“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” wrote the playwright,William Congreve in 1697. Though Congreve is long forgotten, his quote has been immortalized, surfacing over and over as gender-related issues continuously pop up in US politics. The presidency of Donald Trump, known for his crude comments and surrounded by accusations of sexual assault and misconduct, gave birth to “Women’s Marches” and huge efforts to promote the role of women in politics.
Many of Trump’s critics viewed his attacks and ultimate defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign as appealing to sexist tropes. A New York Times op-ed referred to Hillary Clinton as “The Bitch America Needs” and attempted to own the female-specific label often pinned on the former US Senator and First Lady.
As women become and more prominent in US politics, the public is becoming aware of the different personality types of politically-bent women. Elizabeth Warren’s path to fame involved a reputation as a financial regulator who stood up to corporate power. Sarah Palin’s following, now mostly eroded, centered on the image of tough “Hockey Mom” who was dedicated to her kids.
As more and more female political figures emerge, different images and personality types are being experimented with. One particular trope among female politicians and government officials that has emerged is clearly being embraced by certain forces. While other feminists may try to challenge stereotypes or break down misconceptions, what could be called a “wrecker” mentality that really doesn’t seek to avoid calling forth images Congreve’s words about a woman scorned seems to also be finding its place in the spotlight.
“That Little Girl Was Me!”
Kamala Harris is the daughter of a Jamaican-American Economics Professor and an Indian-American Cancer researcher. She grew up in Berkeley, California, a hotbed of left-wing activism in the 1960s. Her parents divorced when she was 7 years old.
Harris’ father remains a well-respected Marxist economist, and he has distanced himself from his daughter very significantly, saying she is “beholden to her donors.” While Harris has frequently praised her mother on social media and in speeches, she remains silent about her Marxist father who speaks critically of her.
Harris’ career as a prosecutor launched her into politics, however,