August 11, 2006

"Her external ugliness reflects her internal ugliness."

Said the interviewer on Syrian television about Condoleezza Rice after the guest -- author Colette Khuri -- said: "If I were asked, as an author, to portray malice, I would sketch an image of Condoleezza Rice. This woman is grim, both in the way she looks and in the way she is inside. I don't know why she is always malicious from within."

ADDED: If the expression on her face were not grim, she would be called a lightweight who did not deserve the trust that has been placed in her. This is typical of the way women are criticized: either you're unfeminine or you're an airhead.

And, for a non-Syrian slur on Rice, here's a photo I took of a wall in Madison, Wisconsin last year.

79 comments:

Palladian said...

"But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days."

MadisonMan said...

A good follow-up question would have been: did you think the same of Colin Powell? Ms. Khuri thinks little of serious women, apparently.

That said, there are few images of the Secretary showing a lighter, less dramatic side. I recall the piece on her piano quartet in the Post, but don't recall many photos of a relaxed Condi. She'll have to work on that if she wants to be President.

Palladian said...

Condi, after all, is no match for that Syrian pinnacle of both external and internal beauty...

Jennifer said...

Well, its not a secret that many Arabs are racist toward blacks. Nor are they particularly fond of women of accomplishment. So, this kind of program topic probably speaks more to their own biases than Condi's physical attributes.

And, she made the VF best dressed list. So pfft.

John said...

Funny, I never considered Secretary Rice to be ugly. I'm not sure that I ever considered her to be beautiful, but she is certainly not Secretary Albright ugly. (Ouch, low blow.)

While not beautiful, if we must consider our government officials in terms of looks, I would characterize Secretary Rice as attractive, and given the smile she often has, somewhat striking.

Not that I really care that much how my Secretary of State actually looks.

And let's not forget thoses famous boots. That was an attractive look.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Didn't Phyllis Chesler write a book called Women's Inhumanity to Women?

I wonder if this unpleasentness will end when Bush leaves office - that is, is the left's hatred focussed on Bush personally, or any Republican in office? Will President McCain or whomever have to deal with the same kind of unceasing invective (and would Rice, serving in the next, non-Bush administration)?

Tibore said...

And if our SecState were a drop-dead hot Playboy centerfold, would that matter, or would they have simply found some other way to diminish her? I could snark and say "sour grapes" (but I don't know what Khuri looks like), I could be a jerk and turn the insult back on Khuri (... so ugly, she makes blind children cry... so ugly, police artists are afraid to sketch her...), but that's just playing at their level. Or, I can realize that it doesn't matter, beautiful, ugly, handsome, hideous... no matter what, if something doesn't fit Khuri's and her interviewer's worldview, they'll find no shortage of things to criticize about the someone they see as representing that opposition. It's the same sort of petty snarking that happens between losers trying to comfort and buttress each other's worldviews when they feel they've been bypassed, spurned, or otherwise overtaken in some social aspect by the successful or popular in society. They're projecting their own insecurities on others, and while that sort of behavior makes for occasionally entertaining movies, it's just sad behavior in the real world.

tiggeril said...

On a happier note, a nice op-ed in the Telegraph over in the UK.

http://tinyurl.com/l3wgr

tiggeril said...

Oh, Simon, that's an excellent book, by the way. I recommend it to everyone. It's not a quick read, but a good one.

Craig said...

Simon asks "
I wonder if this unpleasentness will end when Bush leaves office - that is, is the left's hatred focussed on Bush personally, or any Republican in office?
"

No, Simon, this unpleasantness will not end. In fact, should a Democrat take the big seat in 08, the Republicans will carry the torch of unpleasantness, as they did throughout the Clinton era.

Partisan hatred is now a permanent feature of American politics. It will be decades before you see a waning of it.

Dave said...

Rice is not attractive but so what? Is it germane to her job?

Sloanasaurus said...

I agree with Jennifer. This is just the latest way to express displeasure against America. It's also pure envy. In America, most of us (except those on the left) see someone like Rice and say to ourselves..."how can I be successful like her." In most of the rest of the world such as europe and the middle east, people say... "it is not fair that she is successful, she should be destroyed."

LarryK said...

Imagine what they'll say when Condi becomes President. That's bound to rattle a few Islamofascist teacups.

Pogo said...

Re: "If I were asked, as an author, to portray malice..."

Would author Colette Khuri pick:
a) actual mass murderer Osama Bin Laden
b) Iran's President Mahmoud "push Israel into the sea" Ahmadinejad
c) 20 British Pakistani Muslims about to board planes they intend to destroy, killing thousands of innocent people
or
d) the representative of the US who's vowed to fight the evil of Islamofascism?

Colette Khuri?
Paging Colette Khuri
Inigo Montoya on line one.
Virgin Mary, line 2. You made baby prophet Jesus cry.

LarryK said...

