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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

So I was thinking that someone (not me though cos I have my hands full of papers to write already) ought to write a paper/thesis on mainstream media and the selection of photos, particularly of women used to villify or deify. Remember when the divorce of Heather Mills and Paul McCartney was being dragged through the courts? They had all these shots of her looking really quite deranged, exaggerated expressions with eyes super wide, mouth open, lips curled. They didn’t need to use those pics, they could have used any, but they had the story in writing, then the story they told through their pictures – Sir McCartney looking composed and ‘dignified’ even though I’m sure they’ve got a few pics of him pulling strange faces, and pictures of Mills part way through a word or a facial expression – we’ve all seen pics like that, taken at inoportune moments, that are extraordinarily unflattering. Pause a dvd at the wrong moment and you get conventional stunners looking really quite unattractive, cross eyed, slackjawed, like they’re about to spit. It’s what happens when you interupt the continuity of expression – one moment captured and taken out of context can paint a very different picture than if you could see that in context, in flow with the moments before and after.

I was reminded of this when I saw the following photo on the front page of the SMH:

Writing underneath:

Shackles on his ankles, student has his day in court

David Kernell faces five years’ jail and a $350,000 fine for resetting Republican’s email password. 

I dunno, maybe I’m reading too much into it, but the wind seems to have changed a little in the mainstream media, who are fickle in their political allegiances. Contrasted with the image below when she was the darling of the mainstream media, a fox, a babe, a chick in politics, oh the WONDER:


Oh looky there! So *cute*! So *harmless*! So very very feminine! Why WON’T those pesky feminists support her? Look how sweet and sexy she looks, nevermind the corruption allegations! Irrelevant!

But now, post debates, when the mood has shifted a little and there are papers to be sold in sledging her for the inexperience, and the corruption allegations (conveniently ignored initially in favour of a little of everyone’s favourite sport Let’s Bash Those Unruly and Unreasonable Feminazis)…let’s put a picture of her looking overly grumpy and unattractive next to a headline emphasising how trivial the boy’s misdemeanour is and how much she’s overreacting. Just *like* a woman really.

I just think that there’s a little sexism involved in portrayals of women as angelic hotties when that suits your cause, and moody unattractive irrational despots when that suits, and I think the use of these photos, given the focus on looks when it comes to women in politics/in the public eye, is kinda sexist. And that ain’t cool.


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