I’m used to a small but loyal audience in this little corner of the blogosphere. So, I was amazed, and a bit suspicious when I saw my traffic increase almost ten-fold about the middle of last week. At first I suspected some rogue bot was hitting my site repeatedly. Then I examined my site stats more carefully and discovered that the bulk of my hits were coming from the search term “Nancy Pfotenhauer”. Not only that, but it was an image search! Lots (and I mean lots) of folks were looking for pictures of Nancy Pfotenhauer. This also explains why The John McCain Female Woman Hater’s Club was also getting pounded by traffic. You see, Nancy, a key McCain adviser, is one of the illustrious members of the club.
So, I googled Nancy Pfotenhauer to get a better grip on what was going on and sure enough there on the second page of links was “How Many of You Think Nancy Pfotenhauer is Really Hot?” Now, I think Ms. Pfotenhauer is a pleasant enough looking woman but hot? That one escapes me.
Then again, we have entered the age of the female political sex symbol, haven’t we? Here is The National Review’s Rich Lowry’s now famous assessment of Governor and VP nominee Sarah Palin:
Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.
This must be driving any self respecting feminist crazy that after all the struggle to gain legitimacy, women are to some extent right back where they started, sex objects. I can’t put my finger on who is to blame. Ms. Pfotenhauer, besides smiling a lot, certainly does not play up any sex angle. The same might not be as true of Ms. Palin who goes “cutesy” quite often. But if women follow the model of Hillary Clinton, strong, assertive, keenly intelligent, they risk being called a shrew.
It’s quite a catch-22. I can’t do anything to solve the problem. But perhaps I can use the phenomenon to lure folks into this little corner of the blogosphere where they might click on some other links that don’t have any pictures of Nancy or Sarah and they might learn something? So, with that higher goal, I give you: