Here, let me share with you what has caused me to lose my mind today:
"A new article in the Journal of Experimental psychology makes the case that Sarah Palin's looks -- and the focus on them -- hurt her and John McCain in November's election."
"'It wasn’t her appearance per se' that soured people on Palin, Heflick said in an interview. “It was the effect her appearance had on their perception of her competence and humanity. Those variables made people less likely to vote for her.'..."
"The study suggests that their confidence in her abilities may have decreased the more they focused on her looks – and thus, in feminist terms, objectified her."
Why does this upset me so? Several reasons, and here they are, in no particular order:
- The election is OVER. Let it go. Move on. McCain/Palin lost the election for myriad other reasons - looks had nothing to do with it.
- At what point do we stop judging a woman's abilities based on her looks?
- What kind of message are we sending to our children, the future voters of this country? Especially our daughters?
- Why does the existence of an intelligent AND attractive woman always seem to be a surprise?
Yes, we've come a long way, baby, but I'm not so naive to think that a woman's looks don't open doors that otherwise would remain firmly shut.
It just makes me mad when I hear a woman being described as "She's attractive. Oh, and smart, too." Like brains is an afterthought.
EDITED: Jezebel has a better breakdown of the study, which is here.