Comments on: Physical beauty and professional competence in women http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 03:32:05 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: lorelynn http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-474585 Wed, 04 Nov 2009 08:10:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-474585 I think the animosity towards Palin is rooted in the fires that Obama sparked during the campaign. Obama supporters got used to hating on women, and just kept at it. I think they thought they killed that particular beast (the beast being women who oppose Obama in races) and were just furious that it wasn’t dead yet. I’m astounded at the number of lefty sites where sexist rhetoric is now acceptable and intolerance of sexist rhetoric is seen as evidence of racism – or something like that.

The fact of the matter is that Palin was not particularly right wing until recently. There’s lots of heresay but she got along well with Democrats in Alaska. She ran a far more honorable campaign than Obama did – by any objective standard. And she has more experience than Obama so it was bizarre to me that people supporting a part time state senator with no legislative accomplishments to his name were complaining about a governor being inexperienced. If Obama is qualified, then by the same standards, Palin is. Personally, neither of them measure up for me.

I know they asked Palin what newspapers she reads. I wish to God someone would ask Obama if he has ever in his life read an economics text.

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By: Emma http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-469587 Wed, 28 Oct 2009 22:09:08 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-469587 There is no golden mean that any actual woman can live up to.

Hillary had cankles and was inappropriately unsexy(especially when she was “flashing” her cleavage on the floor of the Senate) and therefore was a bad woman/candidate. Palin was a hot potato and was inappropriately sexy and therefore was a bad woman/candidate. But both of them wore clothing that was work appropriate and feminine.

Women are made into anything that patriarchy needs them to be in any particular moment and consistency be damned. There is no “good woman” who can’t be made into some stereotypical “bad woman” in order to stymie her further advancement.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-469501 Wed, 28 Oct 2009 20:15:11 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-469501 Kevin–if a male political candidate had titled his book “Going Rouge,” and the newscaster made a slip of the tongue, it would have been a blip into the ether. The Nation may not have coined the term, but they’re choosing to perpetuate a slam that only makes sense because of Palin’s sex.

I don’t think the McCain campaign had to work too hard to make Palin sexy–she’s very good-looking and has a great body, and she was never dressed inappropriately (always in suits or casual clothing that covered everything up, etc.) So, once again, what are women to do? If they look attractive, they’re accused of trying to use their sex appeal inappropriately, but if they don’t make up and dress up, they’re accused of frumpiness. There is no golden mean that any actual woman can live up to.

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By: Anathasius Kircher http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-469469 Wed, 28 Oct 2009 19:58:49 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-469469 The point, I think, is that sexiness was part of the image that Palin was trying to project, in order to simultaneously appeal to female swing voters and “red-blooded” GOP males (the base).

As for Chevalier’s comment on the geographical proximity of Russia and “cultural understanding,” I’m perplexed. It seems to me worth pointing out that:

1) geographical proximity is often a source of strife rather than understanding

AND

2) the only people who live in the parts of Alaska anywhere near Russia are Inuits.

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By: Kevin http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-469183 Wed, 28 Oct 2009 15:19:04 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-469183 I believe the Nation’s book title is a reference to a newscaster’s slip when Palin’s book was first announced. Can’t find the clip at the moment, but I believe it was an ABC person, possibly on Good Morning America, who announced the book deal and mispronounced “rogue” as “rouge.” Now you could say that was a Freudian slip on his part… anyway the Nation didn’t make it up.

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By: Chevalier http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-469167 Wed, 28 Oct 2009 14:28:10 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-469167 Thank you for this post. I’ve always thought Palin was treated extremely unfairly and caricatured in excess. For eg. I actually nodded along when she said ‘you can actually see Russia from parts of land here in Alaska’, because geographic proximity has ALWAYS been the underpinning of solid cultural understanding – through history. It’s far more logical an argument, than, say, someone stating his living in a foreign country for a year as a pre-teen as cause of being good at foreign policy as a result.
She was called a bimbo for the former statement, but people agreed that Obama knew about foreign policy because he lived in Indonesia when he was 8. Obama called Clinton atrocious names, including D-Punjab – and no one accused him of bigotry.

Susan: “With the pantsuits, Clinton went to a very gender neutral style; Palin was deliberately sexy”. Huh? How?? A skirt-suit is “deliberately sexy”? This is the kind of random slut-shaming that brought my jaw on the floor everyday last year. Was she wearing anything that an average woman employee in a law firm does not? I see women in skirt-suits EVERYDAY at work – and though I prefer pants myself, I do throw on a skirt once a week. PLEASE don’t tell me basic solid-color work skirts with standard heeled-pumps are now ‘deliberately provocative’ – thats like Polanski defenders saying the 13-year old was ‘coming on to him’ – it does.not.compute.

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By: Kathleen Lowrey http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-469166 Wed, 28 Oct 2009 14:27:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-469166 Oh, I am disappointed in the Nation. Though their media commentator, Eric Alterman, went through a period where it was obvious that mentioning that conservative commentator Ann what’s-her-name was thin & blond & wore short skirts was *part of the critique*. Disheartening, for darn sure.

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By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-469127 Wed, 28 Oct 2009 13:15:33 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-469127 I am even more disgusted by left-wing misogyny than I am by right-wing misogyny. And to be honest, your post reminds me that in my own blogging, I have probably focused unduly on right-wing misogyny and given left-wing misogyny a relative pass. Of course, this is because of my political inclinations.

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By: Keeping up appearances: what about you? : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-469111 Wed, 28 Oct 2009 12:50:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-469111 [...] was interesting to me that nobody in yesterday’s comments talked about how a job candidate’s appearance and/or choice of clothing might affect the ways [...]

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By: Rad Readr http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/27/physical-beauty-and-professional-competence-in-women/comment-page-1/#comment-468813 Wed, 28 Oct 2009 06:37:41 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8055#comment-468813 I thought you had given up on Palin, Historiann!

First on the rogue/rouge, I took it as a cheap deconstructive move to destabilize the “rogue” claim made by someone who spent all that Republican fat cat money on the fancy rouge wardrobe.

My problem with emphasizing the sexist dimensions of the many attacks on Palin is that you could make similar arguments on race for, say, Clarence Thomas. And while racism and sexism are always in play, I think people read a lot more into these characters and they become cyphers for all types of psycho-political investments. I would not emphasize sexism and Palin any more than racism and Obama. They are factors in the reading process (and sometimes the most important one) but not necessarily the master code for all interpretations.

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