Say this for the Donald, he has a rare talent for emasculation. Jeb “Low Energy” Bush. “Lying Ted” Cruz. “Little Marco” Rubio. Each of these derisions stuck because they worked, simultaneously, on two levels: at once bolstering Trump’s own virile image and identifying real weaknesses in his opponents. Jeb Bush was boring. Ted Cruz does lie—constantly. And Marco Rubio is, well, little.
Trump’s new nickname for his Fox News nemesis Megyn Kelly—
—only works on the first of those levels. Kelly may be “a woman who plays a racist on TV,” as Gawker called her, but she’s fairly moderate by Fox’s standards. “Crazy” is just a slightly nicer way of saying Kelly is PMS-ing.
Hillary Clinton is likely to be the Democratic nominee, and boorish machismo doesn’t have the same political charm when deployed against a woman. As Elle Reeve recently wrote for the New Republic, “It’s funny to see powerful, pompous men deflated by being called sissies... But what are the classic schoolyard taunts against girls? Ugly, bossy, bitchy, slut—these would not be refreshing ‘emperor has no clothes’ insults, but more of the same sexist garbage women hear all the time.”