My friend, Mo, sends me awesome links. Here are some I received this week:
CNN Poll: Quarter Doubt Obama was born in U.S. “Are you fucking kidding me?” is my response to that one. Her email title to that link was simply, “ugh.”
And, “Too Hot to Handle: Stop Ogling Republican Women” from Newsweek. They also title this the “Palin Effect.”
Something pretty creepy has been happening to conservative women lately. There seems to be an insistent, increasingly excitable focus on the supposed hotness of Republican women in the public eye, like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, and Nikki Haley—not to mention veterans like Ann Coulter. The sexual references are pervasive: they come from left, right, and center, and range from gushing to highly offensive. […]
But all of the excitement about these wins, the supposed rise of the “mama grizzlies” of the right, has obscured where things really are with women in politics. One in six members of Congress is female; out of a total of 535 seats, Republican women hold only 21, or 4 percent. It’s hardly an onslaught.
The number of women holding state-wide executive office has dropped since 2002, from 88 to 72 of the 315 positions. There are only six women governors. So no matter how striking the incremental gains, we’ve got a long way to go before approaching anything resembling equality. Which is why we need to remember that these women are not competing to see who has the most smokin’ bod. They want to run the country, or their part of it. They want votes, not free drinks—and we need properly scrutinized candidates, not circus performers.
All of this stuff, ALL the focus on looks (either the “hot” ones or the “ugly” ones) only leads to more focusing on looks. This sucks for all sides, all the time.