March 28, 2017

"A Daily Mail front page that declared 'Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!' next to a photograph of Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and British prime minister Theresa May..."

"... has prompted widespread outrage," The Guardian informs us.
Inside the paper there was was more ogling at the female leaders, with a headline reading: “Finest weapons at their command? Those pins!” A column by Sarah Vine referred to Sturgeon’s legs as “altogether more flirty, tantalisingly crossed … a direct attempt at seduction”.
Ludicrous, of course, but The Daily Mail is very trashy, so who looks unless we're in the mood for utter garbage? DM seems to be at least 50% about how women look.

Here's the page:



I love this satirical response to DM:



It's not fair, since these politicos don't work for The Daily Mail, but it fits for my long-time "men in shorts" theme.

IN THE COMMENTS: Paddy O said:
Are there any pictures of the Queen sitting like that? I doubt it. Though, Princess Dianna was well-known for her legs, with some claiming she singlehandedly took down the pantyhose industry. I suspect the DM is making a commentary of sorts. Kind of like Althouse's old "let's take a look at those breasts" post. Show leg, people notice leg. Front and center legs get a highlight. It's worth noting that the satirical response includes men doing leisure activities, whereas the women are in a business/political situation. Are there examples of men in shorts meeting together to discuss significant national transitions? That would seem to be the equivalent.
I said:
You know, this makes me think the photo op really was botched. They don't have to be on low, cushioned chairs. The photographers shouldn't be at such a low angle. It's distracting to have the legs occupying so much foreground, diminishing the significance of the heads.

The legs can be there, and I like seeing women in skirts, but whoever set up the photo op should have arranged things to make the women seem more dignified.

What if the men — properly clad in suits — were absurdly manspreading? We'd all laugh at that.
Here's how Margaret Thatcher looked, wearing a skirt and sitting next to Reagan.

Here she is sledding:



AND: Here's a New Yorker article by one of my favorite writers, Janet Malcolm, about photographing Queen Elizabeth in 2011:
My first impression was of a vaguely familiar elderly couple posing for a formal portrait in a corner of the palatial Minneapolis hotel ballroom where their fiftieth wedding anniversary is being celebrated. The pair were seated on an ornate settee, and my attention was drawn to the woman’s sturdy legs in beige stockings, the right knee uncovered where the skirt of her pale-blue silk dress had hitched up a bit as she settled her ample figure into the settee; and to her feet, in patent-leather pumps planted firmly on the fancy hotel carpet. Her white hair was carefully coiffed, in a sort of pompadour in front and fluffy curls on the sides, and her lipsticked mouth was set in an expression of quiet determination. The man—a retired airline pilot?—was smaller, thinner, recessive. They were sitting a little apart, not touching, looking straight ahead. Gradually, the royal couple came into focus as such, and the photograph assumed its own identity as a work by Struth, the plethora of its details somehow tamed to serve a composition of satisfying serenity and readability.

79 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Vive la difference. Females have more beautiful legs than men.

How about a million dollar grant to study the subject. I promise to do most of the work myself.

dreams said...

It's Theresa but she looks a lot older than her 59 years.

Fernandinande said...

Daily Femail.

rhhardin said...

It's a poke at feminists, not an appeal to oversexed males.

rhhardin said...

I bought a pair of pantyhose just the other day to trap dryer lint.

TosaGuy said...

Note the drastic cuts to the NHS. For some reason this is what the liberals in our country want.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Um ... those are two very short skirts, you know.

chuck said...

I dare say the Daily Mail is a better paper than the Guardian. I read about the US in the latter and it might as well be about some alien country on the back side of the moon. Any resemblance to reality is unintentional.

Achilles said...

I like the headline about trying to save the NHS more. Deep cuts when talking about health care is always a winner.

Mattman26 said...

I think rhhardin is on to something. I mean they both have perfectly fine legs for gals their ages, but it's not like either one would get most guys' motors running.

Brando said...

While Ann fights against the onrush of men in shorts, some of us are still pushing for general acceptance of men in kilts.

Mattman26 said...

Okay, I'm liking Theresa May more every day. From the Telegraph:

Legs-it sexism row: Theresa May says it's a 'bit of fun' as Daily Mail tells critics to 'get a life'

traditionalguy said...

The two lady pols have to compete with Princess Kate. And Kate has perfect legs, perfect hips, perfect breasts and a charming smile; and she still pops out another heir to the Throne every year or so.

Laslo Spatula said...

"DM seems to be at least 50% about how women look."

Life itself is at least 50% about how women look.

I am Laslo.

Mac McConnell said...

The men in shorts legs aren't that bad, the real offense is their muffin tops.

DrMaturin said...

Say what you will about the Daily Mail but they have the best news photographers in the business. Bar none.

robinintn said...

