The Babe Theory of Political Movements

A couple years ago, after witnessing yet another National Organization for Women announcement at my school, I noted to a friend, "You know, if the people involved in feminist clubs were attractive, I think more people would listen up. Unfortunately, most of the ‘proactively feminist’ are unattractive."

P.J. O’Rourke, who I find hilarious, coined "the babe theory of political movements" some time ago:

"Best of all, there were hardly any beautiful women at the [Housing Now!] rally. I saw a journalist friend of mine in the Mall, and he and I pursued this line of inquiry as assiduously as our happy private lives allow. Practically every female at the march was a bowser. "We’re not being sexist here," my friend insisted. "It’s not that looks matter per se. It’s just that beautiful women are always on the cutting edge of social trends. Remember how many beautiful women were in the anti-war movement twenty years ago? In the yoga classes fifteen years ago? At the discos ten years ago? On Wall Street five years ago? Where the beautiful women are is where the country is headed," said my friend. "And this," he looked around him, "isn’t it."

The WILLisms blog amusingly looks at this theory in-depth. Here’s the cartoon that says it all:


(Hat tip: Newmark’s Door)

6 comments on “The Babe Theory of Political Movements
  • Because obviously women’s opinions and work have no worth unless they’re beautiful!

    It’s exactly this sort of mindset – disgusting and superficial – that makes such movements and actions necessary.

  • Of course, this theory is absurd. But I do think there’s truth in the idea that we’re not rational beings and if you want people to do something presenting the message with beautiful people matters.

    Unfortunately, it’s not the worth of the opinion that matters alone; the messenger matters, too.

    As the old line goes…beauty and brains means rock stars. Beauty OR brains means you’ll do just fine. Neither beauty nor brains and you’re really screwed!

  • Wow! Sheltered, self-satisfied, *and* chauvinist. You’ll find success in the business world yet.

    Sorry about your evident trouble picking up “babes,” though. They can be such useful objects.

  • “Unfortunately, most of the ‘proactively feminist’ are unattractive.”

    Ben, you’re wrong. Look at Gloria Steinem. Huge leader in the feminist movement. Former playboy bunny.

    I actually think you’re on to something if you mean to say that causes do better when they have attractive spokespeople. The offensive part of your post, though, was the baseless assertion that feminists are unattractive. You (I hope unwittingly) invoked the outdated and idiotic cliche that girls only become feminists because they can’t find a date.

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