And for the record, I happen to think Condi is plenty attractive - not a classic beauty but she has an elegance and radiance that reflects a deep, and fierce, intelligence. That's probably what's really got them scared.

chardin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph Hovsep said...

John: "given the smile she often has"

I think references to the physical attractiveness of a female leader are cheap and say a lot more about the insulter than the insultee.
That said, Rice is famous for her perpetually grim expression not the "smile she often has." I like this little ode to Rice's pouty faces.

DaveG said...

but don't recall many photos of a relaxed Condi.

Possibly as a consequence of selection bias in the media? Consider that at any public appearance by Ms. Rice, there are surely hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures taken of her. It defies the odds that they are all as bad as those the media selects to present to us. Or maybe I'm just wearing my tin foil hat too tight. You be the judge.

Dave said...

"Possibly as a consequence of selection bias in the media?"

Perhaps.

But also recall that she has a very stressful job, and not all people who have stressful jobs are able to avoid wearing their stress on their face.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I'm with Larry K when he says:

I happen to think Condi is plenty attractive - not a classic beauty but she has an elegance and radiance that reflects a deep, and fierce, intelligence.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think this very silly. Of course she is grim. Anyone in her position who wasn't, wouldn't be doing their job. A lot of lives are at stake here, and she is one of the big players, and so, while the blood won't realistically be on her hands, a moral person must feel some responsibility in this sort of situation, where their actions might save lives - but where a different action may save a lot more lives later.

This is not a diplomatic dinner where everyone can stand around, half-drunk, making nice. Rather, a lot of lives are at stake here, and she would be remiss if she weren't grim.

Simon said...

Craig said...
"[S]hould a Democrat take the big seat in 08, the Republicans will carry the torch of unpleasantness, as they did throughout the Clinton era."

The unpleasentness of some groups on the right during the 1990s - and the antics of Savage, Limbaugh and co. cannot be denied - pales in comparison to the visceral, routine, assumed and endemic hatred of this government by liberals today. Their seething contempt far outstrips anything fired by even the most obnoxious right-wing commentators during the 1990s, and while I agree that you're fully correct that "Partisan hatred is now a permanent feature of American politics [and] [i]t will be decades before you see a waning of it," that is because the liberals are now and - one must hope - will remain for decades to come shut out of government. The choice of the tone of American politics is in their hands.

MadisonMan said...

Simon, you're completely right. It's all the fault of Liberals! I hope you appreciate the irony of your post.

Simon said...

tiggeril said...
"['Women's Inhumanity to Women' is] an excellent book, by the way. I recommend it to everyone. It's not a quick read, but a good one."

I actually just got done reading another book of hers, The Death of Feminism, which castigates western feminists for being too wrapped up in a morally bankrup multiculturalism to condemn the treatment of women in Islamic countries. As Chesler sees it - and she presents voluminous evidence in support of the proposition - Islamic regimes usually end up with "gender apartheid" at best, and "femicide" at worst. I don't think I've reacted more viscerally and strongly to any book since Naomi Wolfe's The Beauty Myth - I already had a fairly low opinion of Third Wave Feminism (which is the evil whose name the Second Wave Chesler dares not speak), but I'm afraid Chesler's book has seriously damaged my view on tolerance towards a culture which practically seems to invite Ann Coulter's assertion that "[w]e should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity" - or at least, to a variant of Islam that does not require such practises. I found myself more convinced than ever that the neoconservative view of foreign policy is correct (and that the integrationist view of immigration policy is imperative) and must be vigorously prosecuted. Chesler never comes out and says it, but I think she has joined - with the exception of her view on abortion - the ranks of that most maligned of groups: conservative feminists.

(I've actually been meaning to blog about this book for a week, but I'm still seething about it, to the extent that it would be unwise to do so).

I join Ruth and Larry's assesment of Rice, by the way.

Freder Frederson said...

Their seething contempt far outstrips anything fired by even the most obnoxious right-wing commentators during the 1990s

You're not serious, are you? So far I haven't heard anyone on the left accuse the president of being a serial killer and rapist, having members of his inner circle and cabinet assasinated or calling his wife a lesbian, a Nazi, a whore and a bitch.

Ann Althouse said...

Chardin: Thanks for reminding us of the Robin Givhan column about Condi, but I can't let you reprint the whole text. I wrote about the column here.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"Simon, you're completely right. It's all the fault of Liberals! I hope you appreciate the irony of your post. "

Fault is the language of judgement, but I implied no judgement. I'm not suggesting that the partisan atmosphere is a bad thing, and since liberals propagated that atmosphere, the atmosphere is their fault - I'm saying that the atmosphere is what it is, and that the people who have made it that way, for better or worse, are not on my side of the aisle. No matter how objectionable Ann Coulter may be, how much more so is Jane Hamsher? Or Paul Begalia? Or Michael Moore? Quite some measure. At least when Coulter - who, for the record, I think is a quite useless person whom both sides could do without - accused liberals of treason, she brought examples (periodically, Coulter has a bright shining moment of clarity and pens something transcendently accurate - as for example she did during the Miers nomination. I'm sure Michael Moore has similar moments for those paying close attention).