No pain relief for you, peasants. Suck it up!

Roughcoat said...

I bought a pair of pantyhose just the other day to trap dryer lint.

Oh, sure. And you hang out at gay bars to do research on that thesis about homosexuality in America you say you're writing.

tola'at sfarim said...

This is what passes for page 3 these days?

J. Farmer said...

The Daily Mail once again playing the part of my unrestricted Id:

Just finished watching the press conference between Trump and the British PM. This may sound odd, but I find something strangely erotic about Theresa May. I must have some strange fetish for grey haired British biddies.

1/27/17, 2:06 PM
J. Farmer said...
Theresa May dresses very well.

Agreed. Way better than those frumpy frocks Thatcher paraded around in. May also has a killer set of gams.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Cameron's shorts appear to be swim trucks. Be grateful he is not a French pol, or you would have a picture of him in a Speedo. Those red floral print shorts look like the ones my mom dressed me in when I was 7.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"May also has a killer set of gams."

The legs are the last to go...

YoungHegelian said...

Finest weapons at their command? Those pins!”

Pins?! PINS?!

Who in 2017 uses the term pins for a woman's legs?

A gentleman always uses the word "gams".

bagoh20 said...

I wonder what percentage of news is dedicated to outrage of the PC variety? That has to be well over 50%. Someone needs to add that number up. The culture is one big bitchfest. Think about how much TV is just bitching: reality TV, political shows, most modern comedy, etc. Talk radio = all bitching, Blogs = most are pure bitching, modern music lyrics = bitching, a huge percentage of books = one-sided bitching. Goddamit! Now I'm doing it! Bitch, Bitch, Bitch. Oops, I mean the B-word.

Kevin Walsh said...

Can they fly United showing all that leg?

Ann Althouse said...

"Who in 2017 uses the term pins for a woman's legs?"

The Daily Mail.

Every damned day.

Ann Althouse said...

"Females have more beautiful legs than men."

Are we saying on average or are we comparing the best from each group?

I think your sexual orientation will skew the results, but I think it's likely that the very best man legs are more beautiful than the very best woman legs.

Paddy O said...

Are there any pictures of the Queen sitting like that? I doubt it. Though, Princess Dianna was well-known for her legs, with some claiming she singlehandedly took down the pantyhose industry. I suspect the DM is making a commentary of sorts. Kind of like Althouse's old "let's take a look at those breasts" post. Show leg, people notice leg. Front and center legs get a highlight. It's worth noting that the satirical response includes men doing leisure activities, whereas the women are in a business/political situation. Are there examples of men in shorts meeting together to discuss significant national transitions? That would seem to be the equivalent.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"I think it's likely that the very best man legs are more beautiful than the very best woman legs."

Who's doing the judging? There seems to be a fairly common consensus over what constitutes great female legs - long, smooth, shapely beauty contestant gams - but with men, it's trickier.

If you like beefy bodybuilder physiques your criteria for beautiful male legs will be different than if you prefer more slender, but still muscular male bodies.

Titus said...

"Females have more beautiful legs than men."

I disagree. Both sexes have beautiful legs and not beautiful legs. Mostly not beautiful and downright hideous-like 90%

traditionalguy said...

Dear Professor: it is very likely you have not examined enough of the very best women's legs due to a short attention span drawn away by searching for the best men's legs until you found them. And you , a law Professor, who known to grade on the curves.

We have to define best women's legs as starting at the waist in the rear. In fact that is the best part.

Bob Matthews said...

The sight of Boris's legs has reminded me to pick up a smoked ham at the grocery store.

Ann Althouse said...

"Dear Professor: it is very likely you have not examined enough of the very best women's legs due to a short attention span drawn away by searching for the best men's legs until you found them. And you , a law Professor, who known to grade on the curves."

Remember, I went to art school and have taken many life drawing classes. I have stared at many many legs and drawn them. Most were women.

Danno said...

At least the Daily Mail reports on Islamic terrorism, unlike the NYT and WaPo and most other U.S. newspapers. I'll take it (and all of its sexual click bait, as opposed to Ted Koppel's idea of filtering what the regular people can see

traditionalguy said...

I surrender. Long live Althouse and her trained eye.

Ann Althouse said...

"Are there any pictures of the Queen sitting like that?.. Are there examples of men in shorts meeting together to discuss significant national transitions?..."

You know, this makes me think the photo op really was botched. They don't have to be on low, cushioned chairs. The photographers shouldn't be at such a low angle. It's distracting to have the legs occupying so much foreground, diminishing the significance of the heads.

The legs can be there, and I like seeing women in skirts, but whoever set up the photo op should have arranged things to make the women seem more dignified.

