By now, nearly everyone has seen the meme depicting Donald Trump hitting Hillary Clinton in the back with a golf ball, retweeted by the President himself earlier this week.
Outrage at such violence against women was fast and furious, particularly from men on the left, notes Imran Siddiquee—from Former Vice President Joe Biden’s warning of its terrible influence to writer Stephen King’s verdict that it laid bare “a severely fucked-up mind.”
But there was also something missing in all that disapproval, says Irman Siddiquee. Self-recognition.
“It doesn’t take much to paint Trump as a monster — he does that work for you. What’s harder is for men to actually admit how utterly recognizable his attitudes are,” says Siddiquee.
Of course, Trump was only to happy to share a “sophomoric GIF” celebrating aggression “ towards women who have the gall to challenge men,” argues Siddiquee, but the assertion that “our collective lack of response” was helping to normalize Trump’s misogyny seems to obscure the fact that women have been stalked, harassed and threatened online for decades now—all prior to Trump and his pussy-grabbing antics.
In fact, “memes showing violence against women have in many ways been synonymous with social media since its inception.”