Fascinating, this montage of Donald Trump's semi-controlled vitriolic tirade against Rosie O'Donnell for criticizing him on The View yesterday.
Notice the one thing that Donald keeps coming back to is how "fat" and "ugly" Rosie is. I maintain that criticizing a woman's appearance is just low, it's a low, cheap shot for men to take when they feel defenseless or emasculated (Rosie said Donald was "bankrupt"--which, for a man whose entire identity is predicated on his net worth, would be the equivalent of saying he has a tiny pee-pee). Criticizing a woman's appearance, especially calling her fat, as evidence of her unworthiness is cheap, cheap, cheap. Weight discrimination is the last socially acceptable form of prejudice. I wish it were also an insult empty of venom. But while women know that every idiotic man who can't think of a way to hurt a woman is going to say something about her body, this doesn't stop the insult from stinging. It shouldn't mean anything more than any other subjective epithet, but in our "evolved" society, it does.
As Sarah Silverman says, "I don't care if you think I'm racist. I only care if you think I'm thin."
A woman walking down the street in NYC without an iPod on is going to hear an unscientific average of three catcalls, two lewd comments, and receive at least one up-and-down salacious ironing by a stranger. But woe unto the woman who yells something back, for she is undoubtedly going to called an "ugly bitch" or a "fat ass" by the man who was harrassing her in the first place. Not every man is a dirty pig, but all dirty pigs know that they can "win" by criticizing a woman's appearance. And every woman who's ever defended herself against the attentions of a dirty pig knows what she's in for if she dares do anything but smile and walk on by.
I have (male) friends who say "You should feel complimented when men check you out." I have grown weary of explaining the difference between my boyfriend telling me I look pretty and a stranger hissing that he'd like to "tap that ass."