Your side has spent six years poisoning the well out of impotent frustration at the total incapacity to win back control of any part of the government; it's a bit late to cry foul now.

Simon said...

Freder Frederson said...
"So far I haven't heard anyone on the left accuse the president of being a serial killer and rapist"

That's quite true - they prefer to use the "Bush lied, people died" meme, and leave it implicit that they think the President is a serial killer and a rapist. Or there's the conspiracy theory held by many on the left that Bush planned and/or permitted 9/11. Or there's the conspiracy theory that Bush is responsible for Hurricaine Katrina, and that he didn't evacuate New Orleans because he hates black people. We know the left doesn't hate black people, by the way, because they photoshopped a picture of Joe Lieberman in blackface - clearly, they must super love black people, something evidenced by the respectful way in which they politely express their political disagreements with Justice Thomas or Ken Blackwell.

You know, Freder, now I come to think of it, you're right - the left have nothing but love and admiration for this President and conservatives in general. Why, on any given day, one can dip a toe into the left-wing blogosphere and see nothing but love, kindness and caring.

Goesh said...

Condi has had some things to say about Syria they obviously regard as threatening - no wonder they think she is ugly, but then they really are not an advanced society so it should not be surprising.

Troy said...

Simon... in addition it's the level of folks who do the commenting. Besides a few Congressmen, most of the "Clinton was a murderer" crowd were not mainstream Republicans or all that important in the Conservative.

Despite Liberal fear (or hope)-- Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are not all that important to most conservatives (and not that many Christians either). Selection bias at its worst by the media. Most (not all) of the anti-Clinton bombs were being lobbed by fringe conservatives.

On the other hand... Liberal bomb throwers get seats of honor at the Democratic National Convention, make commercials for Candidates, are in Congress and the Senate and have names like Kennedy, Dorgan, etc. or sell millions of records or movie tickets. Both sides say awful things, but the left's awfulness is spouted from a much higher level of power within the Democratic structure.

MadisonMan said...

Simon, the well was poisoned long before six years ago. And by whom?

Elizabeth said...

Simon, this unpleasantness isn't a Democrat thing, nor an anti-Bush thing. Hillary is scrutinized for her hair, whether her expression is warm enough, what she's wearing...every woman in public life gets the same treatment.

Henry said...

Simon, the well was poisoned long before six years ago. And by whom?

Thomas Jefferson. 1796.

Simon said...

Elizabeth said...
"Simon, this unpleasantness isn't a Democrat thing, nor an anti-Bush thing. Hillary is scrutinized for her hair, whether her expression is warm enough, what she's wearing...every woman in public life gets the same treatment."

Well, that is patriarchal sexism, not partisan intrigue, and it is practised by both parties towards Hillary in particular, and to a lesser extent, against other women in the public eye (a point that should be driven home by the very subject of this thread, Dr. Rice).

Simon said...

Troy, I like your user icon - what's that from? It looks like it could be a film poster for a notional film version of The Prisoner or something of that nature.

class-factotum said...

And where are the usual "This is bigotry!" accusers to defend Dr Rice against this treatment? Where are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?

Oh. That's right. It doesn't count because she's not the RIGHT kind of black woman.

Freder Frederson said...

"Bush lied, people died" meme, and leave it implicit that they think the President is a serial killer and a rapist.

The implication that "Bush lied, people died" is not that Bush is a murderer, but that his lies about pre-war intelligence led us into an unnecessary war where both Americans and innocent Iraqis were were killed. While that may make him guilty of a variety of crimes that constitute impeachable offenses it does not make him a common criminal. Of course the phrase makes the implication that Bush's alleged lies are more serious than those that resulted in impeachment proceedings against President Clinton for lying under oath about a private sexual relationship. Lies for which nobody died (unless you count Vince Foster, Ron Brown, and those 42 or so people in Arkansas).

To say that the left wing in this country spews more hate than the right is just indefensible. The best you can come up with is Michael Moore and the 9/11 deniers? The 9/11 deniers are not left or right wing, they are just a bunch of fringe loonies that are all over the political spectrum. I bet they skew more libertarian than anything.

As for Michael Moore. Give me one quote of hate from Michael Moore and I will give you ten from Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, or Ann Coulter from either their blog, radio show, or an appearance on a Fox News program that is equally or more viscious. All three of them have a vastly greater reach, more public exposure, and get much more air time than Michael Moore. And don't pretend that all three are not constantly feted and admired by the Republican establishment and the RNC

Heck, look at the absolutely nasty things Dick Cheney, Tony Snow (who speaks for the President), and Karl Rove had to say about Democrats and the Democratic voters of Connecticut just this week. Tony Snow's comments weren't even accurate. Actually, that is being kind. They were a flat out lie.

