It has now been more than two months since Donald Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States of America, and almost five months since he defeated Hillary Clinton in the election, it turns out that we’re still living in a country where people think it matters that Hillary wore a leather jacket to some event.
So, that event was the Profesional BusinessWomen of California conference in San Francisco, it happened on Tuesday, and Clinton gave the keynote address. Unless I miss my guess, she probably made a shit-ton of money for this speech. Which, whatever—I don’t have the energy to care. It was one of her first extended public appearances since the loss to Trump, she spoke about sexism in Silicon Valley, and she took some shots at Trump.
Fine. This is what you’d expect.
But—holy shit, guys—she wore a fucking leather jacket. And people went NUTS for it. Mic.com had what I’ve identified as the dumbest story about the whole thing, which included Buzzfeed-y text blurbs above photos, like so:
The former secretary of state wore a black leather jacket, an international symbol for being an unapologetic badass. That’s a boss move if we’ve ever seen one.
Clinton did not come to play with y’all in San Francisco on Tuesday.
The story also included tweets like these:
And Bustle had this to say, which might actually make you sick:
This leather jacket/floral shirt combo comes after Clinton cut her hair, leaving behind her signature bob from the campaign, instead opting for a shorter cut with bangs. These recent changes make it seem like Clinton wasn't 100 percent herself all of these years since she was always trying to please the public, so I'm very happy to see her expressing her true self.
It included more awesome tweets:
I could keep going, but who actually wants that? Instead, let me direct a few real-world updates to anyone who actually believes that Hillary Clinton wearing a leather jacket holds any significance at all, or should be described as “badass”:
is president, and it’s horrible.
2. She somehow lost to him. She lost to Donald Trump.
3. This will be her legacy. She’s the politician that was so unbelievably awful that she actually lost to Donald Trump, who is already our nation’s worst-ever president, and who we always knew would become our nation’s worst-ever president. This makes her, inarguably, the worst major political candidate in American history.
4. Her fucking clothes at some paid speech don’t matter.
5. While other people emerged to lead the resistance following her loss, she went into hiding in the woods.
6. Her talk about diversity in Silicon Valley is really rich coming from someone whose neoliberal policies have contributed to the economic alienation of women and people of color, two groups that made up the majority of the Trump coalition.
7. This leather jacket? It doesn’t redeem her in the slightest.
8. Also, please listen: Her decision to wear it was likely designed to make idiots think that she still projects a sense of power and is some kind of defiant shadow president, rather than the corrupt and incompetent embarrassment who LOST TO DONALD TRUMP.
9. This is kind of pathetic on her part, but is super pathetic for anyone who buys into it.
10. You don’t know Hillary Clinton. You can’t relate to her, as much as you want to think you can. You don’t have her money, you never had her power, and any emotion you perceive on her behalf is undoubtedly wrong. And again, when you perceive that emotion, you are likely buying into some kind of marketing strategy like a credulous dupe. She is not your friend.
11. If you understand Hillary Clinton as a product, you are correct. You will never know the “real” Hillary, if such a person even exists, and if you believe that the mirage has faded and the true version of the failed candidate is some kind of cool motorcycle mama…you are not using your powers of analysis to their full capabilities.
12. And by the way, if you’re constantly looking for secret motivations in order to justify a politician to yourself and your friends, then you have picked the wrong politician. The right politician is the one who has the courage to express his or her beliefs openly, without layers of deceit or image-management, and whose beliefs roughly align with your own.
13. On a deeper level, treating politics with such godawful superficiality is a legitimate problem that has contributed to our current situation. If you succumb to this shit, you are engaging with politics on a purely emotional level. This makes you exactly like a Trump voter, except dumber because you couldn’t find a way to help your candidate win.
14. I’m actually so angry about this leather jacket.
15. WHY? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? WHY CAN’T AMERICAN LIBERALS STOP BUYING INTO THIS SHIT? WHY HASN’T DONALD TRUMP’S MISERABLE PRESIDENCY SHAKEN US OUT OF OUR BONE-DEEP STUPIDITY AND FORCED US TO FOCUS ON REAL ACTIVISM INSTEAD OF SUPERFICIAL IRRELEVANT BULLSHIT?!?!?
16. For real, though, there are people out there who need your help. There are people who need you to advocate for them, because their already-muted voices have been rendered nearly silent by the Trump presidency. If you saw the McDonald’s Twitter account tweet something bad about Trump, and you hurried to Facebook to make a public vow to support them by buying a Shamrock Shake on St. Patrick’s Day, you are a nitwit. (This actually happened on my timeline, before the person realized that McDonald’s had been hacked). Corporations don’t need your help. Hillary Clinton doesn’t need your help. Samantha Bee and John Oliver will not make the world a better place because you retweeted some segment that nobody will watch. Stop looking for symbolic victories, and—if you actually care—start doing the work that matters.
17. Finally, please internalize the following truth: In American politics, there are no easy wins. If you are looking for easy wins, you are failing yourself and your country. And if something comes along and you think, “wow, that’s an easy win!”, then consider that you might be looking at the latest iteration of triumphant Hillary wearing a leather jacket, and reconsider.
Okay. I think that’s it. I think I’m done talking about the leather jacket. God help us.