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
— FrogDoc (@TueborFrog) 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.
— I'm a woman, and I'm mad as Hell (@nowhere_nh) September 13, 2017
Crime and Punishment – An early how-to manual on getting away with murder.
— Kurt “Wuhan Luke” Michaels (@DatOtherMichael) 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.