Finally, how about Ken Mehlman labelling the Democrats "Defeatocrats". He's got nothing to do with the Republican party, does he?

Troy said...

Simon... It's called "The Voice of Space" by Rene Magritte. I'm not exactly sure what floating jingle bells says about me, but I was putting together a lecture on Surrealism and the image struck me.

knoxgirl said...

That "Black Hawk Down" thing is disgusting. Funny to think the person who did it undoubtedly considers themselves liberal and peaceloving.

MadisonMan said...

Funny to think the person who did it undoubtedly considers themselves liberal and peaceloving.

Ann Coulter undoubtedly thinks she is patritotic. Does it matter what such types think of themselves?

Simon said...

Troy - I wasn't familiar with that, but I know some of Magritte's other work. When I was very much younger, my art class was learning about surrealism; the project for students to be graded on was that we should come up with a surreal painting in some format or another. Since I was interested in locomotives, I thought that a train emerging from a fireplace might be an interesting idea, something that my art teacher did not entirely agree with. Many years later, I discovered that Magritte had much the same idea (although I did it in single point perspective) - I guess my art teacher either didn't like Magritte, or assumed that I did and was conciously plagiarizing!

Simon said...

For starters, the "Bush lied" meme might carry more weight if there was the faintest scrap of evidence that he specifically and intentionally distorted the truth. He may have been wrong, he may even have been too credulous of the intelligence he was given, but that doesn't mean he lied. Moreover, I fail to see how your argument that liberals think Bush is a high criminal rather than a common one advances your defense.

By comparison, Clinton committed perjury. If it makes you feel any better, I agree with what you leave implicit, which is that he shuld not have been asked that question under oath (and, as you'll imagine, I agree with Justice Scalia that there should never have been an independent counsel - the position was no less an unconstitutional infringement of the unitary executive when it was investigating Bill Clinton as it was when investigating the Reagan Administration). And having been asked, he should have refused to answer it, regardless of what the answer was. Yet he was asked, and he did answer, and what came out of his mouth was a lie (and let's dispense with the highly dubious idea that southern baptists don't consider oral sex to constitute sexual relations - even if it's true, which I doubt, it's not an excuse). And a lie, when said under oath, is not just a lie, but perjury. (If you're going to argue that it isn't perjury to lie to the grand jury, remember to explain why Clinton is innocent but Scooter Libby is guilty - it seems to me that I must condemn Libby because I condemned Clinton, but feel free to distinguish the two cases).


"how about Ken Mehlman labelling the Democrats "Defeatocrats". He's got nothing to do with the Republican party, does he?"

Given that the liberal strategy for Iraq - and one suspects, for the GWOT - is unilateral surrender, I think "defeatocrats" is perhaps the nicest thing that could be said about your party. "Quisling" (or Pétainites) might be a more descriptive alternative, although a gentler term would perhaps be Malkin's favorite - "dhimmicrats" (in reference to the Bat Y'eor book). Y'all have brought this on yourselves. I'm a moderate, and I used to have a fairly good impression of the Democratic party, even if I didn't support them. Or put another way, there was a presumption of good faith. That's pretty much wiped out now, something increasingly common over here, and it's because of policy choices and conduct choices made by Democrats. Four years ago, your party were just wrong; now, I find it increasingly hard to believe they're not a thoroughly dangerous cabal that must be kept out of public office. More and more, it really does become hard to see how the Democrats are not willing to do absolutely anything to claw their way back into power, which hardly bespeaks the prospect that they will conduct themselves any better having attained office. I rather doubt that having won office on an explicitly "surrender now" platform, Lamont would suddenly turn around and change his mind. He may be an idiot, but he's sincere.

knoxgirl said...

Does it matter what such types think of themselves?


It absolutely matters, that's what allows them to so easily justify their behavior.

The racial component of that charicature of Rice is especially repugnant and inexcusably hypocritical.

AJ Lynch said...

I found a video (French newsxast) with a Colette Khoury and I would only describe her (if I were being kind) as an Arab-looking version of Madeline Albright.

MadisonMan said...

I wonder what race the artist is.

Chum said...

Fault is the language of judgement, but I implied no judgement.'

Wow, that's not how your post reads at all.

Disparaging remarks about woman's looks is sadly common place in human politics. Everyone, including women, continue to do it. It's often the last recourse in a discussion and never has anything to do with the individual's abilities or issue at hand. Hilary Clinton, Katherine Harris, Condi, Madeline Albright, Thatcher, Barbara Boxer, the list is endless.

Frequently I've been in meetings where a woman has spoken passionately against an issue, only to have someone comment out of her presence 'ugly bitch'. Had she been a man making the same argument someone might say say 'bastard' but never 'ugly bastard'.

