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Could a Woman Who Posed Nude Get Elected?

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

I don’t care that Scott Brown posed nude, his hand placed strategically to hide his package, in a 1982 issue of Cosmopolitan when he was a law student. Or that the magazine called him “America’s Sexiest Man.” Certainly, I take issue with the superlative because, well, okay, let me give you an example: Mel Gibson was sexy. Was. But when he opened his mouth and outed his inner bigot, his sex appeal vanished.

Same with Scott Brown.

Some years ago, Brown said that the idea of two women raising a child “just isn’t normal.” Huge criticism was quickly heaped on Brown for this gay trashing, so he, with great political expediency, ate his words, probably without adjusting his heart and learning compassion. Now, he says he approves gay civil union but not same-sex marriage. In fact, Brown supports a constitutional ban on gay marriage. It’s this position, and soooooo many others, that make him very Mel Gibsonian.

But, I digress. I began by saying Scott Brown’s au naturel photo shoot doesn’t bother me. What does is this: if a female candidate had posed nude with an arm across her breasts to hide her nipples and her hand covering her woman machine, can you imagine the storm of criticism that would lightning strike and electrocute her campaign? She would be fried.

If beauty pageant titleholders must relinquish their crowns because someone produces nude photographs or a video of them in various stages of undress, just think what a career-ender this would be for a woman aspiring to any elected office or to be a political appointee.

So much was made of Sarah Palin’s physical qualities when she was sinking John McCain. I recall a pin worn by a man at the Republican National Convention—“Our VP is a Hottie,” or something similar. Parading her pregnant, unwed daughter before the masses made Palin even more popular. So many could identify. But what if someone had found and presented for public consumption nudie pictures of Palin? We know the answer.

Of course, with new airline security soon to be in place—body scanners that expose contours, enclosures, wrinkles, and overhangs, all who fly may be calling the friendly skies the intimate frontier. Is reartier a word? Whatever, the present double standard may soon go the way of older and traditional airport screening. Eliminating gender bias would be collateral progress. But airline safety should not be the basis for ending a sexist code of behavior.

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com

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Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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