"Something pretty creepy has been happening to conservative women lately," writes Julia Baird at Newsweek. Pundits from "left, right, and center" have been putting an "insistent, increasingly excitable focus" on their physical rather than political attributes. When we're obsessed by Sarah Palin's supposed breast implants or Nikki Haley's alleged affairs instead of her agenda, it is "not just distracting and degrading, but also destructive." Perhaps a "growing wave of discomfort" about this "crass ogling" helped Haley triumph in the South Carolina gubernatorial primary last month. An excerpt:
"It’s odd to see how some men insist that when women start to grasp power, we should think of them primarily as playthings and provocateurs. Is this the best way to explain their success? They aren’t challenging the status quo. They’re being wild! They’re not trying to lift the ban on offshore drilling. They’re being naughty! When four women beat a field of men on the same night recently, competing for primary and gubernatorial nominations, it was widely referred to as “ladies’ night.” Aren’t ladies’ nights those promotions where women are allowed free entry into bars to provide fodder for the men?
"...We need to remember that these women are not competing to see who has the most smokin’ bod. They want to run the country, or their part of it. They want votes, not free drinks—and we need properly scrutinized candidates, not circus performers."