ChrisO said...

Simon

Do you actually believe what you're saying? First of all, please cite the mainstream Democrats of influence who said "Bush lied, people died." I believe Bush misled the public on the reasons for going to war, and has made statements that were patently false on a number of occasions. But if we're going to start comparing statements by blog commenters and protest sign holders, we could be here all day. The significant difference between the way the right treated Clinton and the left treats Bush is that the attacks on Clinton were intensely personal, while the attacks on Bush have largely been about policy and the conduct of his administration. The exception on both sides, which I think balance each other out, is Bush's stupidity and Clinton's womanizing.

Clinton has been accused of rape, complicity in the murders of Vince Foster and Ron Brown and cocaine smuggling, among other things. Ann Coulter has repeated the rape charge, and please don't try to portray her as a fringe player, not as long as she gets a hero's wwelcome when she's invited to speak at official Republican events. The Arkansas Project was funded by longtime Republican fiancier Richard Scaife, and was designed to throw around as much personal dirt on Clinton as possible.

And let's look at some of the individuals involved: Ted Olson, who was involved with the Arkansas Project and the Paula Joines case (before the deposition, so uncovering perjury wasn't his motivation) was the lead attorney for Bush in the 2000 election case, and is now Solicitor General. Ken Starr, who was selected as independent counsel after heavy lobbying by Lauch Faircloth and Jesse Helms, was advising the Paula Jones team at the time of his appointment.

Because she didn't hold an official policymaking position, the attacks on Hilary Clinton were even more personal, including allegations that she was a lesbian, but at the same time had an affair with Vince Foster and covered up his death.

Bush has faced relentless criticism, but nothing like the kind the Clinton's faced. The Republican strategy was to smear him personally, then tie him up in impeachment so as to render him ineffective.

This is the part that boggles my mind: "they prefer to use the "Bush lied, people died" meme, and leave it implicit that they think the President is a serial killer and a rapist." "Bush lied, people died" implies that Bush is a rapist? Do you read this stuff before you hit the publish button?

And how about the constant refrain that those who oppose Bush are mentally ill? What similar statements wqere made, and I mean ad nauseam, by Clinton supporters?

Here's another good one: "We know the left doesn't hate black people, by the way, because they photoshopped a picture of Joe Lieberman in blackface" Boy do I remember that day. The entire left gathered around a computer. There was surprisingly little pushing and shoving, however. And how does the fact that Jane Hamsher was roundly criticized, took down the photo and apologized equate to no repercussions for her actions?

And how the hell did Paul Begala get in there?

Aspasia M. said...

I actually just got done reading another book of hers, The Death of Feminism, which castigates western feminists for being too wrapped up in a morally bankrup multiculturalism to condemn the treatment of women in Islamic countries.

Huh? Feminist non-profits have been trying to help victims of sharia for years.

Aspasia M. said...

By the way -

yes, it is very common and unfeminist to critcize women on the basis of their looks.

Janet Reno was also a victim of such behavior.

Simon said...

geoduck2 said...
"Feminist non-profits have been trying to help victims of sharia for years."

And that is to be admired, but what there is not is a wholesale movement to condemn not only the individual atrocities, but the culture which supports and promotes them (and certainly, says Chesler - who is in a position to know - the feminist academy is even less interested in such matters). Focussing on individual incidents misses the point; individual incidents of spousal abuse take place in the west, and sometimes, the men who do it get away with it. But there are significant legal consequences for those who are caught, and there is a social opprobrium on such behavior, while - Chesler contends - in Islamic regimes, there are not only not significant legal consequences for such actions (indeed, there are frequently significant legal consequences for being their victim - being raped can get you stoned to death in Iran), but there is a set of social imperatives which not only justifies such behavior, not only excuses it, but in fact mandates it and teaches it as the status quo.

I don't believe that all cultures are equal. Our culture may have some problems, but a culture which permits the systematic degredation and subjugation of women is not the equal of ours, it is inferior to ours, and a fortiori, to paraphrase FDR, a culture which which makes such practises integral to its existence has no right to continue to exist anywhere, at any time, for any reason. That in the west, spousal abuse takes place and is not always caught and punished does not make the west the moral equal of a culture in which spousal abuse is tolerated, encouraged - expected, even - and endemic. We have too much tolerance. We have a surfeit of tolerance. There is far too much horror being tolerated. I think we need a little less tolerance, and a little more outrage. And yet western feminists are more interested in being outraged against America and America's foreign policy than they are about the fact that this country is as far advanced as almost any other in terms of women's freedom, and the foreign policy that neoconservatives have argued for - and which the Bush administration has grudgingly adopted in part - will do more for the freedom of women in the muslim world than the entire and combined efforts of the third wavers (to the extent that any such action - as opposed to apologism - exists).

