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Women's Bodies

Party Politics as Racist and Misogynist: Today’s Award

Republican Poster

This is a Republican-created poster.   Kita Kazoo found it here and sent it on to me.

The comments which follow the original post are pretty bad, very discouraging, especially the comments by women. 

A clue, free of charge:  Never in her life was Andrea Dworkin a Democrat, that I know of. 

Heart

Discussion

40 thoughts on “Party Politics as Racist and Misogynist: Today’s Award

  1. I’m very middle of the road politically, neither Rep nor Dem. I see neither as being on my side and neither as being against me. To me, they’re both just groups of career politicians who say what they have to say, and every once in a while even follow through and actually do something, to further their careers.

    Having said that, I’ve seen the contents of that poster before in an e-mail. I was disgusted by it then and remain so about it now. It’s not because of which party that created it that gets in my craw. It’s because it states out right that the value of a woman is in her appearance. Where the hell is the poster comparing the looks of the Rep politicians to Dem politicians? It doesn’t exist because it doesn’t matter. But the looks of the Rep and Dem women obviously matter to someone. In fact, they must matter to a lot of someones. I have no doubt that the poster was created to aggrivate Dem men and maybe even play upon their insecurities and as I believe that they’re all dogs (no insult to dogs intended), I’ll bet you a dollar that it does its job.

    Grrrrr… :X That just rubs me the wrong way.

    Posted by CoolAunt | February 8, 2007, 6:34 pm
  2. Where the hell is the poster comparing the looks of the Rep politicians to Dem politicians? It doesn’t exist because it doesn’t matter. But the looks of the Rep and Dem women obviously matter to someone. In fact, they must matter to a lot of someones.

    Exactly.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 8, 2007, 7:10 pm
  3. And lest anyone think the Democrats are on “our” side either, here’s a comment–very typical–about the Edwards/Marcotte/McEwan fiasco from a lefty blog I’m not going to admit I read:

    “gotta say, just at the level of political tactics, that was a bad move.
    i mean, i can’t think of a better way to show that one is an effeminate loser than allowing a few loudmouth wingnut charlatans to bend you over a chair and have their way.”

    Unfortunately so, so typical of the misogyny, gay-baiting, and race hatred that shows up in the comments of so many “liberal” blogs.

    Posted by Amy's Brain Today | February 8, 2007, 7:14 pm
  4. I could say a whole bunch of things about the misogyny here, but I’m feeling jokey.
    Anyone else notice that they’ve selected PROFESSIONAL pictures of mostly younger, well made-up Republican women, whilst the Democrats are all older and were not posing for their pictures? I get the feeling that those women at the top do not go around constanly bathed in a flattering light and with their lips immaculately defined.
    I say we make a similar comparison of the men. I don’t think that Donald Rumsfeld is good for the world. This is SO OBVIOUSLY because he’s old and wrinkly, and that makes everything he controls turn bad. DUH! How could I not have thought of that before?

    Well, I say if people REALLY belive that one’s appearance defines how great a politician you are, then they certainly aren’t mature enough to actually vote or take part in important political things. So, to the person who made this poster, stop voting. You’re too immature to be contributing to serious issues such as who’s fit to run your country. Go back to your colouring in.

    And, on a slightly shallower note, I think Nancy Pelosi is a very attractive woman, which by this reasoning makes her the perfect person for her job.

    Posted by Mwezzi | February 8, 2007, 7:14 pm
  5. Yes.

    According to this guy, Edwards was totally wrong to hire Amanda because she continues to believe the Duke rapists raped the “stripper”. Ooooooh, can’t say that! It’s bad, because Amanda evidently pulled those posts (very recent) which said that, but they are still on google and now they’re being circulated around.

    Okay, maybe this is I told you so, but these guys *cannot be trusted*. They are not women’s friends. They are not our friends.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 8, 2007, 7:22 pm
  6. I changed the title of this post to “Party Politics as Misogynist,” because just as you said, CoolAunt, and you did, too, Amy, this poster is about the maleness of party politics. The poster lies, but it also tells the truth about some things.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 8, 2007, 7:27 pm
  7. I changed the title again. Note that every one of those women on that poster is white. Start thinking about it. There is lots to think about, if you start thinking about why it is that all of those women are white.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 8, 2007, 7:39 pm
  8. Actually, no– Michelle Malkin is there as a Republican.

