Article Lead Image

Photo via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The leading causes of the Very Average Scream, compiled

Oh, Donald Trump. You don't know the half of it.


Mary Emily O'Hara


Posted on Jul 29, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 9:13 am CDT

After Hillary Clinton’s historic Thursday night acceptance speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, a couple of people seemed kind of miffed about the presidential candidate’s lack of smiles and generally serious presidential tone.

Among hundreds of men who tweeted at the future U.S. president to “smile more” during her speech, rival Republican candidate Donald Trump used his closest policy advisor (Twitter) to deliver a condemnation of Clinton’s “Very Average Scream.”

Twitter promptly broke out in virtual guffaws, wondering what exactly constituted a “very average scream” and what exactly Trump was even talking about, as usual. But many also rushed to adopt the inventive phrasing, suggesting that T-shirts be printed, bands be formed, and improv comedy troupes use the line as a jump-off point for jokes.

After quickly rushing to buy the domain for for 99 cents via GoDaddy (no, really, I own it now), we decided to explore some of the factors that might lead to Hillary Clinton’s Very Average Scream—and the average screams of women all over the country.

Here is a list of the nation’s leading causes of Very Average Screaming:

1) Being told to “smile” by men on the internet.

2) Making 79 cents for every dollar a man makes.

3) Being called “liar,” “crooked,” “Satan,” and/or a “war criminal.”

4) Being called “shrill,” “old,” “hideous,” “witch.”

5) Having your face photoshopped onto countless bizarre, creepy images like this:

6) Getting bombarded by unsolicited dick pics and harassing messages when you’re just trying to find a date.

7) Having to save up money for childbirth because your country doesn’t have a national family leave policy of any kind.

8) Thousands of backlogged rape kits at police departments across the country because apparently no one cares.

9) Gun laws that allow domestic violence perpetrators to buy deadly weapons.

10) Schools shaming underage girls for wearing normal clothes.

11) Fragile masculinity that inspires the manufacturing of “tactical soap” and separate boxes of facial tissues that are just for men.

12) Being told to “smile” by men you pass on the street.

13) Transgender women being murdered at higher rates than everyone else.

14) Transgender women in prison forced into solitary confinement for “safety” or getting added charges for attempting suicide

15) Being told your lesbianism or bisexuality is a “phase” that will end when you “find the right guy.”

16) Being compared to an actual monkey by racists on the internet.

17) Being told to “smile” by anyone, for any reason. Ever.

18) Manspreading.

19) Menstrual shaming. And politicians who pass restrictive reproductive health laws and don’t seem to want to hear all the details about your clots and uterine chunks as they fall out of your body each month.

20) Not being safe from rape at home, at work, on the street, in an Uber, or anywhere else, and always having to watch your back just in case.

21) Ex-boyfriends who post nude revenge porn photos of you online with your name and home address attached.

22) Woody Allen.

23) The fact that out of 44 U.S. presidents, all have been men. Over the course of 227 years.

24) The fact that even though women make up the majority of the population, only 20 percent of U.S. senators and 19 percent of representatives in Congress are women.

25) Just even seeing the word “smile” written on a piece of paper at this point.

26) Because it’s so hard to get an abortion in some states, it’s simpler to spend hundreds of dollars on top of procedural costs to fly to another state to find a clinic that’s close enough.

27) Because in some places, the only way to get an abortion is on a boat. In the ocean.

28) Weird Asiaphile dudes who think Asian women are “submissive” and that’s why they want to date them.

29) Because sex trafficking happens, and so does stigma and discrimination against sex workers who aren’t trafficked but just trying to make enough money to live.

30) “Smile.”

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 29, 2016, 2:10 pm CDT