Saturday 10 January 2009

An Unkindness Of Ravens Guardian Journalists

It must be the right time of the month for Guardian columnists to take potshots at other women. Hot on the heels of Maddy’s little tantrum over Rachida Dati, Tracy Quan lays into Caroline Kennedy for….not paying enough attention to her appearance:
There's an assumption that dissecting and studying a woman's appearance can only spring from a lack of respect, especially when she's a political candidate. Even if the verdict is a resounding "phwoar", we're supposed to be offended on her behalf because senators and veeps shouldn't be judged on their looks.
Well, they shouldn’t
When you gaze upon Caroline, you're not looking at how she invented herself – you're aware of the forces that made her. She looks less like an actor in America's unfolding history than a product of it. That's the fate of many aristocrats or members of a long-running dynasty.
Meow! Like a saucer of milk, Tracy…?
As I study the landscape of Caroline's face, my first coherent thought is: clearly not another New York salon addict. You may resent (as her critics do) the fact that she's privileged, but I admire Caroline for choosing not to look like spackled perfection. Sometimes she glows, but she has also appeared in public looking furrowed and wan. Next to Sharpton, she appears unvarnished. Is that a bad thing?
You’d think it wouldn’t even be remarked upon, but the vigilant gaze of the female political commenter is sharper than any hawk.
Caroline's looks are as inconsistent as New York's weather, but the contrast can be unsettling. Endorsing Barack Obama at American University and the Democratic National Convention last year, Caroline looked girlish and pretty, with a smile that was modest yet contagious. Endorsing herself for senator in front of Sylvia's, there was no pleasure in her smile. This doesn't make you want to campaign for her, but the expectation is that, after being appointed to the job, she would have to win an election in 2010.

How can she look so lovely during someone else's campaign and so unprepared on behalf of herself?
Dunno. Bad hair day..? Does Tracy never have those?

And what confidence she must have in the voters!
Some women shine in a supportive, cheerleading role. You can't resist them when they're doing what makes them happy. In a city inhabited by millions of women who came from nowhere to get a piece of the pie for ourselves, this virtue is hard to find. Caroline is neither a hustler nor a go-getter. We should respect her for being the best Kennedy she can be. The problem isn't arrogance, as some are suggesting – it's probably her lack of ambition.
I note that Tracy hasn’t offered any actual evidence for this assertion, besides the fact that the object of her ire forgot to powder her nose and grin like a beauty queen before stepping in front of the cameras…

Boy, women have come a long way, haven’t they?

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