Voters Value Femininity in Female Politicians, and Yet “Feminine” Pastimes Are Still Poo-Pooed

A recent roundup by ThinkProgress of studies that shows the obstacles female politicians have to overcome — obstacles that have nothing to do with there they stand on issues — included a Dartmouth College study that indicated “voters value femininity in women politicians.”

Abigail Bresler continues in her story: “Because masculinity is stereotypically associated with leadership in the U.S., conservatives’ preference for traditional gender roles and low tolerance for uncertainty may require women’s leadership aspirations to be tempered by strong associations with femininity, particularly in their appearance,” stated Eric Hehman, a lead author of the study.

That same week, I read this story on Twitter about entrepreneur Nonie Creme, the woman behind the very successful beauty business Butter London. She delivered a commencement speech at Scripps University and a mother of one of the graduates initially was dismayed that a woman touting the beauty biz would be seeing the girls off into adulthood. Creme had a fine arts degree but said she “felt shame” when she was starting out because she was making money painting nails, something you don’t need any education to do. She, rightly, snapped out of that feeling and is building her second company.

I’ve written before about taking on those who make you feel bad for caring about how you look or wanting to spend your money on nail polish. All this to say, don’t be shy about or feel bad for showing off your lady-ness.

Photo: AP via ThinkProgress