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(Mark Makela/The New York Times)

Again and again

Trump renews attacks on Megyn Kelly using time-tested technique

By WITW Staff on March 16, 2016

On Tuesday night, Donald Trump won four of five states holding Republican primaries, and in the meantime he returned to his tired old act of bashing Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Trump, unhappy with how Kelly was covering the primary results, got warmed up by retweeting several of his followers who took issue with Kelly and said they were switching the channel to CNN. He led with this one, in which he dubbed her “Crazy Megyn.”

Then, he continued to refer to her as “Crazy Megyn” in at least two subsequent tweets. This technique of impugning a woman’s sanity, Danielle Paquette at The Washington Post’s Wonkblog points out, dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. Paquette writes that the purported “spontaneous uterus movement” was thought to cause women to become hysterical and, to remedy the so-called condition, people would place “acrid substances” near the vagina of a sufferer. If the sufferer wasn’t cured, she’d be locked away. Sigmund Freud re-popularized the technique in Western culture by declaring “hysteria” was a disease that could only afflict women. The symptoms, Freud noted, included anger, sadness and anxiety. So when Trump brands Kelly “crazy,” he’s not just resorting to some schoolyard taunt. He’s deploying a technique used to repress women for behavior that men deemed objectionable that’s been used throughout the ages. Megyn Kelly will be joining us onstage at the 7th Annual Women in the World Summit taking place in New York City April 6-8.

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Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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