Simon said...

geoduck2 said...
"it is very common and unfeminist to critcize women on the basis of their looks. Janet Reno was also a victim of such behavior"

That's very true, and it was always stupid because there were WAY more important things for which Janet Reno could and should have been criticized. And let's not forget Rush's comment's about Chelsea from the early 1990s while we're at it. I'm certainly not going to deny that the right has been guilty of some absolutely egregious and indefensible statements, and those must be condemned roundly and fully too.

Jeff said...

These posters are ripoffs of agitprop leftist art from 20 years ago: Men With No Lips

Hmm, looks to me like their appearance and especially their ethnicity is being maligned.

Jeff said...

Another "Men With No Lips" link that works.

Conal describes his 1986 Archimedes moment: "I’d just stare at Reagan, Regan, Weinberger, James Baker III, Shultz and Casey. Suddenly, I found myself making nasty little portraits of ugly old white men with pursed lips — okay, no lips. And it came together — this tight little club of power-mongers were: MEN WITH NO LIPS."

Katharine Lindgren said...

Condi Rice ugly?

No way!

Condi may not be Hollywood beautiful, but few politicians are.

While we are on the subject, I have never understood those who think that Hillary Clinton is not prettier than most women her age.

I think that such harsh judgments on the physical appearance of political women over 40 are usually sexist.

I remember going to my first ABA meeting in 1980 and listening to the scheduled speaker, federal judge and former Senator Howell Heflin, tell one Eleanor Roosevelt joke after another, every one about how ugly she was.

jim Lindgren

Aspasia M. said...

And that is to be admired, but what there is not is a wholesale movement to condemn not only the individual atrocities, but the culture which supports and promotes them (and certainly, says Chesler - who is in a position to know - the feminist academy is even less interested in such matters).

I, myself, am not in a woman studies program. But I know several people who teach in one and one woman who now works for the Ford Foundation who has for years been involved in international NGO feminist programs.

There is a feminist condemnation of the societal systems that create sharia law. Pakistan has long been a place where feminists have been concerned with trying to help women deal with that society.

Also - I remember seeing a job for a NGO that was involved with helping the woman (I forget her name) who was threatened with being stoned to death for after she gave birth, for adultery.

Likewise, feminist concerns about the laws and society in Pakistan, Iran, and several other countries have long been a concern.

Actually, just a few days ago I saw stuff on feminist blogs about the girl who was hung in Iran for "crimes against chastity."

It's just not true that feminists haven't been concerned and actvists in these matters.

MadisonMan said...

Actually, just a few days ago I saw stuff on feminist blogs about the girl who was hung in Iran for "crimes against chastity."

I believe her crime was being raped. As I recall, she threw back her veil at the judge, too. Not a smart move, but she was only 16, if I'm remembering correctly. What teenager is smart?

Simon said...

Geoduck -
Oh, good! Well, I - and Chesler - stand corrected. Presumably, all those nameless multitudes in Feminist acadæmia which you identify not only fully support our efforts in Iraq, but actively support regime change in those countries which impose these barbaric practises?

In fact, come to think of it, you'd pretty much have to go further than the present Bush administration line, since islamic gender apartheid does not just spring from the regime but from the culture - you'd have to be willing to advocate all-out change-by-force, otherwise that support is essentially ephemeral, right? After all, women in Syria are not going to be freed from their chains by a faculty production of "The Vagina Monologues" at the University of Chicago. If the question is "how could America's foreign policy better serve the cause of women's freedom around the world," it is hard to imagine how that question could be answered with a policy that is less assertive than that proposed by President Bush. Indeed, surely, the only criticism of Bush's foreign policy that could be advocated by feminists who are genuinely concerned with the freedom of women oppressed under Islamic regimes is "why aren't you doing more?"

Simon said...

MadisonMan-
One of the crimes against humanity Chesler recounts is the sentencing of a fifteen year old girl by a Pakistani judge. The girl was sentenced to be gang raped. Were that not horrific enough, can you imagine what terrible, ghastly crime she must have committed to merit such a sentence? Well, her ten-year-old brother was raped by their tribal elders you see. Obviously, the only way to mitigate the family's shame was for the sister to pay the price of that shame. Tell me again how our culture is equal to such barbarians. Tell me again how we would be wrong to impose our cultural standards on such people. Tell me again how America is not better than such monsters.

Now consider that when the abuse of children by catholic priests in America came to light. How many people suggested that we punish the victims? Worse yet, how many suggested we punish the victim's sisters for the same of their brother's rape? It is not hard to imagine the reaction of the New York Times if even the worst of society, having committed the worst of crimes imaginable, were sentenced to be gang-raped. We would balk at imposing such a sentence upon John Wayne Gacy, let alone on a female relative of one of his victims, yet to hear the liberals tell it, it is the Bush administration which is the enemy of women and of the world. Such statements cannot be taken seriously.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Simon, the Bush Administration is not in Iraq and Afghanistan out of concern for women's rights. That was never proferred as a reason for entering those countries despite the horrendous conditions for women (especially under the Talliban). The reason Bush offered for engaging in war in those countries was to stop them from harboring terrorists and developing weapons which could be used to attack the U.S. and our allies.

Katharine Lindgren said...

Joseph Hovsep,

What are you talking about?

Spreading freedom was definitely one of the goals of the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Remember all that talk about liberating Iraq?

Simon said...

"Simon, the Bush Administration is not in Iraq and Afghanistan out of concern for women's rights."

And I did not buy this can of soup out of a desire to contribute to the profits of the Heinz corporation, but none-the-less, that is what I am doing by eating it.

bearbee said...

See clip #1224 of the beauteous Colette trashing Condi.

bearbee said...

Elegance

Joseph Hovsep said...

Congress and the American people did not support sending our troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to liberate Muslim women from oppressive sexism. However noble such a goal might have been, the country never would have sacrificed so many American lives and tax dollars for that. The Talliban had been abusing women for a while before Bush staked out his firm opposition to any kind of "nation building" in the presidential debates preceding the 2000 election. Saudi Arabia and any number of other fundamentalist countries have regimes that are much more oppressive of women than Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Its simply wrong to say that we went into Iraq and Afghanistan to save women. Its just not true. We went to stop the training of terrorists and the production of weapons of mass destruction. Suggesting that freeing women from Islamic sexism was the goal of our Middle East adventures is revisionism in the extreme.

paul a'barge said...

Can someone post a link to a picture of this beast: Colette Khoury.

I want to mock her even harder than Sippican can.

Aspasia M. said...

Presumably, all those nameless multitudes in Feminist acadæmia which you identify not only fully support our efforts in Iraq, but actively support regime change in those countries which impose these barbaric practises?

It depends upon what changes one is talking about. For example - do you advocate regime change in Pakistan? That is a country that contains many of these problems of vital importance to women.

However, as we are all well aware, regime change in Pakistan might bring in a democratically elected fundamentalist regime that is worse for women then the present situation. That, of course, is the danger of regime change -- you're never quite sure what you're going to end up with.

The people I knew worked with non-governmental organizations to promote women's educational and other needs. They didn't work for politicians.

If they do not vote for Bush, does this make their work for NGOs dissapear? Does it illegitimize their work for women in Pakistan, Iran and Somalia?

My assertion was that feminists have been concerned about, and working for the womenn in repressive regimes through institutions such as NGOs.

I remember being thrilled when people began talking about the Taliban, because prior to 9/11 the MSN and the public discourse generally did not talk about the dire situation imposed on women and girls in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

At the present time, I do think that we should also discuss the rising influence of the Taliban outside of Kabul.

I would be pleased if the Bush administration would involve themselves with the state of women's rights in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Aspasia M. said...

Indeed, surely, the only criticism of Bush's foreign policy that could be advocated by feminists who are genuinely concerned with the freedom of women oppressed under Islamic regimes is "why aren't you doing more?"

To be clear -- Yes, indeed I have heard this. For example, one complaint is that the Bush administration should apply more diplomatic pressure on politicians, such as Musharraf.

A recent example occured about the ability of a women in Pakistan, who was raped (Mukhtar Mai), to leave her home and visit the United States. Feminist groups (with support from many others) presured our government to presssure Musharraf to allow Mai to travel to the US.

The Bush administration could also do more to support the saftey of NGOs in countries such as Pakistan.

Here's a article that talks about some of the problems in Pakistan that NGOs have been trying to address. They are some of "those nameless multitudes."

PAKISTAN:
Fatwa Bans Women Working With NGOs
Ashfaq Yusufzai
found at: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=34241
from PESHAWAR, August 4th.

One of the earliest to leave was Khwendo Kor (Pashtu for sisters' home), an NGO that seeks to raise the status of women by running integrated community-based schools.

"After an attack on our vehicle in June 2004 in Bannu district that resulted in injuries to a woman teacher, Bushra, we have stopped work there," said Maryam Bibi, chairwoman of the NGO.

On Jun. 16, two female schoolteachers associated with an Asian Development Bank-funded vocational training programme were shot dead at Khawaga Sarai near Ghalju, headquarters of the Orakzai tribal agency. Also killed in the shooting were two children of one of the teachers

"The attack was believed to have been carried out by Taliban supporters opposed to the presence of NGOs in the tribal areas," said an official in the federally administered tribal area (FATA).


(article cut here)

Taimur Ahmad Shah, media officer of the National Commission for Human Development, said his office had been closed in Bajaur Agency and Bannu district after the former was set on fire.

"The list of tragedies with women is too long and painful," observed Uzma Gilani of the Aurat Foundation, which focuses on women's welfare across Pakistan..