What if the men — properly clad in suits — were absurdly manspreading? We'd all laugh at that.

DanTheMan said...

>>Life itself is at least 50% about how women look.

I would have gone with something like 90%....

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Here she is sledding...

I'm not sure exactly what material they're sledding over, but I'd hate to see what happens if she catches one of her heels in it.

Ann Althouse said...

">>Life itself is at least 50% about how women look.' I would have gone with something like 90%...."

If you make the question Life is at least X% about women's bodies, you might have the right number.

How did we get here? What are we here for? What are we fighting about?

buwaya said...

Power looks for women are very different than for men.

I suspect the old Byzantine Imperial "keep your distance, higher order of being here" system is better than the genial male noblesse oblige or we are all comrades under fire together thing.

Compare Queen Victoria vs Napoleon.

buwaya said...

"How did we get here? What are we here for? What are we fighting about?"

Excellent questions to ask before committing to anything.

Etienne said...

The royals always dress so frumpy. They're all frumpy. After all, there is a reason cousins shouldn't marry.

The problem with the Daily Mail, is it is a paper designed for heterosexual males with high levels of libido.

The magazine is designed to offend all other.

traditionalguy said...

Famous story attributed to Moses: Adam is OK with life on earth. He fellowships daily with God and rules over the animals and dresses the Garden, but he is just not satisfied. So Yaweh puts him to sleep, does surgery on him and forms a woman from Adam's rib. Then he wakes Adam up and to see what Adam thinks about God's best and last true masterpiece of human form.

Adam's response is, " Wow! That's it."

I will quit believing that story's explanation of ourselves to ourselves the day you convince me God is Dead.

n.n said...

Women in skirts. Don't ever change.

That said, I don't think men are limited to judging women by Slut Walks, Women's Rites, and portrayals by humanitarian pornographers. In fact, I know they are separable and manageable on principle and in practice.

chuck said...

Thatcher swatted Christopher Hitchens on the butt with rolled up parliamentary papers and called him a "naughty boy." That's female power right there.

Earnest Prole said...

The Daily Mail is very trashy, so who looks unless we're in the mood for utter garbage?

The Daily Mail publishes what everyone thinks, as trashy and utter-garbagy as it may be.

Original Mike said...

"I think your sexual orientation will skew the results, but I think it's likely that the very best man legs are more beautiful than the very best woman legs."

You're obviously not a leg man.

David said...

Paddy O: "Show leg, people notice leg."

Sums it up perfectly.

jdniner said...

What is the Muslim commentary on this?

DanTheMan said...

>> If you make the question Life is at least X% about women's bodies, you might have the right number.

I stand by my 90% number. And I do wonder what the rest think about for the other 10% of the time. But then, I'm Italian...

Sebastian said...

Very slightly OT: The queen's picture is good, except for the lighting on Philip's face.

exiledonmainstreet said...

In one of his books, Paul Johnson noted that when men wore knee breeches, they noticed and commented on each other legs. Wordsworth, for instance, was derided for having bad legs. That stopped when trousers became universal male attire throughout the West.

The Canadian novelist Robertson Davies made this observation in "The Salterton Trilogy." The characters are discussing an amateur actor cast in "The Tempest."

"Did you ever see such legs?"

"I know. Beef to the heels. I wanted the costume people to give him a long gown, but they insisted on tights. Long experience has taught me to judge pretty accurately what men are hiding under their trousers."

"You fill me with apprehension. But I know what you mean. The male leg is rarely a thing of beauty."

"Yes. I wonder why."

"It's very simple. Just in a period of evolution, or natural selection or something. In the periods when women wore long skirts, they had awful legs; look at the nudes painted during that time if you don't believe me. But when they had to show their legs, they willed fine legs into existence. And when men wore tights, they had fine legs too, because they needed them. But modern man conceals his legs and what have they become? Stovepipes."

"Or, as in your own case, toothpicks."

exiledonmainstreet said...

"The Salterton Trilogy" was published in the early '50's. I don't think Davies was trying to make a case for men in shorts.

EsoxLucius said...

The Daily Mail is a rag edited by Paul Dacre famous for page three topless girls, being soft on apartheid, sensationalist opposition to GMO crops, and support of the anti-Muslim UKIP. The inside pages are more disgusting than the front page.

Infinite Monkeys said...

To cross one's legs or not...you can tell which one is the daughter of a vicar.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Back in the ancient days....I was taught that "ladies" do not cross their legs at the knees when sitting and especially not in a skirt. You sat with your knees together and feet either flat on the ground side by side, perhaps one in front of the other with the ankles delicately crossed. If you were able, you might sit with your upper body slightly twisted one direction and your legs slanting slightly the other direction.

