By Bonnie Honig | June 10, 2017, Boston Review
Conservatives routinely deny that gender is fluid. Yet they have feminized James Comey so rapidly, you would think he was J. Edgar Hoover.
Laura Ingraham claimed that Comey is a “drama queen” who writes in an unmanly way. Comey, says Charles Payne, is “a lot more emotional than you would think the head of the FBI should be . . . and vindictive too.” Amy Holmes thinks the fired FBI director is “like a 13 year old girl,” while a CNN commentator offered that Comey couldn’t “cowboy up, couldn’t man up.”
Then there is this from the President’s son, Donald Trump, Jr.: “So if he was a ‘Stronger guy’ he might have actually followed procedure & the law? You were the director of the FBI, who are you kidding?”
This is not just a story of the once-mighty brought low, but of the mechanisms of feminization by which Trump and his allies seek people’s compliance or bring them down.
Bonnie Honig is Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media (MCM) and Political Science at Brown University. She is also Affiliated Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation, Chicago. Her new book, Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair is available from Fordham University Press.