we care what you think in any way, at all) and your push for control are what come to mind when I want to put my head on my desk and yell “WHY” as loud as I can. You are the worst. Just the worst. And whenever you think, “But why not smile?” just imagine how you feel reading this paragraph. (Shitty? Do you feel kind of shitty?) And then imagine all the things you have to do today and then imagine some idiot jumps into frame and says “Smile!” like a goddman Sears family photographer.

Short answer: no. Longer answer: I hate you. Longest answer: are you kidding me right now.

You would hate it. We hate it! And it doesn’t matter if we’ve heard worse (we have! I promise we have!), every time somebody tells me/us/anyone to smile, we morph more and more into Jessica Jones. And like, we really all did see how she won that fight, you know?

So quit it.

Tags: Anne T. Donahue, Hillary Clinton, smile

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