“Too Pretty for Politics?”

Women can’t win. First we’re told we’re not feminine enough (a la Hillary Clinton). Then we’re told we’re too feminine? That’s what’s happened to Iranian politician Nina Siakhali Moradi, who, despite being elected to the Qazin City Council with 10,000 votes, had her results overturned by senior officials ostensibly because she didn’t “meet the criteria” for running for office. However, her request to run was originally approved, and to nullify it now is absurd. Apparently, an unnamed senior official in Qazin said, “We don’t want a catwalk model on the council,” as some type of justification for their actions.

We in the US are no strangers to the scrutiny of female politicians for their physical appearances. A great extension for the browser Chrome, entitled, “Jailbreak the Patriarchy,” swaps the genders in the articles or pages you come across on the web. But even beyond the words, who doesn’t remember the controversy over the Newsweek decision to place a short-running-shorts-clad Sarah Palin on their cover, whereas I’m pretty sure I never saw much more than the looming face of a white male politician, let alone legs, let alone -bare- legs?

Do physical appearances matter even the slightest bit when it comes to mental faculty? I’m pretty sure they don’t. And call me elitist, but I’d rather have a politician scrutinized and evaluated on his or her abilities, rather than appearance.

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