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Ann Coulter March 6, 2007

Posted by Melissa in female politicos.

I am sure, given the recent backlash, that many have heard of the comments recently made by Ann Coulter regarding presidential candidate John Edwards (I’ve posted the video). I thought it was interesting that she would refer to Edwards as being gay, when her voice and her own actions as an outspoken commentator would not immediately qualify her for Miss America.
I am completely blown away with what this woman has been able to get away with over the past few years, even her stint on our campus. I would consider Coulter to be an incredibly abrasive, offensive, outspoken member of the extreme right, yet when I see photos of her, I am a bit confused. She always manages to present herself in the most feminine form; the image I see does not match the person I would have imagined. It is almost shameful to say this, but I would have pictured someone more like Hilary Clinton spewing the words Coulter is famous for. I have the idea that the more controversial figures in politics, or those who are known to be more outspoken, are usually men. In looking at photos of both Clinton and Coulter, I am not surprised to see that the former usually looks more masculine. Perhaps it is her figure or the clothes she wears, but when looking at Clinton I have no inclination to empathize with her. Both Coulter and Clinton are considered to be “bitches” by many people, yet when I simply look at their images I see Coulter as the “good one.”
I know Coulter’s image is one she has carefully constructed to appeal to her audience-men love to see a pretty little lady, the female-right/left like to see a woman (looking like a woman) in the spot light- but I can’t help that I initially fell for the act. I wonder what people would think of Clinton were she to drop a few pounds, grow out her hair, and maybe have a little “work” done? Does a woman need to “look” like a woman to be seen and not immediately cast off? Do the right really respect Coulter, or is she just a harmless woman riding on the coat tails of her own appearance? I cannot imagine what the life of a female politician/public persona would be like, but I do shamefully admit that Coulter makes it look easy…I only wish the same could be said for Clinton.

The images I’ve posted below are representative of the more common perceptions of both women (there were more/less attractive photos of both).





1. kelly - March 6, 2007

I don’t think that Hilary is more “masculine” than Coulter, I just think that their femininity is represented in different ways. Hilary portrays non-threatening femininity, she is often presented as a wife and mother, and wears the acceptable and even expected pearls and skirt suits. On the other hand, Coulter’s femininity is overt, threatening, and confrontational. I think her image matches perfectly with her actions. While Hilary is attempting to conform and be acceptable to everyone, Coulter’s short skirts and revealing tops seem to say “I’m here, I’m going to say what I want, deal with it.” Furthermore, we have to take into account that Hilary is running for office, Coulter doesn’t have as much at stake if people don’t like her. Melissa asks the the question, “Does a woman need to “look” like a woman to be seen and not immediately cast off?” I think the case of Hilary Clinton and Ann Coulter tells us that the answer is no. While Hilary Clinton may not be liked by everyone, she is relatively well-respected, on the other hand, Coulter is often seen as a silly woman prancing around spewing ideas she knows nothing about. Her more “feminine” image seems to contribute to lack of seriousness and respect she is treated with. Her skimpy tops and mini-skirts lead people to see her more as an exaggeration or mascot, rather than a real figurehead with important things to say.

2. mattwm - March 7, 2007

I’m with you Kelly; I don’t think Ann is more attractive than Hilary. I think that you’re right about them dressing to their audience.

But do people see Coulter as a silly woman? I see her as a very serious threat to a lot of ideas; I see her as hateful and hatemongering. If she’s treated with a lack of respect– which I’m not sure of, I think she’s moved more books than Hilary– and isn’t seen as a figurehead, its because she has none of the qualities of a leader. Her job, as she put it, is to “stir things up,” I guess to spread her message of hatred. She co-opts her exaggeratedly feminine look for political reasons, and that’s hardly what keeps people from respecting her.

She’s disgusting.

3. kelly - March 7, 2007

I suppose I should have clarified that the people I find myself around don’t really respect her. I do know that she has a large following that does respect her…sadly.

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