Sunday, July 22, 2007

WaPost ogles over Clinton's boobies and not her brain

This story has always been in the back of my mind since I first saw it on Friday, but I've been wondering how to comment on it. I would like to start this with a little story of what happened in my own life.

It was around 1976. I was a fifth-grader walking to Mirassou Elementary School that morning with my friend Mark. It would have been another ho-hum school morning, but there was some excitement taking place in some bushes alongside of a house. There were around four or five sixth grade boys standing on the sidewalk of the house, talking and gesturing excitedly. One would sneak into the bushes for a moment, then come out exclaiming, "OH MY GOD! You can see her!" One of the sixth graders came over to us and asked, "Hey, you want to see something cool? Someone ripped up a Playboy magazine and threw it into the bushes! You can see a centrefold's pussy!" We were somewhat curious here--I mean, who would rip up a Playboy magazine? We had to investigate.

The sixth graders made that bush into a temple--The Church of the Holy Bush. It was small enough to where only one person could crawl in and view the sacred scraps of a centerfold. We had to wait in a makeshift line as the high priests limited the time a young boy could view the sacred objects. My turn came. I crawled into the bush, coming to a small clearing between the bush and the house. There were torn bits of paper everywhere--paper showing meaningless words, broken advertisements, and body parts. I could see parts of an unnamed woman's hand, legs, skin, and even her face. But the one torn scrap of paper which brought such excitement to the sixth graders--the Ark of the Covenant--was laying on a shrine of dirt, twigs, and the dead leaves before me. It was almost as if someone had carefully torn this centrefold's glory between her legs, and then placed it on the Alter of the Bush. It was there for all to see. I took one look, shook my head, and then left the temple for another apostle to worship. We continued on to school.

At the end of the school day, we walked by the house, but discovered that the temple was destroyed. A heretic had gone into the brush, and had removed the sacred relics of the centrefold's torn beauty. There were still a few tiny scraps of unintelligible words, but the holiest relic--the Ark which turned many a sixth-grader into a religious follower--was gone. Thus ended the Church of the Holy Bush.

I had just about forgotten that story, until I read this Washington Post's piece on Hillary Clinton's plunging neckline:

There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

She was talking on the Senate floor about the burdensome cost of higher education. She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable.

It was startling to see that small acknowledgment of sexuality and femininity peeking out of the conservative -- aesthetically speaking -- environment of Congress. After all, it wasn't until the early '90s that women were even allowed to wear pants on the Senate floor. It was even more surprising to note that it was coming from Clinton, someone who has been so publicly ambivalent about style, image and the burdens of both.

I wonder if the Washington Post have been getting some pointers from these former sixth-grade high priests on this story? When I look at this picture of Senator Clinton in her supposedly provocative outfit, I see an attractive woman wearing a professional business attire. Is Senator Clinton's outfit sexy? Perhaps. Should Senator Clinton's choice of business attire be reported on the front page of the Washington Post? Not really. It is ridiculous. It is a non-story about a non-issue that the Post is trying to make into a political story of what this Democratic presidential candidate is currently wearing. Or even worst, that this female presidential candidate even has breasts! Forget about what Senator Clinton's views were on the costs of higher education, or what she said before the Senate floor that afternoon. Senator Clinton's views and opinions were not relevant at that time, just as whatever views and opinions that Playboy centrefold's views and opinions were not important within the torn pages, scattered in that bush. A level of sexism still exists within this country, where we judge women by her looks, her legs, and her breasts, rather than her mind. Even if this woman shows a level of intelligence and determination to run for the highest office in this country--be it a Democratic or Republican female candidate--she will still be measured by her appearance, by how sexy she is, rather than by the traits of her male counterparts. The Washington Post clearly showed this level of sexism in their fashion story on Clinton's neckline and the discovery that Senator Clinton actually has two breasts. Now if Senator Clinton decided to show up at work wearing this to the Senate, then I would say that the Washington Post would certainly have something to report here on Senator Clinton's sense of fashion. Of course, I would also expect the WaPost to report on the new fashion styles of Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain here.

But then again, what do you expect from a newspaper that seems more interested in ogling over a female presidential candidate's body than her mind?


Constitutionalist said...

There was a time sadly when the Post would have slammed anyone else who had run such a story. MSM seems to be completly infected with the News Corp virus where boobs are the main focus of the story as eveidenced by the clevage displayed by those telling the story.

Eric A Hopp said...

Hello Constitutionalist: Thank you for commenting here. I think what you need to understand about the mainstream news is that it is not about informing the American public about important news that they should know, but rather to sell news as a profit generator for these corporate news services. News that generates a profit in subscription sales or ratings, is the news that these corporations will present to the American people. And the American people respond to this new form of entertainment--we need to know what happened to Natalie Halloway, need to know what Michael Jackson wore to court during his trial on charges of child molestation, need to know about how Paris Hilton was taken into jail. Or even some of the latest stories of Britney Spears smearing chicken grease on her $6,000 dress, or Lindsay Lohan getting busted for DUI and cocaine possession. And as for political news? Well, we get to learn about Hillary's boobies. It is all about profit now for these corporate media outlets. And these corporate media outlets know that the dumber the American public is regarding their knowledge of news and current events, the greater political and economic power they can gain through media consolidation to where they are both the gatekeepers, and propagandists in presenting news to benefit themselves. It is disgusting.