"The people are also emboldened by President Pervez Musharraf's statement in New York on Sep. 14 last year, wherein he said that rape had become a money making concern in Pakistan and women get raped to become rich and get visas for Canada," Yasmin Begum of the NGO, Shirkat Gah, said wryly.

Musharraf's comment was in the context of the brouhaha in the country and abroad over his government's decision not to allow a women's rights activist who was gang-raped on the orders of a village council in NWFP to travel to the United States and Canada last year. The government had to back down in the end.

In March, Lakshan Bibi who runs the Kalash Indigenous Survival Project in the Chitral Valley, in NWFP, was kidnapped at gun point, and set free only after the intervention of a member of the provincial national assembly. However, a ransom of one million rupees (20,000 US dollars) had to be paid.

"I demand protection from the provincial government. My family is very afraid after my kidnapping," she told IPS.



I find it a bit ironic that the people who are working in the above NGOs are apparently not sufficiently "activist" enough for this discussion.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Condi looks exactly like the first female president of the United States should look.

(Close your eyes. Imagine that poster that was in your classroom when you were a kid, the one that had pictures of all the presidents. White man, white man, white man, white man. Condi. If that doesn't give you goosebumps, you have no imagination, no romance in your soul.)

Strangely, I've heard of comments from the Middle Eastern Wackocracy on both sides of this. I've heard of comments that were racist and violently sexual towards Condi, and I've heard of comments that were racist and insulting of her looks. But actually, it's two sides of the same coin, isn't it?

To the Middle Eastern Wackocracy, Condi, as an uppity woman, regardless of her looks, is in need of a good raping to show her who's boss. The racist stuff is just icing on the cake. Like spitting on a guy after beating him up.

We need to elect Condi president and show those barbarians who really is boss.

pst314 said...

So some Syrian tool says Condi is ugly? That reminds me of a racist I had the misfortune to work for many decades ago who insisted that all black people are ugly.

Not that such filth is any surprise: Hate is, after all, the region's largest export--even in spite of the fact that the bulk of that product is produced for domestic consumption.

aaron said...

It's hard not to look grim when all you think is "What the fuck is wrong with you people?!"

Elizabeth said...

Presumably, all those nameless multitudes in Feminist acadæmia which you identify not only fully support our efforts in Iraq, but actively support regime change in those countries which impose these barbaric practises?

So, to be a good feminist, I should support our efforts in Iraq? That's shifting the goal line a bit, Simon.

You might not have noticed, but the bearded guys are out in force now in the streets of Iraq, making sure women are wearing head scarves, keeping to their place, and generally seeking to turn Iraq into another Iran. We were too stupid to plan for this on invading, too busy expecting the flowers in the streets and too busy putting our eggs into Rumsfeld's leaner military approach to give a crap about the likelihood that an Islamist majority would shove aside the secular Sunnis and establish another theocracy in the Middle East. An elected one, so bully for us, I guess.

Elizabeth said...

It's hard not to look grim when all you think is "What the fuck is wrong with you people?!"

Thanks for that laugh, Aaron!

That's part and parcel of the sexism, too; women shouldn't look grim and serious. You should smile more, dear, it makes you pretty!

Chum said...

'You should smile more, dear, it makes you pretty!'

Ooo snap! You'll never get a husband that way.

Prentiss Riddle said...

Funny, although I think her politics and her policies are abominable, I'd have said that Condoleeza Rice was one of the least unattractive people in a position of power in Washington.

But maybe I perversely like the evil in her heart, like all the teenage girls who think Draco Malfoy is cuter than Harry Potter.

And who can resist the lovely pun "Black Hawk Down"?

Johnny Nucleo said...

Prentiss Riddle,

So in essence, you pretty much agree with the crazy Syrian guy, except you don't think she's ugly.

And the "Black Hawk Down" poster is a "lovely pun"? Because she's black, and it says black, and she's a hawk and it says hawk. That is lovely. And witty!

What caused Condi to become evil, do you think? With someone like Bush, it's easy: Nincompoop frat-boy trying to impress/one-up his father whom he loves/hates. But what of Condi? What in her personal history lead her to the dark side? (Dark side. Heh. Get it? She's black.) How did this black woman wander so far off the plantation?

I've been hinting at something but I'm through hinting. Many on the left hate Condi precisely because she is a black woman. Black women are not supposed to be conservative. This hatred stems from the same source as the hatred expressed by the Syrian guy: Your world has been rocked and it pisses you off.

Chum said...

http://apnews.myway.com/image/
20060811/UN_MIDEAST_FIGHTING.sff_
NYFF104_20060811201434.html?date=
20060812&docid=D8JEHRAO0

Not grim, but serious with a killer outfit. Very nice.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paul a'barge said...

Sippi,
Darn, no way I'm going to beat that, what with the "halberd" and all.