Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh For The Love of...

Did you ever read something and it caused this, this feeling of ire to rise up in your chest, threatening to move northward until your head exploded? And then you wished you could vent or rant about it, but you chose not to because you didn't have a forum for such a tirade? And then you remembered you had a blog where you could do that?

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.

/end rant

EDITED: Jezebel has a better breakdown of the study, which is here.


Terra said...

Sounds like a bunch of crap to me. People would have voted for Hillary in Obama's place, in many cases fueled by their desire for change, real or perceived. Who pays for these studies, anyway??

Anonymous said... we go.

1. It was a scientific experiment. The authors do not write that Palin is not competent because of her looks. They find that people percieve her as less competent when focusing on her appearance. Big difference.

2. The authors do not make any statement regarding how people should have voted, or how they should view women. They only note how participants DID regard them and who they said they would vote for.

3. Most research with undergraduates is free. They get course credit for it.

4. Saying "it is a bunch of crap" is retarded. It is a scientific finding, which has more merit than your random view of things.

5. The authors themselves state that there are many, many reasons why people voted the way they did. Appearance focus was only 1 reason.

6. If people would read what actually was found and not just get pissed off and defensive, maybe they could reach better conclusions.

7. Or, maybe it is just that people don't understand science. Scientists say WHAT IS not WHAT SHOULD be. And what is is based on data, not what they believe or want to be true.

Tattooed Dorothy said...

Holy Anonymous! Chillax a little, would ya?

Anyway, I think, if anything, Sarah's appearance made her more popular. Especially with the Tina Fey skits.

:) Hope you have a great weekend of sunny St. Louis!!

Jenna said...

Anonymous: Way to go, publishing that comment on this fabulous lady's website (on which her own opinion is what it's all about). If you disagree to the point you have to be rude, how's this for a scientific experiment: move on and go kick an imaginary puppy or smash someone's tulips and then do a careful study on you being a jerk with a control group. Why don't you go conduct a scientific experiment on the percentage of obnoxious blog commenters with an obvious axe to grind who have personality disorders? "Scientific studies" are a dime a dozen, and can basically back up any dimwitted opinion anyone has. So therefore, you saying that a scientific study is worth more than someone's random opinion of it is pretty silly, since that random opinion could be used against you in the next "scientific study." By the way, for someone who has such respect for science and the academic process, it's quite odd that you'd choose the adjective "retarded." Isn't that a bit out of touch, non-academic, and just plain wrong? You have a good one. :)

Anonymous said...

Good for you Jenna! I agree this blog is the authors opinion. I enjoy reading Kim's blogs and have been very touched by her story. I think Anonymous (comment #2) would be surprised to know that this blog is supported by a lot of people that share the same views on things. This is an outlet and a "get-a-way" from the day stop for many people. If you are so put out by her comments then visit another blog, don't bring your negativity to such a positive blog that regularly challenges ALL of us to do more and be better people!

minniemama68 said...

Anonymous, why not be a person and leave some sort of name??? Leave Kim alone. She has an opinion and she expressed it beautifully as usual. I, too, am sick and tired about hearing about the McCain Palin ticket and why it lost etc...She said she was over it. Maybe you should be too.

Gregg said...

It seems like it wasn't that long ago that if a woman wanted to make it in business, she had to almost act and look like a man.

I think those days are fading (happily!), but as a remnant, I think it DOES still catch some people -in particular older generations - by surprise if there is a successful and talented woman who is successful...and attractive.

Marrdy said...

Holy Cow Anonymous.

Very insightful Kim. And I agree with you (no matter how you interpret the story) women should not be judged on their looks. I think it was Sarah Palan's lack of solid experience that cost them the election. And the fact that she kept talking and just wouldn't stop. And I am normally vote republican.