We know the manliest members of Congress are the ones with the biggest shotguns and the quietest mistresses. But what about the most feminine members of Congress? Which party has the ladies whose phyiscally pleasing cheekbone height makes you feel she is the least likely to scream at you about equal pay and reproductive rights like a castrating harridan? The Republicans, of course. As The Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee so gaily explains in The New York Times Sunday Review this week, an entire study out of UCLA was devoted to just that.
The study, Bee writes, asked undergrads to look at pictures of women in Congress, assess who had the most feminine facial structure, and then attempt identify the party which she belonged. It found that students believed the more feminine a woman's face appares, the more conservative her views, and vice versa.
And all for ... what? ... Bee asks. What purpose does such a study actually serve (other than to give the likes of the New York Post and the UK Daily Mail fodder for "LIBERAL LASSES ARE MANNISH UGLY LESBIANS" headlines?). Bee asks:
[I]s it the part that suggests that a key factor in the electability and, dare I say, presence of a female politician on a national stage can be dependent on something as random as the placement of her eyebrows? Are there really subtle ways in which people would consider a woman suitable for office that are rooted in their visceral reaction to the width and prominence of her cheekbones? Well, probably. All I know is that once I finished reading the study I’m pretty sure 1970s Burt Reynolds reached across the passenger seat of his Trans Am to give me a wink and a boob honk.
Here's a possible useful explanation: feminist icon Gloria Steinem has said before that the first woman to be elected president would have to be an arch-conservative. Liberals may be more OK with electing a moderate or liberal woman, but conservatives will only advance someone who does not seem feminized, weak, and (God no!) compassionate. So I would put two and two together and venture it says something about the Republican party that some of it's most conservative women are also the girly-girls. Those are the ones who are allowed to advance.
And they probably don't talk back if you give 'em a boob honk.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.