Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beauty and Government

Michigan’s state budget is crashing like a demented lemming at a cliff face. I mention this not only because it means I’m laid off for six days this summer, but because I’ve spent more time than usual before and after work searching google news for keywords like “Michigan Budget” and “Granholm” (the governor). Of course the comments section of any news article is a case for Sanity Watcher’s points, but I’ve noticed that the most virulent critics of Granholm almost inevitably end their criticism with a mention of the mole on her cheek.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. When dealing with a woman in power, a large part of the criticism is nearly always directed at her appearance. If they find her attractive they bandy around terms like “MILF” and “Babe,” and usually conclude that she is therefore less intelligent. If there is any physical “flaw” it is seized upon with relish as a reflection of her character. How often have we seen Michelle Obama judged by her clothes, height, build and face instead of her intelligence? In the current Supreme Court nomination process, how much of the cyberspace discussion surrounds the physical appearance of the female nominees? Are women held to a literal double standard of both skill and appearance? Is having a picturesque leader now more important than an intelligent one? Can a mole magically suck governing skills from a human brain?

Paul Campos summarizes it nicely on The Daily Beast. He also tops it with what may just be the perfect quote, which is what originally caught my eye on Shapely Prose:

"For some men, the only thing more intolerable than the sight of a powerful woman is the sight of a powerful woman they don’t want to sleep with."
- Paul Campos

Really..'nuff said.


windy city girl said...

Whew! That quote packs quite a punch!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Miriel said...

Dear Anon, remember that delightful bit of wisdom that goes something like "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?" Please, copy it out and stick it on your wall. You may be surprised at the jump in your quality of life!

Another Michigander here... I think our state is going to shit. Mostly because I'm trying to get a job right now. The job market is ridiculous and I'm only going for min wage currently. :(