When I was in high school I was a super skinny geek with glasses. A four-eyed nerd. Mind you, I dated, went to the prom, actually took out some very nice looking young ladies. But no one was wondering "who gets to go to the big dance with Howie?".
And today I'm an old guy with a big belly.
No one ever called me "Stud Muffin" but I have always thought that would be nice.
This week President Obama stirred up a little dust when--after praising her professional qualifications--he said that California's Kamala Harris--pictured to the left-- was "the best looking Attorney General in the country". Since I haven't seen all of the country's Attorneys General, I don't if she TOPS the list but certainly would be ON it. And I always thought truth was the best defense.
But many of my female friends--even the good looking ones--say that it is, indeed, a sexist comment from our President. Salon's Irin Carmon calls it "smarmily sexist". I have been reminded that men are not (generally) the ultimate victims of sexual harrassment or even rape. That when WE are commended for our good looks, it is likely to stop with the words. But that for women, the "she's-good-looking" comment is an objectification of them and perpetuates stereotypes that women get by on looks not books. It makes it easier to be dismissive of women.
As--I hope--a socially progressive liberal, I am conflicted. The "liberal" in me wants to make sure I'm not treating women frivilously but the "man" in me appreciates a good-looking woman. Am I not allowed to reflect both?
I appreciate listeners/viewers who tell me they enjoy my shows, who agree with me (or who disagree with me and say they still appreciate my willingness to listen to all sides). I am glad I am acknowledged for my strengths and skills.
But I still bemoan the fact that no one has ever called me "stud muffin". I think that would nice.