The Thinking 

The Feminine Image

February 8, 2011



Kathlene M. writes:

Do women make for better news?” I would say no. When I see a glammed-up Dana Perino, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin, Diane Sawyer or even Nancy Pelosi talking or pontificating on television, I cannot pay attention because I’m too distracted by their appearances.

That is a key observation. People tend to think that only men are distracted when the female body is overexposed in, say, an office environment or a TV talk news program. But women are also distracted by inappropriate female exposure. As I have observed before, women, in their own way, are as interested in female beauty as men are, perhaps more so. So when you turn on, say, Morning Joe,and see the perennially bare armed Mika Brzezinski (with her frighteningly blank face) sitting cheek by jowl with Joe Scarborough (sitting so close as though there were a couple, but they’re not a couple), or when you turn on Sean Hannity’s “Great American Panel” and notice that blonde who always wears a low cut dress with bare arms, as though she were at a cocktail party rather than on a TV program discussing national politics, it’s not desire as such that distracts; it’s the intrusion of the revealed female body, with all the meanings and associations that body has, into a setting where it doesn’t belong. And this distracts women as much as men.

Laura writes:

That is an excellent point.

Women are interested in the appearance of other women out of a natural sense of competition. But it’s more than that. As you suggest, the female body does not only have sexual meaning, but carries many associations. When the feminine body becomes profane or banal, all of life seems to lose its lustre. The world itself is disenchanted.

                                                — Comments —

Kathlene M. writes:

Lawrence Auster pointed out something quite correct when he wrote, “But women are also distracted by inappropriate female exposure. As I have observed before, women, in their own way, are as interested in female beauty as men are, perhaps more so.” 

In my past career, I was aware of and irritated by women workers who dressed provocatively. One woman I recall vividly was as pretty as Dana Perino, dressed sexily, and had all the men eating out of her hands. It was common knowledge in the organization that she only got her computer/tech management position due to nepotism. She was considered to be incompetent and lazy. But it didn’t matter how incompetent she was, the men loved her and were willing to ignore her poor work. Or maybe they just didn’t pay attention to her work due to her mesmerizing appearance. She was flirtatious with the men and nasty to the women behind their backs, employing malicious gossip as one of her tools. This is one of the problems with women in the workplace. It’s not just about competition between women. If an overly sexy or attractive woman is in a top position, other women (and a few men) may distrust and discount her because they think that she got that position by manipulating men. This illustrates how feminism has not helped women “advance” themselves based on their skills or merit. Women continue to use their appearances and sex appeal (much more than their skills) to maneuver to positions of power. The result is that women arguably command even less respect in the workplace and in our culture than before.


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