Mandi talked about Gabby Douglas and the kerfuffle about her hair. I'm listening to Game Change (I know, it's old, but it's taken me a long time to be willing to revisit the serious anger I developed over the 2008 campaign), and spending a lot of time thinking about how everybody from the Democratic Establishment to the press to Bill Clinton treated Hillary in the 2008 campaign. And it's not like people were nice to Michelle Obama in that campaign.
Basically, I'm thinking a lot about the expectations we have for women in public life.
Here are some of the things that drive me to think about this topic.
The Can't Madonna Just Shut Up and Go Away Theme:
- Elton John says Madonna's career is over, she's "a nightmare," she "looks like a fairground stripper," and she has been "so horrible" to Lady Gaga. Setting aside the fact that Elton has done his own crazy, silly things and has now been "so horrible" to Madonna himself, I feel like there is a story every other day about how Madonna shouldn't do X.
- She shouldn't imply that a National Front politician (the far, far right party in France) is a nazi by showing the politician with a swastika over her face.
- She shouldn't bare her breast in Istanbul (in Turkey, a country that is struggling with women's rights and whose Prime Minister says things like he does not believe in equality between women and men).
- She shouldn't brandish fake guns in her stage show.
- She shouldn't complain when Lady Gaga totally rips off her song, her act, her pretty much everything she does.
- Oh, and she's too old.
- ...When was the last time you heard anybody talk about how Bono or Elton John or Bruce Springsteen shouldn't do anything? Okay, the Boss was told to finish his concert because it was late and Londoners really had to get their beauty sleep. But other than that? Not so much.
The When Girls Do It, It Must Be Perfect Theme:
- Girls, Bunheads - It's too rich, it's too white, not gay enough, it's laden with nepotism, the women aren't pretty enough, etc, etc, etc. Because nothing else on television is...
- Too Rich,
- Too White,
- Laden with Nepotism, and
- Full of Ugly Men.
- Pink joins CoverGirl - Forget that Pink is an interesting, strong, different ideal for girls to think about when thinking about beauty (as are Queen Latifah and Ellen DeGeneres, two other CoverGirls) - she's betraying her ideals because CoverGirl does animal testing (see the comments section of every single article about this story).
- Taylor Swift and Katie Perry are "Mean Girls" for writing songs about their exes. Unlike every male singer ever.
So here's the question: Do you think we hold women to a different standard than men in public life?