Monday, October 22, 2012

And More About The Republican-Women-Are-Hot Study

There's no such study, yells Echidne while hitting her head against the garage door.  Poor garage door.  It gets the anger others elicit.

As I wrote below, no study has found Republican female politicians more beautiful than Democratic female politicians.  Rinse and repeat.

But that's the interpretation which has stuck:

But this U.C.L.A. study contains measurable scientific data collected by actual professional scientists who have just basically given us the green light to go ahead and judge a book by its cover. And though the data offered no evidence as to the relative “attractiveness” of either party’s representatives (as the face-modeling software controlled for superficial markers like makeup and hairstyles), why would that stop anyone from conflating gender typicality with sex appeal? The answer is ha ha, of course it wouldn’t, but I adore your innocence.
I can’t figure out which part of this story is the most unforgivably retro. Is it the part where the Internet is flooded by a tsunami of bickering over which political party has the “prettier” members of Congress and/or prettier voters? Followed by smug accusations of sour grapes, actual sour grapes, and finally resentful grumbling by lots of women in comfort clogs, maybe even including me. (It’s none of your business but I require them for the back support. Take it easy, I have a doctor’s note.)
Or is it the part that suggests that a key factor in the electability and, dare I say, presence of a female politician on a national stage can be dependent on something as random as the placement of her eyebrows? Are there really subtle ways in which people would consider a woman suitable for office that are rooted in their visceral reaction to the width and prominence of her cheekbones? Well, probably.

"Visceral reaction about the width and prominence of her cheekbones" will determine someone's suitability for political office?  Well, if the study said anything about that it said that this might be the case in the Republican Party, not in general.

Then there's that silly suggestion that the party which has the prettier politicians (but only female ones!) is somehow the winning party.  If that's the level on which people operate, bring me dictatorship in the form of Havelock Vetinari.