Who's That Girl?

So, the New York Time does a story (not filed under news or politics, of course, but under "Arts," subcategory "Television) about Rachel Maddow crashing the gates at MSNBC, and the photos chosen to accompany the article are like a Freudian blueprint in fear and hatred of women. This is the photo they chose to top the piece:

That's right. The back of her fucking head.

This is apparently supposed to be humorous or clever—I'm not sure which, since it's neither—as the article starts with: "For clues about who might be next to get a show on MSNBC, viewers need not have looked further than 'Countdown' earlier this month." Maddow is then named immediately, so it's one short-lived mystery—but that's enough, evidently, to justify a picture of the back of her fucking head as the main article image.

The accompanying sidebar images are just as bad:

One shows Maddow in make-up (how wonderfully womany!), one focuses in on her digitized image on a screen while she is blurred in the background, and the third also masks her face as it's an image of her holding up a Keith Olbermann mask. Not one clear shot of her.

Anyone who thinks I'm making a big deal out of nothing, go compare these images to the main image of Chris Matthews that accompanied the New York Times Magazine cover story on him, who, let's remember, is Maddow's colleague. And the sidebar images for that piece are qualitatively different, as they show him in artsy close-up and ddoing his job, not blurred in the background on-set but off-air, or getting his make-up done.

This is the kind of insidious stuff of inequality so ubiquitous that we all nearly completely desensitized to it. If only that meant it didn't matter—but, of course, it's this "little stuff" which serves as the fertile soil in which everything else takes root and whence everything else springs; the "little stuff" like this is the way that the fundamental idea that women are not equal to men is conveyed over and over and over again.

[H/T to Shaker Leyre.]

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