Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice got lipstick on her teeth during a speech at the Republican National Convention last night. I know what you’re thinking–how is that even news? It really shouldn’t be but based on the reactions of the public the situation is just as appalling as Gabby’s hair controversy. I am not a Republican, Condi Rice is, and while I don’t agree with a lot of the things she believes in, she is one smart, tough cookie. Instead of focusing on how her mouth looks maybe we should be focusing on the words coming out of it?!
You can only imagine that I was slightly offended by the reactions on Twitter of people watching her speech.
— Morgan Murphy (@morgan_murphy) August 30, 2012
Condi has lipstick on her teeth. I’m not being sexist, Hillary would never have that.
— Phil (@FearlessPhilip) August 30, 2012
— Lindsay Smith (@TheKansan) August 30, 2012
These are just few of the responses. If you think I am overreacting, I understand. But here is a little more context. Time and time again, when female politicians step into the public, attention is always diverted from what she is saying and onto how she looks. Here is just one recent example from an interview with Hilary Clinton.
“MODERATOR 1: OK. Which designers do you prefer?
SECRETARY CLINTON: What designers of clothes?
MODERATOR 1: Yes.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Would you ever ask a man that question? (Laughter.) (Applause.)
MODERATOR 1: Probably not. Probably not. (Applause.)”
Here’s another example. An orchestra was accused of playing favorites with men–so they decided to conduct their own little experiment. They held blind auditions. They heard the musicians play from behind a curtain and guess what? Without the judges knowing what the player looked like a lot more woman were hired! With blind auditions women were 50 percent more likely to get the gig! Women musicians all of a sudden SOUNDED better because their appearance or gender was no longer a factor in whether they were good or not!
It’s no secret that whenever a woman does something well, the only criticism she’ll receive is not about her performance, but about her appearance. It’s as if we are trained to acknowledge that we judge a woman’s appearance first, then only if she looks acceptable will we consider listening to her. Condi had some amazing things to say last night like this:
“You might not be able to control your circumstances but you could control your response to your circumstances. And your greatest ally in doing so was a quality education. Let me ask you, though, today, when I can look at your zip code and can tell whether you are going to get a good education, can I really say that it doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters where you are going? We need to give parents greater choice. Particularly poor parents whose kids, most often minorities, are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights struggle of our day.”
Instead of listening we focused on the lipstick on her teeth. If a man’s tie was on crooked or his hair was too frizzy we wouldn’t care.
What do you think of the reactions to Condoleezza Rice? Let us know in the comments!