November 29, 2017

"There are two sides to this coin. We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive."

"And unfortunately it has backfired on us — and this is where we are today. We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that. Although it’s awful to say we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped."

Said Angela Lansbury, quoted by Gabriella Paiella in New York Magazine, who identifies her as "a veteran actress, a proud socialist, and an all-around international treasure" and informs us that she's getting trashed in social media. Paiella delivers Lansbury's age like a punchline: "In related news, Angela Lansbury is 92 years old."

There's just about exactly as much ageism in that last sentence as there is sexism in Lansbury's remark. But Paiella probably thinks the ageism is okay, because she's patting Lansbury on the head and defending her from the mean people on social media, but it's patronizing, and it's very similar to the traditional style of patronizing that women have long experienced, when were were marginalized and told — if we attempted to weigh in on a serious issue of the day — don't you worry your pretty little head.

64 comments:

Fernandistien said...

Sometimes people complain about the sequins on my codpiece.

MayBee said...

I don't agree with her at all about the attractiveness.

BUT women have worked really hard to make it ok to sleep with whomever they want, including sleeping with someone who can help your career. So those lines have been blurred. When people regularly are able to get beautiful young interns to fall "in love" with them, can we be surprised when they start to regularly make sexual advances at beautiful young interns?

Nonapod said...

I guess it makes sense that "a proud socialist" would view men as base animals who could "knock down and rape" a woman simply for dressing too attractively. There's a tendency among socialists to reduce people to collections of impulses that need to be managed by a strong central authority.

LYNNDH said...

So she is saying that the "conservative" Muslims have it right. Full body coverings, except the eyes.

She is a "proud socialist" - did not know that. Has she spread her wealth around? Has she kept it all? Then in reality she is a Capitalist.

Paul Sand said...

I just want to say Ms Lansbury was damn scary in The Manchurian Candidate. When watching "Murder, She Wrote", I kept expecting her to be unveiled as a massive murderous conspirator.

From IMDB: "Angela Lansbury was thirty-six at the time of filming, only three years older than Laurence Harvey, who played her son."

Saint Croix said...

Here she is back in the day.

good Angela

bad Angela

rhhardin said...

It's not that women dress up but that their self esteem is tied up with men finding them attractive.

Otherwise they're just unremarkable body parts.

Not body parts that men are wired to find irresistable, at least the half of the time men are looking.

brylun said...

That's a very Islamic viewpoint!

chickelit said...

It remains to be scene whether the likes of Rachel Maddow can be chased and pure.

What ever happened to Megyn Kelly?

dreams said...

How long before she will have to walk back her comment, do you think?

walter said...

But "rape is about power".
Don't those cave-men understand?

Butt..can "yoga pants" make a workplace hostile?

Amexpat said...

Call me ageist but I think we should cut people some slack after they pass 90. Some obvious exceptions, like the tyrant Mugabe.

Kate said...

A character actress gives her two cents on what it's like to be a starlet.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Well we know one thing, Angela Lansbury isn't very intelligent. And that in her youth Angela Lansbury was hot. So I guess we know two things.

Bill Peschel said...

Silly me, I thought there was a difference between dressing well and dressing to attract a man.

And Lansbury is "a proud socialist"? News to me. I guess she shared her salary as executive producer and star of "Murder, She Wrote" then. Paid all her taxes, too.

MadisonMan said...

There is wisdom in what she writes.

If men can be torn down for harassment, then can woman be also for using sex and men to advance their careers? Isn't it really the same thing? It takes two to tango and all that.

If it's a horrible thing for men to use their positions of power to cultivate sexual relationship with women in exchange for advancing those women's careers (if they're in a field where that kind of thing might help) -- should we be made aware of the women who sold themselves to advance their careers, thereby making things more hazardous for the women who followed? Or should we acknowledge that people choose different paths to what they perceive to be success?

Are women ever at fault?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

You know who else was hot when she was young, Maggie Smith. She was great in "Murder by Death." Truman Capote was in that movie.

buwaya said...

The real problem is the concept of "careers".
This is a very modern thing.
In ancient times it was a matter for just a very few men, if that. Work flowed into private life and vice versa.

Humanity is not designed for "careers".

Its a terrible misuse of womens limited time especially.

Tim Wright said...

Always thought she was a very intelligent actress and still has her marbles. Murder She Wrote s still a comfortable hour on TV. I'm sure she upset a lot of people with her remarks. Good. Tim

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, in another of this morning’s posts you asked why a woman couldn’t do the job Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer do, and behold! You’ve got the networks’ response right here at the end of this post: don't you worry your pretty little head.

