Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Scott Brown, candidate for U.S. Senate, was a "Cosmo" centerfold

Let us suppose that a physically attractive 50-year-old woman had posed for a magazine when she was in her early 20's. A magazine that was geared towards men. For this particular picture, she does not appear to be wearing any type of clothing, but her hands are modestly covering her "female parts." And let us say that this woman is now running for the U.S. Senate. What kinds of things might be said about her? How often would that picture be shown? What kinds of questions might she be expected to answer? If she was directly questioned about it, would she have a "meltdown?"

And now let us suppose that a man... Oh, we don't have to suppose. We have a man like that. A man who's running for the U.S. Senate. Who reportedly had a "meltdown."

Katie Connolly thinks there's a double standard:

Jokes aside, that this racy pic has been circulating for years and hasn't hampered Brown's career perhaps isn't that surprising. "It's a pretty tame photo compared to what you might see at an NFL halftime show," says campaign spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom. "The fact is, when Scott was 22 years old, he was footloose and carefree." That may be so, but how would he be treated if he were a woman?

Although a nude centerfold might not kill a female politician's career, it would most certainly prompt questions about her character. Was she unacceptably promiscuous? Did she have a wild, compromising youth? While we scoff at the exploits of young men─they're allowed to be "footloose and carefree"─women are rarely afforded that luxury. For Brown, who just turned 50, it's a case of "boys will be boys." We can giggle at Brown's treasure trail and not think twice about how the sight of it affects his political career. But when Sarah Palin's head was Photoshopped on the body of a gun-totin', bikini-clad babe, it served as evidence for many of her unsuitability for office. Even when the photo was proved to be fake, it continued to haunt her. Palin's sexuality was at once titillating and threatening─for as many fans as she gained for being attractive, there were as many who used it in building the case against her. If Barbara Boxer had posed nude in her youth and declared her love for "buff boys," I predict her voters would be collectively horrified, and she'd probably never shake the crass jokes that would follow. As a culture, we simply don't like our female representatives to be publicly sexual.

(Via Althouse)

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