It’s not just sexist men who judge physically attractive women who presume to compete for jobs–it’s pretty much everyone, apparently. Go read this strange missive on “Cleavage and the Job Market,” straight from Laurie Fendrich’s disturbed psyche about a young woman who recently got a job for which there were 500 applicants:
The article reports that Mr. Kelsey was “immediately impressed” when Ms. B[****] came in on the second day of interviews. “Dressed in a conservative business suit, Ms. B[****] patiently answered all of the 100-plus questions,” we learn. Mr. Kelsey “liked that she remained consistent in her answers and showed independence.”
Uh, anybody ever heard about how a picture tells a thousand words? Forget reading the article. Instead, click “Enlarge” on the Times’ photograph of Ms. B[****] — who is facing us — sitting across from Mr. Kelsey, whom we see only from the back.
Does anyone need to have me point out the obvious? That’s a spicy bit of cleavage peaking up above what looks like a nice tight black Lycra top—the kind that clings to the chest the way Cling Wrap hugs a cheese ball. Note the body language (being female, I hereby assert my expertise in interpreting females). Ms. B[****] is leaning ever so slightly forward toward Mr. Kelsey, smiling a big, feisty, all-American smile. And why not? She got the job. Not for Mr. Kelsey any of those lumpy-looking men in the other picture (to see what I mean.
(H/t reader Lance.) Huh? “[A] spicy bit of cleavage peaking up above what looks like a nice tight black Lycra top—the kind that clings to the chest the way Cling Wrap hugs a cheese ball.” (Is anyone else creeped out by the fact that this writer uses all of this gustatory language, as though she’s serving this young woman up for us like a canape?) Was the New York Times photographer there for her initial interview? Should having boobs disqualify you for a $13-an hour job as an administrative assistant? My guess is that she’s the typical sex and age demographic who usually works in this kind of a job. What’s the deal with all of the hostility directed towards this young woman? (What are women with boobs supposed to do–wear eighteenth-century stays?)
The question of attractive women and professional competence has been on my mind again with the news that The Nationis publishing a book of essays about Sarah Palin called Going Rouge on the day that her book, Going Rogue, is published next month. (Get it? Rouge is a cosmetic, and girls wear makeup, so since Palin is a girl she must wear makeup! Ha-ha?) I really don’t understand why this woman drives so many lefties nuts: she wasn’t president or vice-president, she didn’t start an illegal war/let New Orleans drown/try to kill Social Security/loot the federal treasury on behalf of Haliburton. She’s not standing in the way of fixing health care/Afghanistan/global climate change. Yes, she had the nerve to run for vice-president–so what? Someone had to do it, right?
Yet the reaction to Palin’s presence on the national political stage has always been so disproportional, and so focused on her beauty and her body. Oh, well: just more evidence that the left is just as likely to seize on sexist ideas and tropes as the right, just as many women will grab an opportunity to slam another woman if they think there’s something to be gained (if only a false sense of moral, political, or haberdashorial superiority.)