I’m sure that there are women who can do at least as well as Lauer or Rose, but the networks are going to sssume that women do the lightweight interviews with actors and rock musicians, but it takes a man to do the heavy lifting. I think they’re wrong, but with all the advertising revenue at stake in that he morning talking heads shows, no network big wig is going to take a chance.

buwaya said...

Maggie Smith - "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The character she played in "Murder, She Wrote," serial killer who frames others for the murders. Its the only thing that makes sense. Also, stay out of Cabot Cove if you value your life.

Big Mike said...

Are women ever at fault?

Thanks for the morning belly laugh, MadMan.

Sebastian said...

"there is sexism in Lansbury's remark" True, attributing responsibility to women for bad things that happen to them is a faux, faux pas.

@MM: "Are women ever at fault?" There is sexism in that question.

n.n said...

According ot the theory of progressive diversity (e.g. racism, sexism), if you've seen one colorful clump of gendered cells, you've seen them all, or rather that one colorful clump of gendered cells is representative of a class of colorful gendered cells.

That said, the warning to women to moderate their presentation, especially in context, is a reminder that there exists a minority of morally liberated or licentious males, and to a lesser extent females, who will be triggered by bright colors, brilliantly displayed.

Sebastian said...

You'd think that, after 100M victims, someone would catch a little more flak for calling herself a proud socialist.

n.n said...

While the man would work in a marketable trade to earn a wage exchangeable in the wild, and to pay government service, it was the housewife and mother who was the original [local] community or neighborhood organizer.

dreams said...

It's as if these women were female animals trying to attract a mate.

buwaya said...

Women (when their brains are in correct operating condition) want to have kids with the best-quality man (the fittest, according to hardwired instinct) they can find.

This is natural, by design. Modern society and culture makes the fulfillment of this designed-in need over-complex. Not least through a powerful meme-system intended to overcome nature.

rhhardin said...

"Are women ever at fault"

There's no fault anywhere. It's men and women interacting.

The fault if any is bitching.

Bay Area Guy said...

1. A "proud socialist"? After the 20th Century filled with graves from Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot? What a ditzy broad.

2. "Attractiveness". Yes, it's a good idea to attract people. If you repel people, you end up lonely and miserable. "Physical" attraction is only 1 type of attraction.

Myself, I'm attracted to smart, pretty women, who have a good sense of humor and recognize the sublime beauty of football. Socialist actresses need not apply.

tcrosse said...

Angela Lansbury's father was a prominent Labour politician. It could be that she's a proud Labourite, which gets translated in US terms to Socialist. A distinction without a difference, perhaps.

Hagar said...

There is a difference between dressing to be attractive and dressing like a slut.

Ken B said...

A proud socialist is enough. Being a rich proud socialist is just a cherry on top.

Trumpit said...

All girls, pretty or plain, should carry a piece to ward off rapists. Shoot to kill. After the bodies of rapists start piling up, maybe men will get the message. Some entrepreneur should develop a lipstick weapon. It might only hold one bullet due to the small size. I'd call this essential self-protection device, "Femme Fatale."

Ken B said...

Maggie Smith was a great beauty!

buwaya said...

In Angela Lansbury's fathers day, and much later, there was no distinction at all. Labour was socialist, entirely so in the "Communist Manifesto" sense.

William said...

"Are women ever at fault?" I've been played by women, but it's not something I talk about in public. Some girl got me to write a term paper for her. It did not lead to hot sex. I was pretty easy to play......It's not quite vestigial, but my libido is definitely a diminished thing. Well and good. Libidinal impulses do not lead to lasting happiness. Even guys who are really smooth and know how to play the game go splat. Sex robots are our only hope.

Matthew Sablan said...

I saw her in Blithe Spirit. She's pretty keen.

Kyzernick said...

Trumpit - lipstick guns exist. As do guns that look like cell phones, and guns that look like mascara containers.

If you were informed on firearm policy and developments, you'd know this.

BDNYC said...

Sex robots are our only hope.

Yep. The current moral panic is really facilitating the transition to sex robots. Women are pretty clueless about what men want, and if male sexuality is going to be vilified and too many men are viewed with suspicion, lots of men will opt for a one-bedroom apartment with a sex robot that cooks and cleans. When the 60's wave of feminism happened, men came out on top because it mostly meant no-string sex. With this new wave of feminism -- which is really a throwback to a past era where women are precious creatures held to different standards and who must be protected from men at all costs -- men will find a way to come out on top again, even if it means shutting women out of their lives.

The battle of the sexes, women hardest hit.

Ann Althouse said...

