by John Hawkins | September 19, 2006 11:03 am
Beth over at My Vast Wing Conspiracy, (a blog that I like, by the way) took great offense at part of the Blogger Boobygate! post yesterday, in which I said that there was nothing wrong with women using their looks to draw traffic.
Here’s some of Beth’s furious diatribe:
“You know, I don’t get emotional often–in fact, it’s an extremely rare thing for me to be “emotional” about anything other than being pissed off about the usual sh*t (leftards, Islamotards, punditards, the usual).
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.
This would be one of those extremely rare occasions. That f*cking hurt.
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.
I’m not sure there are adequate words in the English language to describe my revulsion and fury at that insulting shot at women. Maybe there’s some 15-letter German word for it.
I don’t know why I bother with this sh*t. You know, I don’t plaster my f*cking mugshot all over this blog because I don’t want the kind of readers that only come here for the f*cking human decoration. I suppose if I were a whore, as apparently women are expected to be, I would use my face and body for a payoff. But I don’t. Maybe that’s acceptable in your world, but it isn’t in mine. Frankly, I find the constant objectification of women at RWN and a couple other blogs sleazy and creepy, not to mention out of place on what is supposedly a political site. Apparently you think women have so little to say of import that we SHOULD show some skin to boost our traffic–that no matter what we actually have to SAY, our looks trump (tramp) it.”
I forgive Beth for getting so emotional here. That’s just how chicks get sometimes….I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding. Don’t throw that rotten fruit!
In all seriousness, what we’re seeing here is a result of one of the weird tics of the feminist movement.
The rule is: You’re not supposed to acknowledge in any way, shape, or form that you admire a woman’s looks. If you do, it somehow means that what she says is valueless and that you think of her as some sort of gutter trawling prostitute.
Of course, that makes no sense whatsoever.
Moreover, if you have the sort of attitude that Beth apparently does, it’s hard to see how you make it through the day. If you go to the movies, what are you going to see? Beautiful people who got their jobs, in part, because of their looks. If you watch MTV and happen to catch one of the rare segments where they’re actually showing music videos, you’re going to see beautiful people who got their jobs, in part, because of their looks. If you turn on (shocked gasp) your local news show, you’re usually going to see beautiful people who got their jobs, in part, because of their looks.
Of course, one of the great things about the talk radio, the blogosphere, and for that matter, the internet as a whole, is that you don’t have to be an 8 on a 10 scale or better to make it.
But let’s face it: the blogosphere has a mostly male audience and men, being what we are, are drawn to pictures of beautiful women. Therefore, if you are an attractive woman, you can use your looks to pull more readers to your blog. Do you have to do that? No. And a female blogger who doesn’t want to (or simply can’t) use her looks to draw traffic can still be successful. In fact, if a woman doesn’t put up a pic, it just puts her on an even plane with men, who get no traffic, whatever we may look like, out of posting pics. But, if you’re a woman who wants to use her looks to draw in readers in an effort to hopefully keep them coming back with your commentary, there’s not a thing in the world wrong with it.
PS: Beth apparently helped round up cheesecake pics of Israeli soldiers for a post on Mary Katharine Ham’s blog:
“Thanks to Beth, RightWingSparkle, and the Cotillion ladies for helping me round up pictures. Rough gig, I know. I suppose now I’m obligated to start collecting U.S. soldier pics. Hey, somebody’s gotta do it.”
But, if a man thinks it’s OK for a female blogger to post her pic, “it’s out of place on what is supposedly a political site.” Is what’s good for the goose, also good for the gander, or is it a one way street?
Update #1: From Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy in the comments section:
“John, re the Israeli soldiers: Turnabout’s fair play, and as I said in the post, that “furious diatribe” has been brewing for quite some time. I like RWN too (although the comments sections leave something to be desired on a fairly regular basis). I just don’t think that using your looks for traffic is something one should be encouraged to do. If that’s what Pamela wants to do, that’s her business. Just don’t assume that the rest of us want that kind of traffic. MOST of us (yes, including conservatives!) don’t.”
