Hesse Fit: WaPo Cries Sexism That Semi-Nude Pic Didn't Sink Scott Brown

January 23rd, 2010 10:58 PM

Is there anything stranger than a liberal reporter being upset that a semi-nude picture from 1982 didn’t sink a political candidate? Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse stamped on the sour grapes on Wednesday with a temper tantrum of an article on the front page of the Style section headlined "It’s okay. Scott Brown was just being a man. Ah, gender equity. That Cosmo spread might have sunk a woman".

What a snide, opinionated headline! Hesse began by suggesting nude pics had surfaced of Martha Coakley, and then, surprise, it was the other way around. Hesse’s topic sentence: "The morning after the election, a student of gender politics might ask: How different would the story have looked if the shoe -- Lack of shoes? Lack of clothes? -- actually had been on the female body?"

She found an expert to endorse and repeat the complaint:

"Men who are naughty are [viewed as] just dudes being dudes," says Eric Dezenhall, a crisis management specialist in Washington. "Women who are naughty are unstable and must be stopped."

She briefly entertained the notion that nude pictures of Sarah Palin might have been trouble in 2008, just to shred it:

"No. No. No. No. No," says Sue Tolleson-Rinehart, editor of the compendium "Gender and American Politics." "A female candidate for whom such photographs were uncovered would have a very difficult time living it down." With men, it's different. It's even, plausibly, laudable. "You might argue that he's projecting a kind of virility that we associate with strength and leadership."

When is the last time you heard someone look at a picture of a naked woman and comment on her leadership skills? Remember Hillary Clinton's cleavage, and what stir that inch of skin caused after one 2007 debate?

No one argued then that men -- aroused by some primordial mammary fixation -- might feel compelled to vote for Clinton, though such an argument might have been based on research. In 2008, researchers at Northwestern University found that male voters were swayed by sexuality, predominantly declaring that the more "competent" female candidates were the more attractive ones.

Hesse's one of those feminists who can't even seem to arrive at the concept that there are only two genders. Notice this from a chat transcript on Wednesday discussing her whiny article:

Monica Hesse: I kinda doubt we're moving toward a place where baring some flesh is seen as increasingly more taboo -- for any gender.

"Any gender"? Wouldn't the proper English be "either"?