It all started when a group of liberal bloggers got to meet with Bill Clinton.
Ann Althouse, like many people, couldn’t help but notice that the girl directly in front of Bubba was attractive, pushing her perky ta-tas out, and — as a side note — it looks like Bill is trying to decide whether to slide his tongue into her ear or not.
This started one of the blogosphere’s semi-annual feminist kerfuffles and as per usual, I thought it would be fun to jump in.
There are three points, two of which were brought up by Althouse (#1 & #3), that are worth discussing:
#1) How can someone from a blog called Feministing pose in front of an intern molesting, lecherous, adulterous groper like Bill Clinton?
This, in my opinion, is a good point — and one that can be made about much of the wider feminist movement. They may talk all day long about sexual harassment and how badly men treat women, but then they turn right around and side with powerful liberals like Clinton and Ted Kennedy against the women they’ve mistreated. Without question, it is a bit hypocritical for any woman who claims to be a feminist — and means it — to be sucking up to Bill Clinton of all people.
#2) “Althouse wasn’t the only one trying to put Jessica in her place; as I also mentioned, there were any number of commenters across the progressive blogosphere that made comments about Jessica’s f*ckability. They didn’t know who she was, or why she was there, but they sure as hell felt free to speculate that it had something to do with sex.
Even those defending Jessica have often focused on the appropriateness of her posture, her pose, her clothing and her smile, as if those were really the issues. They’re not. The issue is that Jessica was invited to that lunch because of her accomplishments and her intelligence, but people like the commenters discussing her f*ckability and Althouse criticizing her for having breasts are reminding her that no matter how much she’s accomplished in her life, no matter how smart she is, she doesn’t really belong in that group.” — Zuzu from Feministe
Oh, do I detest this sort of, “She’s posing and trying to look hot, but if you comment on her appearance instead of her mind, you’re a pig,” mentality. You can be hot and brilliant, like my buddy Mary Katharine Ham, or you can be hot and also be a snarling badger-harpy like Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake.
Whatever the case may be, if you don’t like men commenting on your looks, well — tough. Men, being men, are certainly interested in a woman’s looks and if they’re given the opportunity to comment, they will and there’s nothing wrong with that per se.
Unfortunately, that commentary tends to be particularly tasteless on the net, but that just goes with the territory. People tend to have barbed tongues when they’re not face to face with each other. Also, I will say that if you don’t have anything nice to say about how a woman looks, even a woman on the other side of the political spectrum, it’s generally better not to say anything at all.
Still, it’s just the nature of the beast. Men like attractive women — and they say so.
#3) This gets into a wider point and it’s an area in which I disagree with Ann and some of the other people around the blogosphere who, for example, rip on Pam from Atlas Shrugs for showing some skin in her vlogs.
There’s this attitude out there, a perception, that there’s something wrong with beautiful women using their looks to draw readers. The idea is supposed to be that it’s all about their brains, it’s all about their writing, that it’s cheap or improper for them to have guys checking out their web pages just to ogle them.
We all have different advantages and disadvantages. Some people started blogging earlier than others did. Some just plain old have more talent than others. Other people made a name for themselves in the mainstream media and benefitted from that when they came into the blogosphere. Some people are just great at social networking and get links that way. Then there are people who just, for whatever, get linked over and over again by other big bloggers. You can go on and on and on with this.
Long story short, we all have different strengths and weaknesses and life isn’t fair. If you’re a female blogger and one of your strengths is your looks, there’s nothing wrong with trying to look sexy to entice guys over to your page. Nothing. At. All. If you’ve got it, flaunt it, and enjoy the increased traffic.