HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Gender & Orientation » History of Feminism (Group) » Oh yes. This is what Ther...

Sat Jul 19, 2014, 11:55 AM

Oh yes. This is what Theresa May went into politics for

Humour me and imagine a world in which a woman’s hotness was not seen as her defining quality. Granted, this is sort of like imagining a world without weather, or Richard without Judy, but bear with me. Back towards the beginning of this century, the brilliant writer Ariel Levy wrote about the fetishisation of female hotness in Female Chauvinist Pigs: “Hotness has become our cultural currency … Hotness is not the same thing as beauty, which has been valued throughout history. When it pertains to women, hot means two things in particular: fuckable and sellable. The literal job criteria for the stars of the sex industry.”

Which brings us to Theresa May. You’ll be thrilled to know – and I’m sure May will be absolutely delighted to know – that this week a male writer for the Spectator officially declared her to be hot; hotter, even, than Jemima Khan, just in case you’ve ever found yourself flummoxed by this debate. Congratulations, May! You’ve bested Harriet Harman, who was infamously deemed not hot in the Spectator by Rod Liddle in 2009, and even though Liddle has since admitted that piece might have been a bit de trop, that hasn’t stopped another sweaty Speccie writer from trying to rehash a similar furore all over again, while writing with one hand.

In case anyone is worried that all this chat about female politicians’ shaggability might be a little sexist, don’t worry! “I can just hear the chorus of leftwing women complaining that, here we go again – judging women in politics by their looks!” writes Cosmo Landesman, the Spectator’s Theresa May fan. “Well, actually, looks have nothing to do with it. By that criteria, I should be swooning over Jemima instead of drooling over Mrs May.”

You see? Not about looks. So, really, to say that May gives him a massive love boner, and Khan doesn’t, is proof of the writer’s feminist credentials. Really, May should thank this writer for fantasizing about her, seeing as she’s such a moose and all, amirite?


http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/18/theresa-politics-hot-spectator

6 replies, 1189 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Oh yes. This is what Theresa May went into politics for (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jul 2014 OP
intaglio Jul 2014 #1
ismnotwasm Jul 2014 #2
intaglio Jul 2014 #6
redqueen Jul 2014 #3
ismnotwasm Jul 2014 #4
redqueen Jul 2014 #5

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat Jul 19, 2014, 12:12 PM

1. I really, really want people to be judged by their thoughts, not their looks

By that measure Ms May is deeply unpersonable whatever her physical appearance

There's a word that needs to be brought back "Personable" - having a pleasant appearance and manner (emphasis mine)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to intaglio (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 19, 2014, 12:25 PM

2. I knew when I posted this I was politically out of my league

Knowing very little about Brit politics. So I just looked her up on wiki, and while I don't care about her appearance, her political career does seems a to have become a bit sketchy, which, I suspect is an understatement, but again, not understanding the politics of anther country leaves me very little room for opinion. I just hope she's not another Thatcher, (now THAT would be a trick) one of the British politicians I do know a thing or two about.

The end of this was more the point I think

But the most telling detail is the way it described the female MPs as walking “the Downing Street catwalk”. Because in the deluded mindset of the Mail and many other media outlets, women exist to be looked at, and for their hotness to be judged accordingly, hence the paper’s insistence that women “flaunt” their legs (when they are in fact just walking) or that they are on a “catwalk” (when they are simply on their way to work.) McVey cravenly, or maybe just obtusely, insisted she wasn’t bothered by the Mail’s coverage because “it highlights all these wonderful women”. Yes, and their thighs. Oh, thank you for thinking I’m hot, Daily Mail!

Hillary Clinton’s hotness or otherwise has, of course, long been a source of public debate, from discussions about her “cankles” to musings over whether her fondness for trouser suits suggests she’s “confused about her gender”.

But wait, you cry. Waddabboutdamenz?! Surely male politicians’ looks and fashion choices are discussed too, yeah? Indeed they are, strawman reader. But when a male politician’s looks and clothes are discussed, they are done so in regards to how statesmanlike he looks, how in-charge-of-the-red-button he seems – not whether some newspaper editor wants to give him one. And anyway, seeing as women are still – despite the talk of Manageddon this week – in the minority in American and British governments, any comparison between treatment meted out to them and male politicians by the press is, from the off, bogus.

So, can we imagine a world in which women are not judged primarily on their hotness or notness? Probably not, no. But maybe we can imagine a world in which a woman wasn’t expected to be grateful because some idiot male journalist drools over her. Man, that would be so hot.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 19, 2014, 12:51 PM

6. You highlighting the word is important and thank you for doing so

This word demeans any to whom it applies; it judges them sexually without consideration of any other trait. The word in this case is more damaging than the politician to whom it applies, words like this shape the mind-set of the uninformed in relation to other people rendering them sex objects not people.

As to Ms May herself, she is Eurosceptic, anti-immigration, pretty authoritarian and a dyed-in-the-wool Thatcherite

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat Jul 19, 2014, 12:32 PM

3. I wish she'd have made the most of that teachable moment.

But the most telling detail is the way it described the female MPs as walking “the Downing Street catwalk”. Because in the deluded mindset of the Mail and many other media outlets, women exist to be looked at, and for their hotness to be judged accordingly, hence the paper’s insistence that women “flaunt” their legs (when they are in fact just walking) or that they are on a “catwalk” (when they are simply on their way to work.) McVey cravenly, or maybe just obtusely, insisted she wasn’t bothered by the Mail’s coverage because “it highlights all these wonderful women”. Yes, and their thighs. Oh, thank you for thinking I’m hot, Daily Mail!


Way to miss an opportunity, McVey.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 19, 2014, 12:41 PM

4. No shit

This is why I despair about politics everywhere, there is always some unnessasary dumbass comment from a person who makes, or participates in, important decisions that affect lives

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 19, 2014, 12:44 PM

5. Couldn't help but think of the women who simply must chime in to say how much they're not bothered

by various forms of sexism and misogyny.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread