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02/07/2010

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andylevinson

Ebery speech michelle obama gives is a bomb....and her hair really sucks....isn't michelle a bit on the chubby side, too?

Jeff McMahon

Last year I asked a classroom full of virulently feminist students what they thought about the fact that news stories about the presidential campaign often described Hilary Clinton's clothing and hair but not Barack Obama's (you may argue that he has no hair and he always wears black suits, but you can't deny his colorful ties). The virulently feminist students just sort of shrugged, so maybe I'm really not onto something here. But isn't describing the surface of female politicians--their hair, their clothes, their shoes--just another way of minimizing the content of their ideas? And isn't that part of a larger misogyny? Everyone hates Dick Cheney because he's evil, but he's evil based on what he says. People hate Sarah Palin in a more personal way, because she's pretty and stupid and homey and conservative perhaps, just as people hated Hilary Clinton--before Barack put her somewhere safe--because she didn't care about pretty, wouldn't bake cookies, and she's smart. Working with that range of hatreds--pretty to not pretty, cookies to no cookies, stupid to smart--female politicians really don't have as much of a chance to be judged on their ideas. Do they?

Jeff McMahon

Last year I asked a classroom full of virulently feminist students what they thought about the fact that news stories about the presidential campaign often described Hilary Clinton’s clothing and hair but not Barack Obama’s (you may argue that he has no hair and he always wears black suits, but you can’t deny his colorful ties). The virulently feminist students just sort of shrugged, so maybe I’m really not onto something here. But isn’t describing the surface of female politicians–their hair, their clothes, their shoes–just another way of minimizing the content of their ideas? And isn’t that part of a larger misogyny? Everyone hates Dick Cheney because he’s evil, but he’s evil based on what he says. People hate Sarah Palin in a more personal way, because she’s pretty and stupid and homey and conservative perhaps, just as people hated Hilary Clinton–before Barack put her somewhere safe–because she didn’t care about pretty, wouldn’t bake cookies, and she’s smart. Working with that range of hatreds–pretty to not pretty, cookies to no cookies, stupid to smart–female politicians really don’t have as much of a chance to be judged on their ideas. Do they?

Laurie Essig

Um- you want me to comment on Sarah Palin's ideas? I thought her hair was her idea? Well- that and her creepy racism and sexism and xenophobia- but her deepest and most important idea seemed like her hair. Perhaps I missed something?

bobshanbrom

I like Jeff's point, but I'd like to add that a Democratic Senator once asked whether he thought Ronald Reagan dyed his hair responded, "No, I think he's just prematurely orange."

Jeff McMahon

I guess that's another way of just sort of shrugging.

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