    Posted by Heart | February 8, 2007, 7:43 pm
  9. Thanks for the link. Not that it will make a bit of difference, but I left this as a comment —

    What I plainly see is that someone has an agenda, and it shows a mile wide and six feet deep. The pictures of the oh-so-wonderful Republicans were obviously chosen from “photo ops”, with the women wearing (probably professionally applied) makeup, carefully posed, and smiling. Whereas the pictures of the oh-so-dangerous Democrats were carefully selected from candid shots when the subject was not prepared to have a camera shoved in her face, was not posed and smiling, was not even given a moment to paste on a smile.

    I also note that the faces of the Democrats show real emotion — they’re passionate about something (most of them), and it shows on their faces. Unfortunately, an instant of deep feeling, caught and frozen in time, is rarely attractive — but it is real, and honest. Whereas the faces of the Republicans show nothing more than, “Do I look okay? Is this light flattering to me?”

    However, just because you’re not easy on the eyes doesn’t mean you don’t hold to some really, really bad ideas.

    The corollary is also true — Just because you ARE easy on the eyes doesn’t mean you don’t hold to some really, really bad ideas.

    = = =

    But I didn’t think to point out how misogynistic the whole thing is. On the other hand, I’m sure it would have gone right over their heads.

    Posted by starwatcher | February 8, 2007, 7:55 pm
  10. I actually love the photos of Madeleine Albright, Helen Thomas and Janet Reno. Despite the ways I may disagree with them, they look like stateswomen, strong and powerful, as does Andrea Dworkin, but it irks me that she was included and the likely reasons she was included. Note that four of the Republican women are tilting their heads deferentially, and none of the Democratic women are.

    Posted by womensspace | February 8, 2007, 8:03 pm
  11. If you believe that the value of women lies primarily in their ability to serve as conventionally attractive accessories to enhance the status of men, then these sets of photographs may be quite persuasive.

    Posted by jfr | February 8, 2007, 8:06 pm
  12. “Where the hell is the poster comparing the looks of the Rep politicians to Dem politicians? It doesn’t exist because it doesn’t matter. But the looks of the Rep and Dem women obviously matter to someone.”

    Did any of you catch my sexist language? I only just now caught it myself. I called the male politicians “Rep politicians” and “Dem politicians” yet I called the females “Rep and Dem women.” The deprogramming is going to take another lifetime.😦

    Posted by CoolAunt | February 8, 2007, 9:14 pm
  13. Heart,

    I’m with you on loving some of those ‘Democratic’ photos. Check out those women of strength and passion, I find nothing more compelling.

    I don’t know who all of them are, but Dworkins, Pelosi, Albright and Reno are definitely women I admire, professional photography or not.

    Posted by Annie G | February 8, 2007, 9:21 pm
  14. Also, Hi.
    I don’t think I’ve commented here before, but have been reading avidly for some months. Takes me a while (and some insomnia) to work up to commenting!
    I love the space you’ve created here, Heart.

    Posted by Annie G | February 8, 2007, 9:24 pm
  15. That poster reminds me of a discussion with my students about Hillary Clinton. I was trying to point out to them something about feminism and gender inequality, and I told them I’m not a big fan of Hillary Clinton, but I’m going have to defend her when her political enemies start calling her bitchy and angry.

    My student walks up to me before class with a newspaper. I said, “Do you have something to show me?”

    She said, “Look Prof. S, you were right.” She pulls out a picture of Clinton from the New York post with some crazy headline about being angry. Her fist was in the air, and her face was all scrunched up in an angry look.

    Unfortunately, the primary time women seem to get favorable coverage is when they are kissing men’s behinds and promoting a patriarchal agenda. And, Republican women tend to be much better at doing this.

    Posted by Rachel S. | February 9, 2007, 1:45 am
  16. I should have said. Before the next class my student came up to me.

    Posted by Rachel S. | February 9, 2007, 1:46 am
  17. good lord; I wrote 3500 words on this back at the election and never got around to publishing it. I snooze, I lose.

    Posted by Rich | February 9, 2007, 3:47 am
  18. Hey, thanks, Annie G!

