Eileen Myles Talks of Misogyny in American Politics at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

American poet Eileen Myles still believes that Hillary Clinton’s failure to become President of the United States was “simply misogyny”. 

“I don’t mean that people didn’t vote for her,” they told the Edinburgh International Book Festival, “[but] the Voting Rights Act was softened…then the hacking and all those things happened, but the thing is all that was witnessed by the whole country, all these institutions, and I feel like if that was done to a man it would have been [seen as] a crime against America, it would have been a crime against the system, it would have been a crime against democracy, but I think it was just a crime against Hillary Clinton.”

In their Book Festival debut, the performer, arts journalist and inspiration for a character in the Amazon series Transparent read from their work past, present and future, and also talked about politics. Asked about their support for Clinton during last year’s presidential election, they replied: “That’s what’s weird, that somehow a woman doesn’t become part of the body politic.

“And yet I think every one of us have had that feeling at some time or other in your life. As a young poet [I] thought ‘my work is so fucking hot, shit I’m so good’, and then I walked into a room and realised I was a piece of ass. Women feel this, people of colour, queers feel this, and it’s not to say that men don’t feel this, but I’m talking about being female…we just have to keep on waking up more intensely in our lives in order to act.”



More articles