So I found an article today on Yahoo! and just had to shake my head sadly.
In case you don’t want to read the article, it’s basically this: Somebody put up a video asking who is hotter; Republican or Democratic women. Since Republicans were the creators of the video, naturally Republican women won, but apparently this created some controversy.
Some guy name Brian Melendez, a Democrat, called the video sexist and offensive. And perhaps it is offensive. Playing “Who Let the Dogs Out” over pictures of Michelle Obama, Janet Reno, Rosie O’Donnell and Hillary Clinton is certainly trying to offend somebody. It’s the part about it being sexist that gets me. If it is sexist then perhaps People magazine needs to do away with “Sexiest Man Alive.”
Maybe all those magazines and shows need to do away with who was dressed better at such and such event, in fact, because of this quote from Melendez:
“The day when a woman was judged by her looks rather than her competence and intelligence should have passed three generations ago…”
Dude, we judged Sarah Palin on her competence and not her looks. That’s why she’s not vice president.
What I’m saying is that his statement is probably valid in that we should judge people by certain criteria (or is that criterion?) more than others, but we don’t. We don’t look at somebody dressed horribly on the red carpet and say, “Eh, whatever, they’re a good actor.” Melendez should stop combing his hair (I’ve never seen him, does he have hair?) and see how quickly people jump on him for not caring about his appearance.
What I’m trying to say is that this is not an issue of sexism, because there is no double standard. By definition a sexist statement would have to directly attack one sex and not the other. Example: Men don’t understand the importance of issues concerning children, because they don’t carry children for nine months. You can’t use the same statement in the same context and apply it to women. It already says women are more in tuned with children’s issues than men.
The issue of who is better looking transcends sex. Bill Clinton was pushed as being good looking like John Kennedy. And by the way, Michelle Obama is gorgeous. I’m not sure I understand putting her in that video. Let’s run it back, Laura, Hillary, Barbara, Nancy, Jimmy’s wife, Lady Bird, maybe somebody else, and finally Jackie. Michelle Obama is easily the most attractive first lady since Jackie Onassis. And really, shouldn’t we be calling them “the president’s spouse” by now? First lady is sexist, because it could easily be a man when we have a woman president, or a gay president, so maybe it should be “the president’s partner.” And I don’t mean to suggest that when we have a gay president it will be a man. Ugh.
I’m not sure if I’ve made my point as best as I could. It might be better if I could sit down with every last one of you and flip through the channels on TV and tell you to stop me when you see somebody who is unattractive, because there is hardly any entertainment medium that doesn’t place a heavy emphasis on attractiveness and/or appearance. TV, music, movies, newscasting, politics, job interviews, marriage, one night stands… the list goes on.
So let’s wrap up. The video was offensive, but only to the specific people demeaned, not to all women. If we judge on appearance at all it should be low on the list. Melendez’s statement should have started, “The day when a person…” because singling out women like that was sort of sexist.