I read the Dr. Helen post you linked to, which was basically my reaction to your post. A couple additional points along those lines:
(1) What's the simplest explanation for why Edwards and Obama are the only serious male contenders for the Democratic nomination, even though Biden, Richardson, and Dodd are so much more impressive on paper?
(2) At least a woman is just supposed to look good and then there will be no further discussion. In a sense, men have a higher standard to meet: first, they're supposed to look good ... but then they need to somehow convince people that they haven't put any effort into looking good. At least the complaint about that Hillary photo -- she looks bad -- is a clear problem with a clear solution: look better. But the complaints about Edwards -- he cares too much about his appearance -- could only be addressed by letting his appearance go ... which isn't politically viable either (considering the demands that are placed on all candidates to be visually appealing).
(Preemptive response to blog commenters: I know someone's going to say, "But he was only criticized for spending $400 on a haircut, which no reasonable person would do!" Well, a price that seems inexplicable for ordinary citizens might actually be reasonable for a national politician who has to constantly worry about looking good on TV. Also, even if it was an unreasonable expenditure, there is still an unfair gender disparity in how much something like that will hurt a male vs. a female candidate.)
December 18, 2007
Yesterday, we were talking about that picture of Hillary Clinton that appeared on Drudge. My son John Althouse Cohen emails: