« Grading and not much else. | Main | Wednesday links »

January 03, 2006


Amanda Marcotte

I have a lot of male readers, but I suspect that's because my blog isn't a strictly feminist blog, and I was actually the first woman on it.


"And for what it's worthy, if the "smart" and the "bangable" are in two separate categories for these clowns, then they really are tiresome "nerdlets." (A word that may make its way into my regular vocabulary, thanks!)"

Now, now. What's wrong with us nerdlets?


Norbizness, fortunately Merle is of such generous temperament that he can rise above any an insult. Fat cat acceptance!

Lynn Gazis-Sax

I also have a lot of male readers - well, actually, I don't have a lot of any readers, but a fair number of those I do have are male. I'm pretty sure it's not because I'm cute - my photo went away in the Wordpress transition, and I've only posted a couple of photos since. Then again, I blog a lot about sex. Maybe that serves just as well as being cute :-).

Actually, I'm not sure where I fall on the conventional attractiveness scale anyway. Probably middling, but, given general attitudes toward weight, I might gain points for being thin. If I don't lose them all again for being over 40.

My pets, though, are definitely cute. They're cats, after all, how could they not be?

The Countess

I haven't posted pictures of myself on my blog, although I have considered it. I keep falling on the side of "no, don't do that". I get the usual troll nonsense about how I must hate men, but no one that I can remember has bashed me about the way I look because no one knows what I look like. I like my privacy. That's why I don't post my picture, or go into detail about where I live. I'm sure some trolls imagine me dressed in spike heels carrying a whip. When I see MRAs gossip about me on their own forums, I know that I got under their skin enough for them to devote entire threads to me. It means I'm effective. I told Jill the same thing.

Something that concerned me about what happened to Jill is that the people bashing her know her. They see her on campus. That would make me nervous if it happened to me. It would feel like those people would be invading my personal space.


Awesome observations! It's about time that someone wrote about this issue.


David wrote: "It's not her blog. She doesn't post here, and she has no place here. That's the beginning and end of the list of valid reasons."

I don't think this was "vaguely" hostile - it was blatently hostile. Last I checked, the chinchilla didn't post here, either. Seeing as Hugo occasionally talks about his family, and his wife is a part of his family, including her pictures in the various photo albums on the site would be perfectly logical.

However, with rather hostile readers / commenters here, I don't at all blame him for not doing so!!


No one's ever commented about my looks, though I occasionally post pictures. But a few years ago, I turned the blog over to my liberal friend Francine for a week, and my mostly conservative readers did manage to criticize her appearance quite unfairly. She is a hottie, but that didn't matter. It's a very immature form of ad hominem.


I could have sworn, Annie, that folks had made very nice remarks about your personal appearance! I'm tempted to comb your archives for examples, but I'll take your word for it that it's all in my imagination.


Wait, Annika, check this out from your archives:



I can understand this totally. When I first got online in the late 90's, I was young and dumb and posted photos on a page. I then proceeded to get a fair number of "U R UGLY"-type e-mails from various morons, and one guy that lived in my area swore up and down that I was fat and posting it to a school newsgroup. (He'd seen a photo of me from the waist up, which was pretty fairly obvious that I'm average. People who knew me in person laughed at him for making that particular assumption.)

On my various TypePad pages, there's plenty of photos of me strewn about. But I'm careful about where they go and how they are advertised. Posting photos of myself on the craft site won't get me into trouble. Billing the photo album where the best shots of me IRL are as "Jennifer's graphics" makes people think it's something else. Making sure the front page photo on each album isn't a shot of me helps too.

But above all else, I sure as hell wouldn't put a photo of myself right on the front for everyone to see. I disable the TypePad about page, even though the picture of me on it has been Photoshopped to death, because I feel that tagging something publicly as "This is what I look like" and owning a vagina at the same time is just asking for trouble.


This is an interesting discussion and I'd like to thank everyone who has participated. It's a question I've asked myself frequently over the last two or three years.

There are times I've badly wanted to post some kind of picture. I don't want to "hide" my appearance from my regular readers and/or commenters and I think it's easier to "talk" with someone, even just in writing, when you have a face to go with the "voice." Appearance is important to us, and not just in terms of physical "attractiveness. I think we're all programmed to consider the physical body as part of the "person." I know I feel I "know" bloggers better when I've seen a picture of them.

And, as many of you have said, our appearances do make a difference in our relationships to society (although let's remember that the attention a "very attractive" person gets can be as damaging as the dismissal or invective that a "very unattractive" person gets, in terms of forming character and personality) so knowing what someone looks like can add context to their rants for or against some aspect of that society.

In the end, I've always decided that the world is full o'nuts, I'm blogging under my real name, and I've talked openly about the city I live in...and I've decided against the photo.

I'm mot worried about being called ugly or fat since I'm hardly going to let the opinions of passing trolls bother me, but my blog is fortunately lacking in that species so it's not likely to be an issue. :) I do sometimes wonder about how it changes someone's perception of what they write if they discover that the writer is attractive or unattractive, though. (In short, if there was a blogger whose opinions you were inclined to like...how would it change your perception of them if you discovered that they were, in the mythological sense, as ugly as a troll or as beautiful as an angel?)

If I had a bigger readership, I might post a photo and then ask the readers a month later if it changed their opinion of me...but I don't and I have doubts about whether or not anyone would say, "you're uglier than I thought and I think less of you.)

Hugo, you always have the most interesting topics going on your blog. :)

Ron O.

I thought Amp made an excellent observation that your conventional handsomness being a double privelege. I've been tempted to comment about the privelege I've had due to my looks and physique, but didn't know how to do it without being conceited. I've been hired for jobs based on my appearance. I get better service on adverage from Sales people & waiters. I'm listed to and taken more seriously at least initially. I'm assumed to be intelligent, competent, trustworthy, etc. because I'm fairly good-looking.

There is also a huge disconnect between how I know look intellectually & how I percieve myself. I spent many years not dating due to my social anxiety. Having people tell me I should be getting dates all the time because I was good looking made me really buy into the the "women don't care about looks" misperception.

Well, I'm not sure where I am going with this and I must be getting home soon.


Priviledge is a hard thing to discern until it's lost.

I've had the opportunity to be physically deformed at times in my life due to medication (one medication literally made my face swell like a beach ball). I've also had skin rashes from a severe reaction cover my entire body (including my face) which lasted for over a year, and a few years before the dicoloration was gone.

It's shocking and jarring to see people treat you so differently based simply on apeearance. I can honestly say that those were some of the most eye-opening experiences in my life.

I've read some great comments on here. Getting back to the subject specifically, the ugly comments- I think- are something we unfortunately live with as women, as our societal value is so tied up to our looks. The fat comment applies to men, too- although I'll say it is used in a much more derogatory fashion towards women than to a man.

When it comes down to it, it's a pretty simple regurgitation of the people's values when they spit the "ugly and fat" card as a first line of defense. Every time a man or a woman puts their face forward to a group of people, the fat/ugly judgement is inevitable from the viewers, even when it's not openly expressed. In Jill's case, it's especially ludicrous as Jill is nowhere near overweight. On the other hand, the other commentary about Jill "sightings" and some of the more hostile tones are what really scare me- with the implication that women that speak out or go against the grain are "fair game" for malicious actions.

I'm really sick, so I may not make sense... Sorry if I'm rambling.

David Thompson

"Last I checked, the chinchilla didn't post here, either. Seeing as Hugo occasionally talks about his family, and his wife is a part of his family, including her pictures in the various photo albums on the site would be perfectly logical."

The chinchilla doesn't have any place here, and neither does his family. Hence, no pictures. Posting his own picture is optional, though straying a bit too close into the field of vanity.


Somehow, it seems that even among trolls, a code of conduct bars insulting remarks about other men's bodies.

I'm not sure it's (just) a code of conduct -- there's also a rational assessment of the weapons at their disposal. Even the prettiest and thinnest woman is likely to be deeply hurt by being called "fat" and "ugly." But the average man who looks like Hugo would find it far easier to shrug the insult off. Thin-handsome-male privilege is about getting fewer attacks *and* being better able to withstand the ones you get. Trolls are skilled at evaluating the vulnerabilities that society has created in different target people.


