In the eyes of Gisele Fetterman’s staunchest defenders in the press and among the Very Online Left, the wife of Pennsylvania’s freshman Democratic Sen. John Fetterman is the wind beneath his wings, a woman filled with “grace and clarity” when the going gets tough, the quintessential self-sacrificing significant other of someone seeking – and winning – higher office.
For that matter, the supposedly selfless Gisele Fetterman will tell you that herself.
To sane people who know how to a phony when they see one, however, Mrs. Fetterman comes off as the callous, fame-seeking spouse of a stroke victim, someone who has used her newfound power and status on the national stage to try and, among other things, silence critics including the few reporters who were willing to openly question John Fetterman’s mental and physical health prior to Election Day 2022.
When last we left you with Mrs. Fetterman, she was busy agreeing with a Washington Post columnist who, incredibly, equated her situation to that of rape victims all over the crime of Fetterman’s critics rightly taking her to task for admittedly grabbing the kids and running off on a vacation trip not long after her husband admitted himself into the hospital for clinical depression back in mid-February – his second time in the hospital in two weeks’ time.
Apparently, Gisele Fetterman is still steaming over how she was relentlessly criticized over her actions last month, along with some questionable things she said and did during her husband’s Senate campaign, as evidenced by an op/ed she wrote that was published by Elle Magazine in which Mrs. Fetterman predictably played the victim card in claiming she was being unfairly attacked just because she was a woman:
A healthy, loving relationship is about supporting your partner’s dreams, not controlling them. I would never stop John from pursuing an ideal, just like he could never stop me—even if he wasn’t crazy about the idea at first, like when I told him I was going to be running into fires.
Hate is a lot like fire. If you don’t control it, it spreads.
For every baseless allegation, there are millions of young women being taught to internalize blame for everything—even in the worst moments of their lives. This misogyny affects everything they do. It spreads in the classroom, at the dinner table, and of course, on social media.
When we demand that women steel themselves in the face of unending attacks, we teach the next generation to normalize and accept harassment. In the end, it only puts the blame on women once again; telling us to toughen up or ignore it reasserts the idea that we need to accept when we’re treated poorly, instead of questioning why society permits abusive behavior. It makes us feel like we’re the problem for feeling pain when we’re held over a live fire.
Try as we may, we can’t fight fire with fire. We can’t out-hate a force set on denying our essential humanity. And even if I could, I wouldn’t want to carry that torch.
If Mrs. Fetterman was strictly talking about the sexism and misogyny women sometimes face, I’d agree with her (to a certain extent). But let’s note for the record that her blanket condemnations of her critics includes reducing the many who have had legitimate questions and concerns regarding her behavior as merely being part of a mindless herd of right-wing flamethrowers who supposedly live to troll and taunt women online.
As I’ve said before, Democratic women can’t have it both ways. Either women are fearless, strong and equal partners in these types of relationships involving a power dynamic and are deserving of praise AND criticism when it’s warranted or they’re not.
The good thing here is that at least Gisele Fetterman isn’t comparing herself to victims of sexual assault anymore. The bad thing is that Fetterman is still playing the victim… and all while her husband remains hospitalized over five weeks after he checked himself in.
The symbolism of it all kinda gives away the game, doesn’t it?
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