The Sexist

Huffington Post Moves on to Objectifying Normal People

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At first, the Huffington Post was content to objectify women whose décolletage, nipples, and other breast parts are a main fixture of their work—actresses, models, and reality television stars. Then, it moved on to objectifying female news anchors. With its cache of famous people with boobs running low, the Huffington Post has recently expanded the category of women it's willing to exploit. This time, it's chosen women married to baseball players. Or as I like to call them, "normal people whose bodies are none of your business!"

In order to stir up the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, the Huffington Post has assembled a photo gallery of each team's "wives and girlfriends" and instructed its readers to "PICK YOUR FAVORITE YANKEES AND RED SOX HOTTIES AND VOTE ON WHICH TEAM'S GOT THE GOODS, AND WHICH TEAM IS STRIKING OUT." The women are then ranked on a scale of zero ("Stee-rike!") to ten ("Grand slam!").

On the surface, ranking the significant others of baseball players isn't much of a stretch from rating Hollywood breasts from "gross" to "gorgeous" (ugh). I can understand the widespread appeal of checking out Salma Hayek's boobs:
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But I can't understand why readers would take the time to click through a slideshow of normal women who are pretty much just sitting around. There's no overflowing cleavage or nipple slips to be seen here, just some skirt suits, baseball caps, and a few dresses. These women, who happen to be in relationships with athletes, are only one celebrity step above street ogling, and yet they're deemed deserving of the sexual scrutiny of thousands of pathetic desk jockeys. In this case, the couple of famous faces—like major-league girlfriends Kate Hudson and Minka Kellie—only serve to provide unfair comparison to the collection of regular women, like Kellie Pedroia, Tiffany Ortiz, and Kristen Bay, who are all pretty attractive and are all rated around the "Meh" mark.

But the readers aren't actually rating the women. In this contest, the men compete to have the hottest wife. That's the most offensive aspect of this little slide-show—to the Huffington Post, these women aren't even worth enough to be ranked based on their looks (a dubious honor, I'll admit). Instead, the women function solely as a mechanism for assigning value to a baseball player.

When a reader marks a woman as a "stee-rike," he's not just saying he thinks she's ugly—he's saying she's not worthy to be married to a guy who plays baseball. And when he grants her a "grand slam," he graciously deems her worthy of dating the guy. Nobody gets a grand slam, by the way—in this game, even the famous, talented and beautiful Kate Hudson is only a 6.5. That means she's just barely worthy of dating Alex Rodriguez. In what sort of fucked-up ranking system is that phrase even possible?

  • DB

    Wow. Just... wow.

    i must admit, though... i evaluate Presidential candidates based on who has the hottest wife.

  • http://blogs.chicagoreader.com/chicagoland/ whet moser

    The grossly offensive rating system and framing aside, one thing I do like about similar galleries is - as a guy - looking at pictures of attractive, not-famous women dressed normally and doing normal things. To the extent that one takeaway is WOMEN YOU HAVEN'T HEARD OF WHO AREN'T WEARING COUTURE: ALSO REALLY, REALLY PRETTY.

  • http://blogs.chicagoreader.com/chicagoland/ whet moser

    didn't finish the comment: to the extent that... i approve.

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