It should come as no surprise that horse asses exist on the internet just as they exist in our daily lives. Too many people attack others with whom they disagree through crude, stupid insults. Unfortunately, the attacks on physical attributes seem to be more prevelent against women. I suspect that is because men (and often women) place too much emphasis on women's appearances when assessing their "value."

Perhaps, another reason is that attacking a woman for her appearances cuts deeper.

Amanda Marcotte

For once, I agree with Stentor, though it's not an either/or thing. Attacks on women's looks are chosen because people know that women have to rely on our looks more than men to get by in society. That's just a practicality--I'm not stupid and know that if I didn't adhere to a certain standard of appearance, my life would not be going the way it is, which is on the whole pretty good. Not that it would be *bad*, but it'd probably be different. That makes women's looks an especially vulnerable area for real world reasons.


What I've found really interesting is how blogging about sex in the context of feminism has actually stirred up this sort of critique inside *my own head* about whether my voice is meaningful, since I'm not 21 anymore. I patently know it's ridiculous, but it's there. So attacks on Jill work to attack me. It won't shut me up, but I've noticed it bugging me: no one I'd talk to would make any judgement on my brain based on my skirt size, but I know teh internets might.

On the other hand, even though I may have some insecurities physically, I don't really about the acuity of my *mind*. So as a shaming put-down, it's not the most effective tool: perhaps, after having kids and having the stretch marks to prove it, I feel somewhat less entitled to a sexual voice, (although being married does somewhat 'magically' 'protect' 'me'), but my intellectual life is unaffected. After all, Stephen Hawking's no Brad Pitt. Who cares.

Ah. Hell. Maybe my new year's resolution should be to be fat and sassy. Works for Queen Latifah. (No, I know, she's not really fat.)


For once, I agree with Stentor

Huh? I wasn't aware we had a history of disagreeing ...


It's funny that this should come up (not funny ha ha..it's scary and maddening), but funny because it caused me to look at why I don't post pictures of myself on my blogs. I have problems with sexist jerkfaceheads in real life who will talk to me because I'm deemed "f*ckable" and I like blogging because either they'll avoid my stuff or because they'll troll and I'll ignore them (and delete their comments.) The anonymity takes away that initial thought that maybe I'll want to go home with them because they get my views without my body.

I end up associating people with their avatars, even if they're not pictures of themselves. I use red fraggle a lot and some people who I've met irl have told me that I'm exactly what they thought I'd be like.

And for what it's worthy, if the "smart" and the "bangable" are in two separate categories for these clowns,

Please don't put us clowns with these effed up morons.

Chris Key

Both of the sexes seem to be fixated on the physiological appearance of the opposite sex, however they seem to express their views in a constrasting manner.

Perhaps the manner in which they state their opinion is derived from the varying societal standards that exist.

Based on that, it is a form of ignorance to suggest that the act of a man discussing the appearance of women is a derivation of *male privilege*, as such a concept does NOT exist in the Western world.

If the concept of *Male Privilege* were in existence at the present time in the Western world, then the men of society would NOT be carrying the burden of having to ATTRACT the attention of a woman by meeting her physiological, financial and psychological demands.

Women in general CONTROL the men of society, and they have done so by using their sexual attractiveness for thousands of years. Men in general feel a desire to obtain a woman's approval, while women decide WHO they will acknowledge.

An adolescent male is at the mercy of his female counterpart - his sexual drive is excessive in comparison to her - and this usually leads to the male acting like a degenerate in order to *capture* her attention.

Women in general are only willing to date a man who is superior to her in terms of status, wealth and physiological appearance, and that right there shows that the concept of *male privilege* does NOT exist; women would not be rejecting a man of *equal status* if they were the victims of a *conspiracy*.

A short, unwealthy and unemployed man CANNOT obtain the attention of a woman, however a woman of such low quality can find a partner with relative ease.

The women on the various *Dating Sites* tend to gain dozens of e-mails per day, while the men are lucky to obtain a single response in the span of a month.

The female youth are able to obtain sex with ease, while their male counterparts are unable to do so UNLESS they have obtained the status of an *Alpha Male*, as women tend to be attracted to the rebellious, uncouth and reckless men of society.