    Rachel, I have never been any fan of Hilary Clinton, either, but I also hate the way she is caricatured and feel like I have to defend her when the attacks against her are pure sexism, however veiled. As much as I don’t trust her, I think the way the Republicans and the RR (and some who are ostensibly “progressives,” thinking of people like Laylalola) have targeted her in really sexist ways is inexcusable and disgusting.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 9, 2007, 3:58 am
  19. I know why I’m not a Republican now: I don’t blow dry my hair!

    How ridiculous. Reminds me of how Soviet women used to be portrayed during the Cold War. Patriarchal game plan: whenever possible vilify, attack and rape the enemy’s women.

    Re. Hilary, I don’t like her much (sell out), but also won’t tolerate the misogynist caricatures from any side of the political spectrum. A far left group in Chicago plans to do “Screw Hilary, Vote Monica” demos whenever she comes to town. Since this is using sexism and sexual shaming to attack women, I think it’s not cute, funny or ok—no matter what a capitalist, imperialist Hilary may be.

    Posted by roamaround | February 9, 2007, 4:13 am
  20. This propaganda is quite disturbing and there is evidently more of it than I have seen. I’m not a Democrat (left of), BUT … I notice that many mainstream persons now seem to think that to be a Democrat is to be ugly, uncool, etc. They say this even as they also express opinions on issues which would identify them as something other than right wing. It is very weird.

    Posted by profacero | February 9, 2007, 5:51 am
  21. Reminds me of how Soviet women used to be portrayed during the Cold War. Patriarchal game plan: whenever possible vilify, attack and rape the enemy’s women.

    So true, profacero. You’ve reminded me of the way during the war in the former Yugoslavia, news media on various sides of the conflict continually depicted visible feminists on the other guy’s side as unattractive and unable to snag husbands. That is a consistent theme during political conflicts, wars.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 9, 2007, 10:52 am
  22. If I had any photoshop skill, I would make the poster more accurate by printing a quote from of each person’s under their picture. Something about how Malkin wants to put Hispanic mothers and children in concentration camps, or Coulter’s infamous “non-Christians should be forcibly converted or killed” statement. It would be an instructive contrast between Republicans and Democrats.

    The heading could say “A Picture Isn’t Really Worth A Thousand Words”

    Posted by Miranda | February 9, 2007, 11:30 am
  23. Miranda, how about “When Their Words are Like These, Can You Picture a Thousand of Them?” Or something to the effect of how they can make such horrible statements with only a few words that a thousand of their words would be too much, something that one can’t even “picture.”

    Posted by CoolAunt | February 9, 2007, 5:48 pm
  24. Or as my grandmother and Forest Gump would say, “Pretty Is as Pretty Does.”

    Posted by CoolAunt | February 9, 2007, 5:49 pm
  25. Republicans look better (at least in that picture) because they are actually Reptilian space lizards.

    If you spend enough time inspecting Bush and Blair, you may notice startling similarities – i.e.; pointy ears, wide vacant eyes…

    This is my theory (and David Icke’s), anyway😉

    Fantastic posts recently, anyway. I must comment more often!

    Posted by unitednation | February 9, 2007, 5:58 pm
  26. On a purely visual level it seems rather Fembot Republicans vs Female Dems. I agree that Dworkin was so not a Dem.

    Posted by thebewilderness | February 9, 2007, 8:48 pm
  27. Miranda, this is a *great* idea, and I hope somebody who does have Photoshop skills, does it!!!

    “If I had any photoshop skill, I would make the poster more accurate by printing a quote from of each person’s under their picture. Something about how Malkin wants to put Hispanic mothers and children in concentration camps, or Coulter’s infamous “non-Christians should be forcibly converted or killed” statement. It would be an instructive contrast between Republicans and Democrats.

    The heading could say ‘A Picture Isn’t Really Worth A Thousand Words'”

    Posted by profacero | February 9, 2007, 11:27 pm
  28. CoolAunt said:
    “I’m very middle of the road politically, neither Rep nor Dem. I see neither as being on my side and neither as being against me. To me, they’re both just groups of career politicians who say what they have to say, and every once in a while even follow through and actually do something, to further their careers.”

