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Opinion
The News
The News How to Play the 'Woman Card' Trump insists Clinton has got this far based on her gender. Let's consider the facts
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BY ALEXANDRA PETRI

The Washington Post

“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card,” Trump said Tuesday night, after winning 5 primaries.

Ah yes, the woman’s card.

I have been carrying one of these for years, proudly.

It is great. It entitles you to a sizable discount on your earnings everywhere you go (average 21 percent, but can be anywhere from 9 percent to 37 percent, depending on what study you’re reading and what edition of the Woman Card you have.) If you shop with the Woman Card at the grocery, you will get to pay 11 percent more for all the same products as men, but now they are pink.

Unlike Man Cards, Woman Cards do not increase in value as they age. In fact, they depreciate. Do not collect Woman Cards. Even in mint condition, they are worthless.”

-Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post columnist

Hook up the Woman Card to your TV and you will get a barrage of commercials telling you that you did something wrong with your face and must buy ointment immediately so as not to become a Hideous Crone. Also, you are now expected to spend your whole life removing hair from your body, except for the areas of your body where your hair must be long and luxurious. (Do not get these two areas confused!)

Unlike Man Cards, Woman Cards do not increase in value as they age. In fact, they depreciate. Do not collect Woman Cards. Even in mint condition, they are worthless.

The great news is that if you use your Woman Card to hurt other women, you get access to a special place in hell.

It’s about more than discounts, though.

Take the Woman Card on the subway with you, put your headphones in, and you are guaranteed a free, lengthy, one-on-one conversation or lecture from a man who will not leave you alone unless you also remembered to bring your I Have A Boyfriend Card (they accept no substitutes).

Show the Woman Card to your health-care provider and you will enjoy new limits on your reproductive rights, depending on what the legislators of your state have decided is wise. Get ready to have a lot of things about your body explained to you!

The Woman Card is not, itself, a form of birth control (no matter what Todd Akin suggests) but it can prevent you from getting coverage for yours.

Use the Woman Card at the library to get a book with squiggly pastel handwriting on the cover that Gay Talese will not take seriously.

Has Hillary Clinton been tricking us with her woman-ness all along? Photo: The Washington Post/Melina Mara

Has Hillary Clinton been tricking us with her woman-ness all along? Photo: The Washington Post/Melina Mara

Present the Woman Card to a man you have just met at a party and it is good for one detailed, patronizing explanation of the subject you literally got your PhD in.

Offer it to someone on the red carpet and, instead of any substantive questions about your work, you will get a barrage of inquiries EXCLUSIVELY about what you are wearing.

On the bright side, running for office as a Woman Card-holder is a blast, because it allows people to accuse your female supporters of only liking you because of your gender. Don’t try suggesting the opposite! That doesn’t work.

Show off the Woman Card on your way to work and you will get free comments from total strangers, telling you to smile. Play it in the sciences and you will get to leave the sciences.

Take the Woman Card anywhere and you will instantly be surrounded by men who feel entitled to your time. Also, to your space. Do not take up too much space; the Woman Card does not cover that. It also does not cover female protagonists or not being harassed online. You are on your own for those. The Woman Card doesn’t even entitle you to shorter lines in the restroom. Frankly, as fun as it is to be a member of the exclusive club, and as much as I enjoy the occasional door-holding, I’m not even sure I want to re-up this year.

But it’s not all fun discounts and free experiences!

The Woman Card entitles you to constant scrutiny and judgment from all corners at all times, whether you asked for it or not. Try talking! Or rather, don’t.

You can also use it in fun card games, including but not limited to “Go Fish” (what your boss says when you ask for a raise), “Can You Have It All” (fundamentally identical to “War” but you can’t win), “Sorry!” (compete to see who can say this the most in the course of a single meeting), “Don’t Wake Daddy” (mom has to do all the child-rearing by default), and “Five Card Slut Poker” (for men, this is called Five-Card Stud, but this is the double-standard edition).

Literally in the course of writing this piece a man came up and asked if I could explain how it was that I came to type so fast, then continued with several follow-ups, and did not seem to notice that I was busy. I am not joking.

The amazing thing about this card is that men seem to think it is a trump card (or a Trump Card, as the case may be). It’s many things. But that’s the one thing it’s not.

(Also, go to #womancard on Twitter which is tearing through this concept as we speak.)

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