In response to the various “hottest” conservative lists that have been published over the last couple of weeks, a debate has ensued in the blogosphere and at a few pundit pages about whether or not conservative women are being “objectified” and not taken seriously for anything other than their looks. Some “they are being objectified” arguments are thought, while others are merely knee-jerk reactions from people (and “news” organizations) who reflexively believe that anytime someone says anything complimentary about a woman that they are automatically “objectifying” her.
The way I undertstand the term “objectify” is to judge someone based on a specfic criteria without taking in other considerations. For example: Helen Thomas objectifies Jews. She knows virtually nothing about them, but they are “evil” to her because they are “hurting” the allegedly “innocent Palestinians” so they need to “go back to Poland and Germany.”
There are apparently some liberal men and women out there who think that posting a “hottest conservative female” list objectifies those women because such lists “objectify women solely on the basis of their looks.” That’s ridiculous. I had discussions about this very issue with liberals after Sarah Palin was nominated as John McCain’s VP running mate. Anytime a conservative woman complained about how Sarah Palin was being objectified by liberals, a liberal would turn around and say “well, look at how conservative men view Sarah Palin.” While it’s true Palin has a lot of male admirers, the reason why isn’t just because of how she looks. It’s kinda like “Hey, I totally dig her politics, and oh yeah, she’s hot!” That’s not objectifying her because it’s not just about her being an attractive woman. True, she wouldn’t be getting the approving comments about her looks from conservative males if she didn’t look so great, but she’d still be getting mega-props … just like Chris Christie, no matinee idol, does; in fact, his conservative creds got him on the hottest conservative males list which was published this morning.
As I wrote earlier, conservatism of itself is “hot” and when you come across writers, public figures, politics, etc whose conservative bonafides are second to none, it’s hard not to take notice – regardles of what they look like. Flashback to August 24, 2006. Yours truly wrote:
To segue into a semi-related topic, there have been some discussions in the blogosphere this week about people’s looks and whether or not it’s a good idea to ‘use’ them to help sell your book/blog, etc. While Steyn is easy on the eyes to yours truly, it’s what he says that really counts. You can be the most fantastic looking person in the world and it will not get you far if you don’t have the brains to go with them (with the exception of Hollywood and the modeling industry). Hot Air proves this every week with the gorgeous Michelle Malkin at the helm doing Vents, and they proved it this week as well with the lovely Mary Katharine Ham and Bethany guest-Venting. These gals look great, and they’re smart as hell, too. But even if they weren’t ‘all that’ it wouldn’t change a thing about what they’ve said in their vlogs. Nice looks just makes things more interesting, and heck – might entice people who otherwise wouldn’t tune in to do just that. And maybe those people who’ve tuned in because of that will learn something.
Chris Hitchens, for example, is not someone I’d look twice at if I saw him on the street – assuming for purposes of discussion that I didn’t know who Chris Hitchens is. But listening to him debate, reading what he’s written, if I did see him walking down the street and recognized him, I’d trip over my own feet to talk to him (that is, if my knees didn’t turn to jello first) Whether the looks are there are not, at the end of the day it’s what’s said that is important. And the passionate deliveries from the likes of Hitch and Steyn provide guarantees that these two really do believe in what they’re talking about.
To me, that rocks. Gotta love it. Gotta appreciate it.
Even more so than the so-called “objectifying,” I think at the heart of all this as far as liberal complaints are concerned is an uncomfortableness with gender compliments. Gender feminists in particular are particularly so because they want to erase gender lines and differences all together – an impossible task but shhh! we won’t tell them that. It’s so much fun watching them spinning around in circles trying to explain why women are “no different” than men – while at the same time hypocritically attempting to not only be the dominant sex (“if it a woman was in charge there’d be no wars!”) but also demanding special treatment for women in many fields, especially those specifically geared for the rough and tumble that men are accustomed to (like serving on the front lines, etc). The apparently don’t stop to think that the very fact that they have to ask for the special treatment (aka a “modification” in requirements) is because women are indeed different than men.
And thank God for it, right? How boring would this world be if there were no differences between the two sexes?
In general, the bottom line is that most conservative women have no issues with men praising how they look as long as they know it’s in addition to those same men appreciating what they bring to the conservative table. Conservative women embrace their womanhood and don’t feel like they need to apologize for being women. They enjoy and embrace the differences between the sexes in terms of both mind and body. On the other hand, liberals – in particular the more radical women on the left – reject traditional feminity, finding it “objectifying and offensive and weak” and seek to eliminate the oh so interesting and fascinating differences between the two sexes that, frankly, make the world go round and round.
And besides, when it comes to conservative women being objectified, I usually find that’s it more or less ultra-left wing liberal males doing the objectifying. Cases in point.