Recently I posted an image created by a prominent political artist/activist Anthony Freda on my Facebook wall. Anthony has been an avid advocate for human rights, freedom and justice. He has spoken against imperialism, corrupt politicians, wars, fascism, corporatism and much more with his insightful images that provoke conversations, understanding, reconciliation, actions and thoughts.
The image depicts the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with a man’s body with big hands and a large genital. It is obviously a parody of a piece depicting a naked Donald Trump with small hands by artist Illma Gore.
I immediately reacted to Anthony’s ingenuity in recognizing Ms. Clinton’s embodiment of the power and authority of a patriarchal empire. I responded to his stark criticism of Ms. Clinton’s self proclamation as a “feminist,” a claim she makes while subjecting countless people, including women, across the globe to her violent foreign policy as a Secretary of State. Her actions have cost millions of deaths, many more injuries, far more people being dislocated and yet more of them experiencing broken up families, communities and countries.
If you are not familiar with Ms. Clinton’s record on corporatism, colonialism and militarism, this is a good place to start.
I saw the image as a clear statement of protest against patriarchy and Ms. Clinton’s disingenuous position as a feminist. However, I had quite a few people complaining that the image is misogynistic, basically saying that it degrades women seeking power and implies hatred against them by depicting her as a man, a fat ugly man.
This view of the image is a stark reminder that Ms. Clinton has successfully presented herself as a successful female in a world dominated by men. To her supporters, she symbolizes the power of women just as President Obama has represented the power of Black people to his.
But what did president Obama do with his power? The power he held as he was sworn in to the presidency with his hand on Martin Luther King Jr.’s bible? Dr. King called the US government “the greatest purveyor of violence.” He fought against it and he died for his cause. Conversely, President Obama started seven new wars and greatly expanded the drone war, personally overseeing what has become the killing of thousands. President Obama did not expand MLK’s dream for humanity. He has deceptively herded people into imperial agendas serving the white patriarchy.
I have been called a hater and a racist for pointing that out.
And, now, Hillary Clinton has done the same criminal job of expanding the empire with military violence while strangling people economically across the globe as a Secretary of State. Where is the outrage? We see the outrage against her friend Donald Trump. In fact, people look at the image of his naked body with a little penis and just laugh at him calling him a fascist clown. But when someone denies Hilary Clinton’s feminist power and instead calls it, accurately, a deadly power of murderous patriarchy, you are in trouble.
Our historical trauma of slavery and sexism and our struggle against the abuses have been colonized to serve the same hierarchy of money and violence that has created the trauma and abuses. The system installs figureheads of subjugated origins that operate exactly the same principles as the establishment. It is a pattern. We see the same mechanism in Palestine. The grave trauma of holocaust has been utilized as a smoke screen by the US imperialists as well as by the government officials of Israel. The violent settler colonialism enforced by the state of Israel is seen as a rightful defense against “terrorism” by the indigenous population of Palestine. Many don’t even question the logic of supplying enormous military support to colonial settlers ($11million a day to Israel) while making us believe that extermination of the natives by the settlers must not appear as what it is. According to the establishment, we must not interfere with the devastating violence inflicted by modern fighter jets and tanks against rock throwing children in order to keep their “level playing field”. What sort of bullshit is that? What sort of thievery of the humanity that is cultivated by the rest of the peace loving Jewish people across the globe?
I have been called an anti-semite for speaking against the violence committed by the Israeli government against Palestinians.
Seeing the consequences of the pattern, I am very skeptical of people calling the painting mentioned above misogynist. Is Anthony’s painting the right target of criticism in forwarding our humanistic ideas? Is he really a hate-monger?
When our society is taken over by the powerful few, and when the whole society becomes a hierarchy guided by the sheer violence and power of money, our desire to be human is often attacked and ridiculed as weakness, selfishness, inappropriateness and disrespect.
I urge people to examine what is involved and discern what is really inhumane.