Well, no one is calling for female bloggers to put up pics or get out of the blogosphere. If you don’t want to post pictures of yourself, don’t post them. Most people in the blogosphere, male and female, typically DON’T post their pic and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
Moreover, if any women don’t want, “that kind of traffic,” which is probably comprised of almost exactly the same crowd as “the other kind of traffic,” that’s fine. Again, no one has to put up a picture if they don’t want to do it. In fact, if you don’t put up a pic, you’re part of the majority.
But, if a woman does want to use her looks to attract traffic, she doesn’t deserve to be hit with scathing resentment from people who don’t want to do the same thing for whatever reason. If you’re a good looking woman and you can get more people to read your work just by letting everyone know it, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing so.
Update #2: Just to prove my point about how pics of attractive women drive traffic while simultaneously showing you bizarro world thinking that this subject provokes, here are a couple of excerpts from a SINGLE POST over at And Rightly So:
Here’s part 1:
“A couple weeks ago I did an experiment. At my personal site, I posted a picture of my cleavage. Just to see what would happen with the stats. There has been a lot of talk about T*ts=Hits among the Cotillion gals. We’ve had a lot of talks about this; we have written about it before…I wanted to see if it was true. That personal site has been around for about 5 weeks now…and averages 20 visits a day that last more than 5 minutes. Once the boobie shot went up, the stats went up as well- to 250, 290, and 240…you get the picture. This post also received the most comments of all my posts there. I think there were 13 or 14…all from friends who didn’t say anything degrading or nasty. In fact most of the comments were from women who are friends and who just wanted to see.”
Here’s part 2:
“If John had mentioned just using looks for increased traffic, this would be different. But he had to bring in the SEXY part. And the word ENTICE. Mixed together with GUYS, and one can only assume men are reading blogs for one reason and one reason alone. To get a glance of some body part on a woman. This also pushes the age old thought that women use their bodies to attract men, which many DO…but not all of us. Some of us are better than that. Some of us hold ourselves and the men in our lives to a higher standard. Sorry John. You’re beneath me now. I have no respect for you anymore. You have just lumped all men into a category where they don’t all wish to be.”
First of all, all this “You’re beneath me now” and we “hold ourselves and the men in our lives to a higher standard,” stuff is a little much coming from someone who posted a cleavage shot on her website. After that, it’s a little late to hop back up on the high horse.
Also, we’re back to this strange little quirk of feminism:
“The rule is: You’re not supposed to acknowledge in any way, shape, or form that you admire a woman’s looks. If you do, it somehow means that what she says is valueless and that you think of her as some sort of gutter trawling prostitute.”
Beyond saying that’s just completely irrational — and it is — there’s not too much to add. But, it’s still amazing that in this day and age, you have women who seem to be scandalized by the idea that a man might be interested in looking at a beautiful woman and that, shockingly, he might be able to think she’s attractive AND also think she’s talented.
There’s also one other thing that needs to be tossed out there, even if no one is going to own up to it.
Here’s a theory: A lot of the women bloggers who get so upset about these pics (and yes, it mostly seems to be women), don’t want to put their own pics up regularly for whatever reason, which is, once again, fine. However, could it be that what they really don’t like is that another woman is getting a leg up on them in pulling in traffic by putting up her pic?
I know that the response to that will probably be something like, “I don’t want that kind of traffic.” But, that’s about as genuine a statement from a blogger as a pro-athlete in the middle of heated contract negotiations who says, “It’s not all about the money.” Obviously, if you didn’t care how many people read your blog, you wouldn’t be blogging, you’d be writing in a journal that you left in a drawer at home.
It’s just a thought…
Update #3: You know, it’s funny: we’re hearing all this talk about how you can’t enjoy a female writer’s blogging if you also think she’s attractive. Yet, here’s the sort of high minded dialogue “My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” drops after someone respectfully disagrees with them:
“I have to go, I’m going to cook John Hawkins’ c*ck in effigy.”
If lines like that are the sort of content they’re coming up with, “Boobyblogging” might actually be an intellectual step up the ladder.
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