"Call me ageist but I think we should cut people some slack after they pass 90."

I would judge people as individuals. If they are public figures who continue to be active and contribute to public discourse, I would presume full humanity and not grade them on a curve.

Age is a factor in judging us all as individuals. If your elderly relatives say things that seem ignorant by modern-day standards, what should you do? Probably not fight with them about it. But if they're intellectually alive and want to talk about things, I thing you're wrong to write them off. Try to have conversations with people whose perspective is different from yours, and don't do it in a way that diminishes their humanity.

The stereotypes about the elderly are terrible, and they marginalize real people.

Kyzernick said...

My wife prefers her 9mm compact, though.

And no, it's not shaped like a makeup compact. It is a smaller frame handgun.

She shoots it slightly better than I do, but I still outshoot her with full size pistols and rifles. For now at least.

Ann Althouse said...

"Maggie Smith was a great beauty!"

"I went to see 'The Honey Pot,' a 1967 movie starring Rex Harrison and a very young Maggie Smith. Even in her twenties, her face unlined, she had the eyes of a man. They’re heavily lashed but somehow seem to contain masculine information. Maggie Smith’s eyes know about shaving."

Sedaris, David. Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) (p. 482). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

BDNYC said...

I guarantee you the women's rights activists will be extremely annoying about sex robots. They will decry the ones with "unrealistic" bodies, that is, the robots that aren't grossly overweight. They will attempt to ban the ones that are too appealing to men (stupid men) and seek money from the government to compensate for all the single women who want to have it all, including children, but thanks to sex robots they are forced to do it alone without the support of a male spouse and his income.

narayanan said...

of course "there are women who can do the heavy lifting.' but not feminists - when they hanker to demean men.

narayanan said...

the women's rights activists will be extremely annoying about sex robots ... they will want to pass laws against splooging.

Kyzernick said...

@ BDNYC - one possibility that I see is that sex robots will make women try harder to compete. If that comes to be, good - it's possible that Real Men will end up with old-school harems.

I wouldn't mind. Wifey might think different, but there's been some experimenting in the past, and it went pretty well.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I like David Sedaris' writing and he is even better when you listen to him narrate his own books, but I'm going to have to pass on his judgement concerning women and their attractiveness.

buwaya said...

David Sedaris is gay.

walter said...

Kyzernick said...it's possible that Real Men will end up with old-school harems.
--
Wow...a school of fish for a given bicycle.

John said...

Does that make Ann, with all her fashion fascination and posting an enabler?

Watch out Meade, don't let yourself be tricked by her wiles.

John Henry

mockturtle said...

In the days of corsets and bustles and petticoats, rape must have been very difficult, indeed.

walter said...

More like disabler. Ya gotta meet Ann's calf fitness criteria to wear shorts.

readering said...

From 2007 paper:
Dementia prevalence increased with age, from 5.0% of those aged
71–79 years to 37.4% of those aged 90 and older.

mikee said...

Angela Landsbury is tied with Hillary Clinton as the warmest, bravest, kindest woman I've ever known. And until Hillary came along, Angela was definitely the winner there.

eddie willers said...

Angela Landsbury is tied with Hillary Clinton as the warmest, bravest, kindest woman I've ever known.

Satire?

Doug said...

It remains to be scene whether the likes of Rachel Maddow can be chased and pure. Help me out here ... am I missing the wickedly clever humor in chickelit's spelling?

Doug said...

You know who else was hot when she was young, Maggie Smith.
She couldn't put a patch on Helen Mirren's ass.
http://www.anorak.co.uk/wp-content/gallery/helen-mirren/helen-mirren-nude-video-02.jpg
Warning - NSFW

traditionalguy said...

Lansbury is a nice person who shares her opinion from 70 years life lived among American men. She earned that opinion.

mockturtle said...

Angela Landsbury is tied with Hillary Clinton as the warmest, bravest, kindest woman I've ever known.

Satire?


We should hope so! Help us out here, mikee!

Jupiter said...

"... lots of men will opt for a one-bedroom apartment with a sex robot that cooks and cleans."

They make those?

Darrell said...

Angela Landsbury should tell us all the things she did to get parts. The studio bench was deep back then.

Big Mike said...

I really like what Sarah Hoyt has to say:

“We’re racing to a system where women act like poor little flowers who have to be protected and kept safe. It’s not a system I want for myself or for my granddaughters. It’s not a system I want for anyone. You wanted into the workplace, you have it. Now hold the line. Refuse to sell your body for a career.”

Sarah is a great sci-fi author; buy her books via the Althouse Amazon Portal.