I have a lot to say on this topic, yep. https://twitter.com/noirista/status/1314258912938352640
Basically, calling powerful women "monsters" goes way back. If you fear a woman's intellect & power, & want leave to come after her, you're gonna dehumanize her by calling her "monster" instead of "warrior." Monster, epic-wise, means she can be destroyed, & you can get hero cred.
"Monster" lies in the same category as "witch." It implies that women who're really capable are supernatural, that it's not possible a human aka "good" woman could be capable in the same ways men are. It also implies she can be attacked without legal ramifications.
Trump loves to use the word "monster" to discuss women. He also loves to use physical descriptors, to imply a sort of combo of ugly monstrousness and invisibility when it comes to said women, as in, "wouldn't fuck her," with the subtext of "because she's not even human."
He uses it, of course, in this case, against Harris, in a white supremacist way, because his mission here aligns with the mission of dehumanizing BIPOC, as well as dehumanizing his female opponent.
"Monster," for Trump, is in the same category as "not my type." Both of those are in the non-human, can be allowably-slandered-and-murdered categories, which are long-standing categories used by powerful men to convert powerful women who are competing with them, into prey.
Essentially, the word "monster" is an invitation to a bounty. It's calculated based on thousands of years of myth-based use of the word "monster," when applied to women, to invite followers to bring you some blood, and get their hero status. It's on purpose.
Grendel's mother, has been frequently translated as a "monster" for exactly this reason. If she's a monster, it's okay for Beowulf to sneak into her territory and kill her, despite the fact that she's followed feud rule law, killing one person in exchange for her son, Grendel.
It's been important for certain translators to depict Beowulf as an uncomplicated Good hero, rather than as a man who does something very bad, midway thru the story. It's also why those same translations had difficulty with part 3, the dragon coming for Beowulf's territory.
Many of those translators felt that the dragon section was like, a different poem, rather than a logical outcome for a man who has broken the rules, and now has to pay the price. Modern understanding of monster-killing says you can kill as many monsters as you want, heroically.
Many ancient texts are just straight up about the problems for the soul of monsterizing your neighbors. You end up fucked. People decided to simplify it for modern audiences, & say that you could monsterize your neighbors & become a hero that way. This has had repercussions.
Anyway. Trump draws on all this as he calls Kamala Harris a monster. He's justifying his violent language, dehumanizing his opponent, and portraying himself as a classical monster-battling hero.
And if you're a monster-battling hero, you're also, conveniently, allowed to be fraught, to get wild in your calls to the world. You're part of a long and passionate tradition. Who can fault your passion? Your religious devotion? You're a demon battler. It. Is. All. On. Purpose.
I wrote two books about this topic, The Mere Wife, and Beowulf: A New Translation. So far. If you're inclined to read more, here ya go. (Also, everything I write is about this topic. There's a lot of me on this riff out there if you google.) https://us.macmillan.com/author/mariadahvanaheadley/
And most importantly, get out there and vote this dude out of the White House. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. He's not a hero. He's a slimeball.
You can follow @MARIADAHVANA.
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