Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feminists Are Ugly...... Again

The Townhall blogger who calls himself "The Playful Walrus" has something to say about feminists versus "conservative women":

"Thank God! The ACLU is cutting back. Playboy is also in trouble to the point of facing reorganization or a sale. Sure, feminists and unattractive women (or, rather, feminists and other unattractive women) will also cheer at this, but that's okay. We can celebrate for different reasons. (Note: conservative women tend to be total babes, but not the kind that need to appear nude in a hedonist publication to find validation or get money.)"

You know, it's almost entertaining when I hear anti-feminist men spout the Feminists Are Ugly meme. I always wonder if they are just trying to get attention or if they really do have that ignorant and lazy of a worldview. Either way, it's a pretty good indication that any real conversation with such doods is apt to be a complete and utter waste of time. Immature one-liners are good for a one-sided chuckle, but rarely do they shed any light on a subject.

I've found that this lame non-argument serves two essential purposes, however. One, it reminds people that, unlike men, women are to be judged first and foremost by their attractiveness and appropriate availability to men. Note, for instance, Walrus's reasoning for being happy that Playboy is in trouble. His critique is not so much that the magazine exploits women, but more that the women who model for Playboy choose to exercise their sexuality beyond the acceptable scope of Wife Monogamously Married to Man. But that's tangential. By verbally depriving all feminists of their beauty, anti-feminist men attempt to deprive women of the most important value they think women have- their appeal to the male gaze. Once a woman has lost her beauty, she has lost her worth and no one is thus required to take her seriously. She is only saying those feminist things because she's ugly and can't get a man.

Many women are sensitive about their appearances, and the Feminists Are Ugly stereotype causes a lot of women to distance themselves from their natural allies. It is just one of the many caricatures of feminists that cause many women to begin sentences with that infamous phrase "I'm not a feminist or anything but [insert feminist statement]."

Two, even though those of us in the reality-based world know that one would find proportionate numbers of attractive and un-attractive women in the feminist and conservative population of vagina-Americans, in the World of Walrus, conservative women tend to be "total babes" when compared to feminists. This pat on the head is a reward to the good girls. No matter how many unattractive conservative women really exist in the world men like Walrus let conservative and anti-feminist women, as a class, "keep" their looks in exchange for staying in line. Good girls are rewarded with superficial compliments and, importantly, they see how feminists are punished with cheap shots and ridicule.

Yet, what if we turned the mirror in the other direction and shone it on these fellows? We have a huge double-standard in which men, especially those who are political, do not have their looks scrutinized in the way that women do. Conservative men, liberals, progressives, and even misogynists are not accused of holding their beliefs just because they, as a class, are ugly or can't get a woman. Why is it that men, unattractive or not, feel that they can mock a woman's appearance while their own appearance is off-limits?

For instance, I have been reading Walrus's blog off and on for a few months now, and I do remember him mentioning that he has a bit of a weight issue. Perhaps he has chosen his moniker because he really does resemble a large flippered sea mammmal? Who knows. Overweight people can certainly be attractive, but given our society's preoccupation with weight, his Feminists Are Ugly "joke" seems a little, well... ironic.

I do not think anyone's appearance is relevant to, or should be brought up in, a political debate. And, I think it says something about character that feminists rarely take obvious and easy cheap shots that are available even though anti-feminists perpetuate a lie that all feminists are ugly. It's time to grow up boys. It's time to start dealing with the content of the arguments that feminists are making rather just blanketly dismissing the Feminazi Fuglies that exist only in your dull imaginations.

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