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It’s as dumb as you’d expect.
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.
Grapes of Wrath: Climate Change creates giant dustbowl #HillaryClintonMisreadsBooks
— Prepper Frog (@TueborFrog) September 13, 2017
— Dr. Meeseeks (@DrBioCheMiker) September 13, 2017
Orwell's Animal Farm- “…some animals are more equal than others.” I am that animal.
— John Smith (@Houdini1000) September 13, 2017
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.
If you're having an existential crisis, the solution is to engage in brutal violence.
— MonBossyMothma-WR (@nowhere_nh) September 13, 2017
Crime and Punishment – An early how-to manual on getting away with murder.
— Kurt Michaels (@DatOtherMichael) September 13, 2017
— CristaCruz (@cristabcruz) September 13, 2017
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.
Tiffany Kelly is the Unclick editor at Daily Dot. Previously, she worked at Ars Technica and Wired. Her writing has appeared in several other print and online publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Popular Mechanics, and GQ.