JUST PLAIN SEXIST: Calendar Craze - Vanity Fair on Republican Beefcakes, Czech Women Politicians

There is a disturbing trend emerging this election season in the form of pin-up calendars – both real and satirical – that emphasize candidates’ bodies over their issues.

Earlier this month, we reported on Human Events’ highly misogynistic parody, the “Babes of the DNC” calendar, which described female Democratic candidates a “beastly” bunch of “hideous chuds.” In a real calendar produced this summer, a number of Czech female politicians posed provocatively as pin-up girls and raised a debate over whether their embrace of sex-appeal was a step backward for Czech women in politics.

Vanity Fair has now come up with its own mock pin-up calendar, “Red Meat: Vanity Fair’s Official 2010–11 Republican Beefcake Calendar,” taking on a completely different group of candidates in order to mock them, but that ends up portraying candidates in an equally objectifying manner. The introduction to the calendar states that President Obama, once a “hunk,” has lost the nation’s confidence and inspired “libido-crushing frustration.” What’s disappointingly sexy to the country now, according to Vanity Fair, is the lineup of Republican male candidates, whose heads are photo-shopped onto bare-chested, often underwear-clad bodies in a variety of suggestive positions.

Name It. Change It. uses reversibility as a key measurement of media equality, but this isn't what we had in mind. Rather than objectifying male candidates in order to mock them in the way that women candidates so often are, we urge the media to focus coverage of all candidates on what really matters – their politics. To reduce candidates to an array of body parts – especially so close to the midterm elections – does a disservice to both politicians and voters.

Published by Kate McCarthy on 10/28/2010

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