Thursday, October 26, 2006

I've got a beef.

I am a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks. I have every CD and have been to one of their concerts. I can sing (although not well) every song. I consider myself an Honorary Chick. No, I don't think it was appropriate for them to air their political views in front of an audience that was paying to see them sing but its not like its the first time a performance artist expressed his/her views in front of an audience.

What I don't like is the way they have been black-balled and bad-mouthed. I find it interesting that actors such as Johnny Depp and Alec Baldwin can insult the U.S. and its policies and people do not boycott their movies.

But, my biggest beef is people tearing them down because of their looks. I know. You are frowning now and wondering where I am going here. Hang on. It's a bumpy ride.

My parents were just in town and something came up about the Chicks. My mother says (sorry, mom - don't worry ya'll, my mom doesn't read this) "I hate that short and fat one."

Whoa, whoa, whoa! When did this become about looks? I suspect because they are women. This goes beyond the Dixie Chicks. Let me give you another example.

Recently, I was around someone who is in the military. He begins talking about Hilary Clinton and asked me if I thought she would be president. I answered that I didn't think so. I think she is a very smart lady but politically she seems to have too many people working against her. He starts in with this story about how she and Bill visited the Air Force Base he was stationed at. He then said her legs were like tree trunks and she was beaten within an inch of her life with an ugly stick.

Now I ask you, what do her looks have to do with her being president or smart? The last I noticed, President Bush isn't exactly PlayGirl material. Neither is John Dean. Now John Edwards? Hmmmmm, he's pretty cute. But that's another post.

I don't like that people (men and women alike) always go to a woman' s physical appearance. Men do not undergo the same scrutiny.

I am getting ready to re-enter the working world. Do I worry that I will look/feel old? Of course. I hope that I will be judged on my performance and not on my looks but I didn't just fall of the old turnip truck. I am perfectly aware that I will be judged on my appearance to a certain degree. Just please, please, don't let me hear you refer to me as the "short, fat one."

Added: Its been pointed out that I meant Howard Dean, not John Dean. Sorry, when I am frothing at the mouth I get a little crazy.


  • I'm a big DC fan too. And this looks thing makes me want to scream, "What fat one? There isn't a fat one!" It bugs me that women are held to a different standard than men. Look at TV. All sorts of shlumpy looking men, but women, no, no, no, they've all gotta be young and beautiful. I mean really! What a crock!

    By Blogger Lucia, at 10/26/2006 8:38 PM  

  • I agree about John Edwards, he's a hotty!
    Women always go thru more scrutiny than men do. If a woman is smart & serious, she's labeled a bitch! If a man is like that, he's commended. Hillary's opponent in the elections actually made a comment about her being ugly. I don't think anything is off limits anymore & it sickens me.
    As long as politicians keep us OFF the real topics, they've got nothing to worry about, do they?
    You brought up a lot of good talking points.

    By Anonymous jane, at 10/26/2006 9:32 PM  

  • You look just like Heather Locklear. You have nothing to worry about. :)

    By Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen, at 10/26/2006 9:44 PM  

  • Just look at the upper administrators (Pres and VPs) at colleges and universities and look at the ratio of men to women!

    I have been on a hiring committee where an 45 year old woman looked "too old" but a 65 year old guy was "distinguished!" Hello? Discrimination!

    Look around there are double standards all over the place, and don't get me started on salary inequities!

    By Blogger Seeking My Zen Garden, at 10/26/2006 10:19 PM  

  • i agree with you!!!what do looks have to do with talent or intelligence? and if so, seriously if you had a choice would you take smarts and unattractive or would you rather be not so smart and attractive? why can a man be bald and fat with a young hottie but you will probably never see an overweight unkept older woman with a hottie young guy?? oh gawd now i think i will have to post about it!!!!

    By Blogger acaligurl, at 10/26/2006 10:34 PM  

  • But would more people vote for Hillary if she looked like you (i.e., Heather Locklear)? Maybe not. Maybe they'd say she can't be that smart if she's that beautiful.

    Any way around it, calling out the looks card is a way to denigrate a woman. To make her nothing more than a bunch of body parts. It's misogynist thinking in its most acceptable form.

    By Blogger Mignon, at 10/26/2006 11:12 PM  

  • It's totally true. Who cares that Martha Stewart looks old and wrinkly or that Hillary Clinton has fat legs? It's such a double standard. Look at Donald Trump..what a mess. And still people kiss his butt.

    By Blogger teahouse, at 10/27/2006 12:00 AM  

  • I could not agree more. You really hit a nerve with this post. Have you seen the clips from that Dixie Chicks documentary? A mother is telling her kid, who can barely talk, to yell, "Screw 'em." I love their new CD where "the short, fat one" refuses to apologize and just wrote songs about her experiences.

    It's always about looks for women, that's why we have so many appearance issues. I see it all the time in the legal field. When we go to trial, the men talk about what tie to wear, and if there's a woman on the other side, there are always comments made like, "She's hot, we're screwed now" or "The jury won't like her, she is frumpy." It's very annoying, especially because it's so true in EVERY aspect of life, and you know the saddest part? Women are worse than men about it.

    By Blogger Trish, at 10/27/2006 5:21 AM  

  • In response...not sure how I got here. I was just surfing from some blogs I often read. Maybe Mignon or ?

    By Blogger Lucia, at 10/27/2006 7:14 AM  

  • You've hit upon a very important point. The same people who complain about Hilary's legs and butt may not see the similarities in Laura Bush, but they're there. It's just that people (mainly men, but there are women, too) are threatened by Hilary and Laura's not threatening at all. As long as a woman "stays in her place", they'll forgive the fact that she's not beautiful. That's why LB gets away with it.

    Karl Rove looks like a pig in a suit, but you won't hear anything about that. Even his detractors have too much material to work with (the fact that he's the spawn of Satan, for example) to care about his looks.

    I find that men (usually the smallest and most threatened of men) often resort to assassinating a woman's physical appearance because--to them--looks are the sum total of a woman's worth. Nothing else matters. She may very well be the President of a Fortune 500 company, but they pay no mind to that. Criticizing a woman's looks is a way of leapfrogging over any real or substantive accomplishments in order to reduce the woman to a worthless pile of flesh and bone. Those are playground bully tactics. Stones thrown by the semi-evolved humans who hope that by flinging verbal weapons at people who are smarter and more powerful than they, maybe the rest of the world won't notice what a loser the insult-hurler really is.

    By Anonymous wordgirl, at 10/27/2006 10:29 AM  

  • Conversations like this always remind me of "Harrison Bergeron" by KV:

    By Blogger Tink, at 10/27/2006 10:35 AM  

  • I've been told once that I looked like the "short fat" one of that group, so yeah I definitely don't like that description. (Plus, I'm hardly short. The other, well..sigh...I have some chub...)

    It does bother me a great deal how extreme people seemed to get with the chicks. They were young and yes what Natalie did was stupid. They were overseas and we were on the verge of war...and there was a huge firestorm of anti-American sentiment that they helped ignite all the more.

    BUT, they are Americans. They can say whatever they want. What do people want--for us to start behaving like a Communist state?

    It irritates me that our society seems to get more riled up about musicians and movie stars blunders than they do political officials and the current state of our nation. Thanks for allowing me to vent too!

    By Blogger Crazy MomCat, at 10/27/2006 2:33 PM  

  • Oh, and I wanted to (sort of) defend your mom's response. Not that it's okay to call her fat (she's not), but that it's not a terrible thing to respond to the looks of entertainers. They're entertainers, right? They sell records by virtue of their package, and they are in the business of selling a product. If you don't like the package - the looks, the voice, the opinions - don't buy the record.

    I don't think it's a gender issue to accept or reject musicians by their looks. Some musicians transcend that (Janis Joplin, Lyle Lovett, Mama Cass) because of sheer talent. But some also eschew the talent and go strictly for the hormones: Britney, Enrique Iglesias, Marilyn Manson... uhhh

    By Blogger Mignon, at 10/27/2006 3:14 PM  

  • I think the dixie chicks were well within their rights to say what they did - the reaction it got absolutely astounded me. Why is it unpatriotic to disagree with the country your direction is going? If anything it's an indication of people caring about their country, and a healthy democracy.

    I can't imagine what they've gone through and admire their sticking to their guns. I've seen them live and they're amazing performers and are very beautiful.

    Any woman in power is discounted by their looks - beautiful and people will insinuate they slept their way to the top, anything less they're critiqued for their looks. It's a major symptom of a patriarchal society.

    By Anonymous Heather, at 10/27/2006 3:15 PM  

  • Well said, Little Debbie. I couldn't agree with you more.

    By Blogger Type (little) a, at 10/27/2006 5:52 PM  

  • I totally agree with you, and I really like what wordgirl said.

    I can't really add much more- except that I wonder if men point out that kind of thing because they know how much women care about how they look and so that would hurt more?

    By Anonymous Sharla, at 10/27/2006 6:33 PM  

  • Right on. I love the Dixie Chicks, too.

    Also, I don't find Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or George W. particularly attractive--or even virile looking. I doubt most people do.

    By Anonymous surcie, at 10/28/2006 1:34 PM  

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