hillary clinton misreads books

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Right-wing trolls mock Hillary Clinton for ‘misreading’ books

It's as dumb as you'd expect.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 13, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 5:33 pm CDT

Hillary Clinton‘s new book about the 2016 presidential election, What Happened, was just released on Tuesday, and right-leaning internet trolls have come out in full force. Over the summer, the right mocked the title of the book and kind of proved the point that misogyny played a role in the election. Now that the book is actually available, people are quoting excerpts and laughing at Clinton’s words. A new hashtag on Twitter implies that Clinton, a Wellesley and Yale-educated woman, can’t comprehend classic literature and that she makes the moral of every book about herself. Yeah, it’s pretty dumb.


Several of the entries are about books that involve a murder, which seem to reference the conspiracy theories that say the Clintons had people killed.


The hashtag took off after a review of What Happened in the National Journal criticized Clinton for “misreading” David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon College commencement speech, This Is Water, which was later published in a book. Clinton relates a story that Wallace shares at the beginning of his speech—about two fish not knowing what water is—to working as a woman in politics. The comparison seemed simple enough: she is saying that people immersed in a deeply sexist environment don’t recognize sexism. But the publication claimed that she was “misreading” the speech.

Yet again, the right is mocking Clinton and calling her self-involved for daring to speak out about her experience as a woman. Look, if you want to criticize Clinton post-election, pick something that is actually worthy of criticism, like Verrit. But saying that she isn’t allowed to interpret a speech a certain way? They’re just grasping at straws at this point.

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*First Published: Sep 13, 2017, 2:23 pm CDT