Attractive women shouldn’t have opinions
DID you know it has been scientifically proven that a woman's intelligence is directly linked to her breast size?
Not only that, but peer-reviewed study after study has found that a female's ability to comment on political or social issues is solely determined by how good she looks in a swimsuit.
Neither of these things is true, of course - not that you'd know it from the way in which much of our society still reacts to an attractive woman daring to express an opinion on anything more taxing than how best to apply a fake tan.
Just ask Pamela Anderson, who was effectively told to get back into her box by no less than the Prime Minister of the country after she recently called on him to ensure WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange safe passage to Australia.
Asked to respond to the former Baywatch star's remarks during a radio interview, Scott Morrison joked: "I've had plenty of mates have asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort the issue out... with Pamela Anderson."
Ha. Ha. Ha.
I mean come on, Pammie - you're a woman who came to fame courtesy of being filmed in slow-mo while running across a beach clad in a red swimsuit.
And sure that was more than 25 years ago, and sure you have long since reinvented yourself as a full-time activist for various causes such as animal rights and environmentalism, but don't go getting ideas above your station, lady.
You've no need to be worrying your pretty little head about serious issues - leave that to the blokes. Remember: a blonde's place is in the salon, not the senate!
Not surprisingly, Anderson was a bit miffed at the PM's response and accused him of trivialising a serious issue "with smutty, unnecessary comments."
In a subsequent appearance on The Sunday Project, Anderson conceded "my career was what it was and it also got me into a lot of doors" but maintained that was no reason for her argument to be dismissed.
"It's typical of a politician, it's very Trumpian actually to use a sexist remark to divert from the actual issue," she said, drawing an unfavourable comparison between the current Australian PM and current US President.
"So it wasn't shocking, just disappointing."
Now I'm no fan of Julian Assange - indeed, I have long been one of his most outspoken critics, and have argued on this site on several occasions why he should have long ago given the Swedish women who made rape and molestation allegations against him their day in court.
Yet while I personally believe there are more deserving causes for Anderson to devote her energy to than a self-pitying martyr such as Assange, it would have been more prime ministerial of Morrison to address the actual issue rather than play up to the patronising assumption that a former pin-up's contribution can be measured only by her cup size.
But the ScoMo v Slow-Mo spat is hardly the first time a woman famed for her ability to rock a swimsuit has been ridiculed for daring to be politically engaged.
Over the weekend model Emily Ratajkowski made headlines around the world after addressing for the first time the criticism that was levelled against her when she took part in a protest Washington, D.C against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.
Even though she was arrested, it was neither the arrest nor the protest that saw her roundly condemned at the time - it was what her clothing that caused a global outcry.
"I never expected anyone to talk about why I wasn't wearing a bra under my tank top," Ratajkowski told Stellar.
"It was 32 degrees, I was marching through D.C. in jeans; my outfit seemed completely normal to me. And I was there making a political point. Why would people focus on what I was wearing?"
Why indeed? And yet as one of the most beautiful women in the world, with a knack for wearing a bikini so teeny it seemingly defies the laws of physics (not to mention of biology), Ratajkowski is an easy target for those eager to dismiss the nation she might also be in possession of a brain.
It was this same tired old argument that reared its head after the 27-year-old was named GQ International Woman of the Year upon attending the Men of the Year Awards in Sydney earlier this month.
Critics included many women smart enough to know better, including the usually astute Emma Alberici.
"How is this a thing & what has she done of such note to warrant international acclaim?" the ABC correspondent complained on Twitter. "I fear this undermines my efforts to convince my daughters and my son that you should never judge someone on how they look."
And yet in assuming Ratajkowski's IQ was even skimpier than her bikini, judging someone based on how they look was exactly what Alberici was doing herself.
If it's not OK to diminish someone's value because they are unattractive (and just for the record, it most definitely is not OK) then it's equally not OK to diminish their value just because they are attractive.
Judging the intellect of anyone - and let's be honest, most of the time we're really talking about women - on the basis of their physical appearance is both lazy and insulting.
A woman's capacity to contribute to public debate, or lobby for a political cause, cannot be measured by her bust size.
Mercifully a man's right to be taken seriously is never evaluated on the basis of how good - or not - he looks in a swimsuit. It's time for the same right to be extended to women.
Sarrah Le Marquand is the editor-in-chief of Stellar magazine and the founding editor of RendezView.