I realized something yesterday and it’s not something of which I’m proud: I’m a sexist hypocrite. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of criticisms of prominent women directed at their appearance. Catty swipes over Melania Trump’s shoe selection? Nope. Jabs at Michelle Obama’s wardrobe? Not on board.
I hold true to that regardless of the recipient’s politics. Jabs at Hillary’s weight or “cankles” during her presidential run garnered no applause from me. I just find it poor form. If you can’t debate someone’s policies or practices and persuasively point out how they’re wrong, resorting to mean girl tactics to run them down isn’t going to win me over.
I also hold true to that regardless of the commenter’s politics. Donald Trump may wear the Republican mantel but that doesn’t insulate him from criticism for his frequent, boorish comments to and about women. So, I largely agree with Patterico’s contention that Trump supporters have no standing to criticize the LA Times for its recent (since removed) passage referring to Sarah Huckabee Sanders as “a slightly chunky soccer mom.” If you champion a guy who regularly employs the rhetoric for which Trump is known, howling when someone turns the same sort of fire on women on your “side” is the height of hypocrisy.
But then I realized my own hypocrisy on the issue: It’s not partisan — it’s sexist. I don’t experience the same level of outrage or disapproval when comments are directed at men’s appearance. In fact, I sometimes make such comments myself. I’d be lying if I said I’d never made a crack about Trump’s hair. Or claimed that I spoke up when someone poked fun of Barack Obama’s ears.
For some reason, I apparently find it more acceptable to critique a man’s appearance than a woman’s. I don’t think I’m alone in that, either. And I have to wonder…why is that? Do we just assume men are less sensitive to such critiques? Or that women are due an added immunity? I’m honestly not sure. Nor am I sure just what to do with this newfound realization about my own inconsistency. Guess I need to retract my claws a bit more and ease up on the menfolk. Sorry, guys!