We also learned to walk with a book on our heads for posture. Man I am glad those days are gone.

Roughcoat said...

Every damned day.

Should be every damn day. Unless the day itself has been damned by some supernatural entity or suchlike.

buwaya said...

"The Daily Mail is a rag"

The Daily Mail is the most brilliant English-language newspaper in online publication.
They will do anything for the sake of public interest, which is what newspapers used to do.

Draw eyeballs.

That is a refreshingly honest behavior, for a newspaper.
The rest are one sort or another of propaganda sheets.

Anyone who hates the Daily Mail is a pathetic, robotic devotee of the party line.

buwaya said...

"In one of his books, Paul Johnson noted that when men wore knee breeches, they noticed and commented on each other legs."

"Birth of the Modern" I think. And its true.

Roughcoat said...

The Daily Mail is a rag edited by Paul Dacre famous for page three topless girls, being soft on apartheid, sensationalist opposition to GMO crops, and support of the anti-Muslim UKIP.

Hey, three out of four, that ain't bad.

Roughcoat said...

"In one of his books, Paul Johnson noted that when men wore knee breeches, they noticed and commented on each other legs."

Yes, see the court scene at the beginning of "A Tale of Two Cities," the barrister who is vain about one of his shapely legs.

Yes, it was "Birth of the Modern."

Kirk Parker said...

"What is the Muslim commentary on this?"

Somewhat like this.

Kirk Parker said...

EsoxLucius,

Page Three is/was actually a feature of The Sun. There goes your credibility...

320Busdriver said...

Where are the shots of the men cutting up trees with chain saws or dressing the deer they just felled with their compound bow?

It's probably easier to find photos of women doing those things now.

Earnest Prole said...

when men wore knee breeches, they noticed and commented on each other legs

As the Daily Mail used to say way back in the Eighteenth Century, check out the pins on Louis.

When I first saw this painting at the Getty with my French mother-in-law, she pointed and said “he was very proud of his famous legs.”

Birches said...

Was that Jessica Valenti Althouse shot down in the old breasts post?

I didn't think I could like you any more than I already do, and yet, here we are.

n.n said...

The parody is an insult to the women in the original.

n.n said...

the very best man legs are more beautiful than the very best woman legs

Every discussion of women and men will conclude with women prefer men prefer women - Nature's Law.

donald said...

I was told in my youth by a couple of seriously smart and beautiful women (One a big time local Atlanta news reader chick, who I did bang) that I had a great ass and legs. Combined with my awesome hair you'd think I'd have it going on. Alas...

bagoh20 said...

Feminists often claim that women need to be twice as good as men to get ahead, but look at those men in shorts and tell me they have any natural advantages. They must need to be 10 times as good as those women just be accepted in discerning circles.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...The legs can be there, and I like seeing women in skirts

You and me both.

I have to wonder about that second picture, though: Why would the NIH need saving? It's a single payer system, right? Like the whole of the civilized world, the "modern nations," all of them other than the US, have, right?
Why would a system like that need drastic cuts, reduction in care, etc?
All the smart people insist that single payer is the only option, and that single payer will solve all our problems, and that we should be more like smart progressive countries like the UK and western Europe generally.
Baffling.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Paddy O said...Are there examples of men in shorts meeting together to discuss significant national transitions? That would seem to be the equivalent.

Related: YT Sopranos: The Don doesn't wear shorts


Ann Althouse said...
"Who in 2017 uses the term pins for a woman's legs?"
The Daily Mail.
Every damned day.


They ought to mix in a few "getaway sticks" and "gams" just to keep it lively.

Darrell said...

Sturgeon is a dirty Socialist, so she loses Legs-it by default.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Ludicrous, of course, but The Daily Mail is very trashy -

Not too trashy for conservatives here to rely on it for their pro-AGW and other right-wing talking points!

buwaya said...

Trash is honest.

sdharms said...

DM is to be taken with grain of salt. It has headlines such as , "xx looking sexy again" under a fat actress. "Kardashian (all interchangeable) showing off famous derriere" under a fat Kardashian. The only photos of women worth seeing on DM are of Kate and Melania.

Rusty said...

Althouse @ 12:15


"Remember, I went to art school and have taken many life drawing classes. I have stared at many many legs and drawn them. Most were women. "

In my daughters class they mix it up men and women. This semester it's old people. The effect of gravity, wrinkles etc.

Roger Sweeny said...

I mean they both have perfectly fine legs for gals their ages, but it's not like either one would get most guys' motors running.

Seriously, dude? If you actually believe that, once you hit 40 you won't be shooting blanks; you won't even have a gun (to quote John Cena, perfectly delivering one of the WWE writer's lines). They both look damn good.

Bill said...

Idi Amin in a speedo.