Women will ignore the shy and intellectual men, as they believe such a man is *boring*. This cannot be denied, as it has been documented by many women, who only choose to date the *rebellious* men who they find *exciting*. (Of relevance is the fact that women tend to date the most rebellious men who are immoral and uncaring, yet they complain when those very type of men are unfaithful to them. In other words, women refuse to learn from their mistakes, and they continue to perform the same act over and over again with the hope of obtaining a different result - the definition of insanity.)

It is only when a woman enters her 30's that she decides to take an interest in the quieter men who are responsible, as she realises that her sexual attractiveness is beginning to fade, and can no longer rely on it to gain the attention of the *Alpha males*.

The majority of women are forever trying to obtain the attention of the *Alpha Males*, while the quieter men are ignored and shunned.

The vast majority of marriage proposals are made by men, and over 70% of divorces are initiated by women - therefore it seems to be the men who are showing the initiative, while the women are ending the marriages due to their own shallow expectations.

In other words, if the concept of *Male Privilege* really did exist, then EVERY SINGLE man on this planet would have had the opportunity to obtain sex, however this does not hold true. Only a small amount of men are able to obtain sex, while the vast majority of women have lost their virginity, and that shows the women of society have a great deal of control over the men.

Also, the personal experience of Hugo and his feminist friends do not equate to the entire populace, as there are MANY sites/forums/blogs where the women are known to attack the appearance of any man who shows his photo.

In my opinion, no one should talk about another persons appearance, as it's merely an ad-hominem attack. The very act of a man making a derogatory remark about a feminists appearance is bad for the Men's Movement, as he is making an ad-hominem attack and NOT acknowledging her arguments.

The men from the 1960's era seem to be very sex-obsessed, and they are usually so simplistic and irresponsible that they will define their masculinity by the amount of sex they can obtain. I do not like those type of men, in fact I hate them and think they're a disgrace to Mankind. I hate those type of men just as much as I hate the feminists, as they're selfish, ignorant and uncaring.

I have never commented about the appearance of Hugo, Amanda, Jill and Lauren, as the manner in which they look has no correlation to their arguments.

The implementation of Second-Wave-Feminism during the 1960's caused a lot of the men to become sex-obsessed simpletons, as the feminists began promoting the concept of *Degenerative Behaviour* as acceptable and liberating. The blame for that HAS to be placed on the shoulders of the Second-Wave-Feminists, the women who were stupid enough to support such an insane ideology, and the sex-obsessed men.

Based on that, it would explain why a LOT of men are so willing to judge a feminist blogger by her appearance, and it's sad that they resort to making such an ad-hominem attack. So it is true that a lot of men do need to develop some integrity and judge people by their actions, and NOT how they look.

The sex-obsessed people are always going to talk about the appearance of a member of the opposite sex, as they think about the subject 24/7. A sex-maniac is an idiot, because he/she is unable to engage in analytical thinking as he/she are forever thinking about how to *OBTAIN SEX*. Unfortunately a LOT of the men from the 1960's seem to possess such a mentality.

The men from the 1960's/1970's era along with the degenerate women of society have tried to insinuate that I must be a *homosexual*, because I believe that men are able to control their sexual urges, and because I REFUSE to talk about sex. In fact, I find it extremely nauseating to hear another man or woman talking about their *Sex-Life*, and I think that any man or woman who talks about his/her *Dating and Sex Issues* is a simpleton.

The men from the 19th Century were devoted to their wives, and they did not judge the women by their appearance. It is only the men and women of the 20th and 21st Century who have become extremely shallow and judgemental about the appearance of the opposite sex.

It seems as if the men and women of today have dedicated their life to obtaining as much sex from as many people as possible, and that is the one thing that I cannot understand.

I have never judged a person by the manner in which they look, and I am ONLY attracted to the empathetic, honest and caring women of society. Some of the women I have loved the most were obese, but I didn't care about their appearance, as it was their personality that captured my attention.

The shallow comments made by the men are most likely derived from the degenerate behaviour that the Second-Wave-Feminists instilled upon the populace during the 1960's, as it led to people becoming self-centred, materialistic and uncaring.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Regular reads

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2004