    (Although I’m UK) I agree. I don’t bother following or getting involved in men’s politics, the men are definitely self-serving their careers. I always vote on the issues of the candidate, and the ones I tend to agree with are, surprisingly enough, usually women!

    As c. 51% of the population, we certainly don’t have anywhere near equal representation in government, or any party for that matter.

    Posted by stormy | February 10, 2007, 12:01 am
  29. And the underlying message of this poster?

    ‘Republican’ women are attractive to men while ‘Democratic’ women are ugly feminist hags.

    Remember, girls, feminists are only feminists because they’re inherently unattractive. I’m sure that seems very insightful to a raging idiot.

    Posted by gingermiss | February 10, 2007, 2:07 am
  30. Republican men say they have bigger dicks and that’s what keeps their women looking so smooth and serene. But research clearly shows that Democratic and progressive men are both better endowed and more virile so naturally their women tend to look a bit more tired out.*

    (Heart, that was me about the Soviet women. It’s just so clearly not really about the women at all, but how they reflect on “their” men.)

    *from reputable undercover sources

    Posted by roamaround | February 10, 2007, 2:56 am
  31. TBP: “For some of us, it’s just nice to have proof that you can be damn successful, female, and smoking hot at the same time. (Replace “smoking hot” with “classy” and you have the older generation of Phyllis Schafly, Sandra Day O’Connor, etc.)”

    OMFG. Unexamined assumptions, much? Cultural class and looksism bias, much. Geez.

    Posted by Amy's Brain Today | February 10, 2007, 4:04 am
  32. Nah, I’m going to remove that post. That’s one place I don’t want to go on this blog.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 10, 2007, 5:16 am
  33. I had really wondered why that comment had snuck through Heart.
    “OMFG” was exactly what I’d thought too, Amy!🙂

    Posted by stormy | February 10, 2007, 8:43 am
  34. Thanks for saving me from myself, Heart! I didn’t realize, who, what, why, and how that was.

    Posted by Amy's Brain Today | February 10, 2007, 3:50 pm
  35. Since you removed the offending post, Heart, my comment about comparative penis size seems to be just hanging there, so to speak. My point was that women like TBP who think that this poster is about women’s success and good looks are sorely mistaken. It’s not about them at all. As Coolaunt says, it’s aimed at making men feel either proud or ashamed of their women. Sort of like who drives a cooler car.

    And it’s always about their dicks.

    Posted by roamaround | February 10, 2007, 7:35 pm
  36. That post got through, I guess, because the poster must have had one approved post and didn’t use any banned words. Well, no more! Sorry for the confusion now that the post is removed. So true, roamaround, that this poster is not about women’s success or good looks but about male ownership of “their” women. UGH.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 10, 2007, 11:48 pm
  37. That’s something mainstream and antifeminist women often don’t understand about men; i.e., they think that if a man is jealous, that says something about the depth of his feelings for her, or if men fight over her, or defend her honor, that this has to do with how much they care about her or admire or or love her or whatever, or that if they say, “My woman/women is/are more beautiful than yours ,” that’s about being proud of their woman/women. No. That is ALL about men, defending what they believe to be their property. It has nothing to do with the women at all, other than as property that men don’t want to lose.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 10, 2007, 11:51 pm
  38. they think that if a man is jealous, that says something about the depth of his feelings for her,

    I got that in reverse, years ago, and didn’t understand it until now. My sometime-boyfriend was occasionally ‘seeing’ another woman. He got very upset that I didn’t get jealous when I found out. I was very confused; surely he had a right to his own life. Now I realize that he needed me to be jealous to show that I was afraid of ‘losing’ him and that, therefore, I knew that I ‘belonged’ to him. Not even!

    Posted by starwatcher | February 11, 2007, 2:14 am
  39. Hi

    I should have commented in this blog from the off. Stupidly, I followed the link to where the picture was originally posted and landed myself in the lion’s den. I’ve had a pretty interesting ride of it in the last few days since.

    Bizzarely, none of it is visible there, because he has deleted every comment of mine, except the ones which other people have replied to.

    He clearly has no problem with censorship, so long as he is not seen to censor.

    Good wishes, one and all.

    Aphra.

    Posted by Aphra Behn | February 13, 2007, 7:58 pm

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