In another astounding demonstration of hypocrisy on fire, two pieces dropped last week in progressive publications attacking conservative women for none other than the way they look.
Newsweek’s “Melania, Ivanka and Ivana Trump Wear High Heels, a Symbol of Everything That Is Beautiful and Horrifying About Them” and The Cut’s “The Politics of Blondeness” both continue to undercut central ideas feminists claim to believe such as: a woman should be judged for her actions, not her shoes. Or her hair. Or the color of her skin (even if it’s white).
I emphasize claim to believe because I constantly see evidence that both sides apply their principles only to people who agree with them. There is a massive double standard about the boundaries of feminism and it’s clear that the line is drawn at Trump supporters and particularly Trump relatives.
Get a Grip on Reality, Ladies
The press has spared Kellyanne Conway and Ivanka Trump no mercy when commenting on their looks, and this week it appears they are doubling down. Newsweek’s Nina Burleigh wrote, “So sure are they of their footing that the Trump women, rare political mountain goats, never even look down for obstacles that might break up their gait or send them sprawling.”
Really? That’s your big takedown? The Trump women know how to walk in heels and that somehow “further differentiates them from the average woman.” Let me tell you something, I cocktail-waitressed for years wearing heels. It’s not some special skill and it’s not a magic power. Exotic dancers, ballroom dancers, salsa dancers, and workplace women wear heels every day, for hours. Wearing heels is probably the most average thing I can think of in footwear for women.
Burleigh says, “Feminists have long grappled with the high-heeled shoe, and whether the stiletto telegraphs power (sexual or otherwise) or self-hobbled weakness. Stiletto pumps are the ultimate test of a certain type of femininity. They signal the taut combination of power and weakness that conservative women must cultivate in order to survive among ideologues who are crafting our tax-free ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ future.”
Many Women Love Heels. Stop Throwing Them Shade
First of all, if this is the petty stuff feminism has been reduced to fighting about, feminism needs to chill. Who cares what shoe anyone is wearing? Feminism is about equality. It’s not about shoes. A feminist in heels is still a feminist.
I hate myself for even wasting my time writing about shoes, but here we are, because now heels have suddenly become some symbol of #MAGA. Stop politicizing every single thing. If you turn everything into a movement, nothing is a movement. Secondly, stop making everything about “The Handmaid’s Tale”—that metaphor is tired and hacky.
I love heels. I love the way they make my legs look. I love that they give me a few inches and force me to engage my core and carry myself with better posture. You aren’t taking my heels from me, liberals. But we’re not done because we haven’t even addressed the “blonde privilege” article yet.
So We’re Only Allowed to Criticize Political Enemies’ Looks
From Amy Larocca with The Cut: “And then, of course, there are the politics of hair color. Attributes associated with whiteness — light skin, narrow noses — have dominated American beauty ideals as long as there’s been such a thing. Which means that blondness has always been … charged: The ’50s gave us Doris Day, who once said that her only ambition ever had been to ‘be a housewife in a good marriage’ (‘Preordination had other plans’). To be blonde was to be a good American woman, pure of intention and heart — which implied also, of course, that to be a good American woman, pure of intention and heart, meant being blonde. Betty was blonde, Veronica was trouble. Ditto Sandy and Rizzo. Hitchcock liked to cast blondes because he said they made the best victims: ‘The color was virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.’”
Bringing Betty and Veronica into it is where I draw the line. Larocca went so far as to say that, “above all else, for women, that yellow-blonde, carefully tended hair — a dog whistle of whiteness, an unspoken declaration of values, a wink-wink to the power of racial privilege…”
So let me get it straight: if you’re a person of color or overweight or a Democrat running for president, than your looks are off-limits. But if you’re Conway or Ivanka or Melania, or any blonde who isn’t Hillary Clinton or Samantha Bee, feel free to attack their appearance or skin color, insinuate they are racist, and call them mountain goats.
Just Be Honest: It’s Rhetorical War By Any Means Now
No matter which side of the street you’re screaming from, you either have principles or you don’t. If you constantly take people to task for slut-shaming and sexism and racism then sit down and produce a think piece doing exactly that to women you disagree with, you have done nothing but undermine your message and prove your principles are garbage.
You can’t be shouting “Keep your rosaries off our ovaries” out of one side of your mouth and out of the other, “The Fox blonde is, in the end, conspicuously unnatural. She is less blonde as sexy and more blonde as safe: This blonde is a matronly blonde, a suburban soccer mom who makes sure everyone buckles up in the backseat of the minivan. This blonde is a reminder, perhaps, of what many Americans feel is truly at stake in a newly global world.”
I mean, come on. Just imagine the outrage of this anti-blonde rhetoric being applied to any other hair color or skin color. Pieces like Newsweek’s and The Cut’s are blatantly hypocritical and written with such a staggering lack of self-awareness that they make the task of fighting actual racism and actual sexism that much harder.
So please, ladies of the left, before you have some hot take on the Trump women, make it about something of substance. Hold yourselves to the same standards you hold anyone attacking Hillary, and please hurry before I’m radicalized into transforming my entire appearance.