Sunday, July 7, 2013

Human beings are a damn good-looking species

Human beings are a damn good-looking species--especially when we’re smiling & well-fed. But for women, the beauty police have completely lost their marbles & run amuck. Hardly a celebrity (considered the standard bearers of beauty) leaves the house without cosmetic prostheses of every kind from phony hair, eyelashes, & nails to breast implants & 4 inch stilettos they can hardly walk in. Anorexia is the norm & celebrities are publicly ridiculed if they defy it by even a pound or two. Every pound they gain, even during pregnancy, is ruthlessly monitored by vicious reporters like Joan Rivers--who no longer has any of her original body parts because she didn’t have the wisdom to reject the norms.

This is Marion Bartoli, a French tennis player who just defeated the favored Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon--considered the greatest prize in tennis. An emotional, beautiful Bartoli thanked her proud father watching from the player’s box, saying she had been working for this moment since she was six-years-old. So it was a triumphant moment indeed. The kind of moment that bone-headed misogynists need to destroy. John Inverdale, a BBC sports announcer viewing her triumph asked his listeners, "Do you think Bartoli's dad told her when she was little 'You're never going to be a looker? You'll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight'."

This apparently set off a Twitter storm in defense of Bartoli, demanding Inverdale be fired. Both he & the BBC have apologized but this has not made either look a bit less repulsive. Regrettably the comment also drew hordes of misogynists out of their holes hurling sexual slurs & insults at both Bartoli & Lisicki.

Many praised Bartoli for “taking the high road” & showing dignity in response to the insults. She deserves such praise but we don’t have to take the high road. Screw that! This demeaning of women, from outrageous insults like this to subtle (passive-aggressive) putdowns belittling their looks, their intelligence, their achievements is one of the most pernicious psychological weapons used against them. Men who sling such taunts from behind women’s rights banners do not deceive; if there’s ever a day of reckoning, they’ll be the first ones pummeled. They’re closer to the punch!

(Photo of Marion Bartoli from AFP/Getty Images)

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