Europeans and South Americans ‘Just Have Sexy in Their Blood’

July 11, 2007 at 7:34 pm 1 comment

Female leaders 

It’s been a little over a week since President Kirchner announced that he would not be running for re-election, allowing his wife, Senator Cristina Kirchner, to run instead, and already the media has been all over Argentina’s political drama.

Inevitably, there is much that can be said about the Kirchner-Clinton connection; both couples met in law school, both men became presidents, both women became senators, and now, both women are aiming for the White (or in Argentina’s case, Pink) House.

Yet for some writers, the most important thing is that…Cristina Kirchner is sexy and Hillary Clinton is not!

Yes, that’s right, apparently ABC News thought it necessary to devote three pages to analyzing the differences in dress and appearance between the two women:

When Argentina’s foxy first lady and fashionista Cristina Kirchner announced July 2 that she would run for president, she allowed her long, black hair to cascade over a plunging neckline.

But America’s first lady of politics, Hillary Rodham Clinton — who has often been compared to Kirchner — opted for a solid black pants suit during her recent presidential debate.

Other international women with brains and power, such as France’s Ségolène Royal, flaunt their sexuality. But Americans prefer to play the dowdy card.

And that’s just the first three paragraphs. The atrocious dek of the piece declares, “Europeans and South Americans ‘Just Have Sexy in Their Blood,” making a sweeping generalization about entire continents based on the evidence of just three people. Apparently ignoring the existence of “dowdy” (or–gasp–women who fall into neither category) leaders like Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Mary McAleese of Ireland, Tarja Halonen of Finland, and Angela Merkel of Germany will make your already-shoddy argument work.

It goes without saying that you would never find an article dissecting the dressing habits of Bush, Sarkozy, or any other male politician (except perhaps John Edwards, but that’s just veiled homophobia at work). Nestor Kirchner is in no way easy on the eyes, plus he’s got a major lisp, and yet not a peep about his physical appearance. 

Cristina Kirchner hopes to succeed her husband Nestor

Like with most things, women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t; that same old virgin-whore complex means that she’s either totally dowdy (and, in Clinton’s case, a lesbian) or a complete vamp. Getting dressed to go to a fundraising event is no longer just a simple routine, but instead an indicator of how a woman is as a political leader. And that’s worrisome.

Because even if they are elected, they will never escape the judgements that are passed on them and not on their male predecessors. We can say that we’ve made history and elected a woman president, but it won’t mean anything if we still hold her to a double standard.

And it’s not just some small time blogger saying this (and believe me, several have), but ABC News. Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is not, “Are we ready for a female president?” but rather, “Is the media ready for a female president?” We’ll know it is when the answer is, “We’re ready for a president.”–REBECCA

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Entry filed under: fashion, feminism, media, politics, pop culture.

riding the cupcake wave programa perfecto

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. soysolindo  |  July 20, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Feministing picked up this story from soy so lindo!

    “Hillary faces dowdy/whore dichotomy
    Sorry this is a wee late.

    First Lady of Argentina Cristina Kirchner has decided to run for President, and she makes Hillary Clinton look dowdy.

    When Argentina’s foxy first lady and fashionista Cristina Kirchner announced July 2 that she would run for president, she allowed her long, black hair to cascade over a plunging neckline.
    But America’s first lady of politics, Hillary Rodham Clinton — who has often been compared to Kirchner — opted for a solid black pants suit during her recent presidential debate.

    Other international women with brains and power, such as France’s Ségolène Royal, flaunt their sexuality. But Americans prefer to play the dowdy card.

    Why, oh why can’t we have a hot, long-haired candidate with a “plunging neckline”? Oh right, because she would probably be deemed an immoral slut. Better dowdy than dirty, right? This just makes me fume.

    Thanks to Rebecca for the link.”

    http://feministing.com/archives/007404.html#comments

    Reply

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