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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 19, 2012/ 5 Kislev 5773

The 'frump factor' double standard descends with a vengeance

By Meghan Daum



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) This month was a historic one for women. Eighteen women won or reclaimed Senate seats, bringing the number of women in that body to 20. Nearly 80 women now occupy the House. New Hampshire became the first state to elect a female governor and an all-women congressional delegation.

But wait: What's that sound of tires screeching to a halt? What's that feeling of being yanked aside by the elbow and told, "Not so fast, missy."

It's that timeless behemoth known as the double standard, that ever-present reminder that no matter how many elected offices women hold or Cabinet positions they fill, no matter how many Fortune 500 companies they run, there's no amount of success that can't be undone by the ultimate mistake: a failure to comply with the strict set of culturally sanctioned standards of attractiveness. Anything less is tantamount to "letting yourself go," which in turn is tantamount to saying you don't want the job.

Amid the celebration of all those female victories, that double standard appointed a new chief representative — outrageously for her and sadly for the rest of us: Holly Petraeus.

The 57-year-old wife of 60-year-old former CIA Director David H. Petraeus, who resigned after confessing to an affair with his 40-year-old, low-body-fat biographer, has now joined the ranks of high-profile wronged women: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jenny Sanford (former wife of South Carolina governor and noted Appalachian Trail hiker Mark Sanford) and Huma Abedin (wife of New York representative and raunchy tweeter Anthony Weiner) among them.

Some of the media have shown the requisite respect, emphasizing Holly Petraeus' military pedigree, her education, her lobbying on behalf of soldiers' families and her position in the Obama administration. But also on display are the equally requisite "in happier times" photos. And unlike the willowy Sanford, the exotic Abedin or the formidable, polished Clinton, Petraeus has been revealed to be an utterly ordinary looking middle-aged woman.

Showing no signs of slavery to high fashion, power yoga, Botox or hair dye, she can be seen as an unlikely partner for a staggeringly accomplished man famous for his obsession with physical fitness. The chattersphere has been particularly harsh, invoking the word "granny" and suggesting that the general can't be blamed for his actions.

"I'd have done the same thing," said a commenter on CNN's website. A (female) reader of the Huffington Post offered that Holly Petraeus' "entire demeanor, her hair, no makeup, her frumpy clothes, seem to scream to her husband and others I don't care!"

For better or worse, most women in high places know that meeting a physical standard is part of the deal. Established political figures such as Nancy Pelosi, Michele Bachmann, Condoleezza Rice, Dianne Feinstein and Olympia Snowe certainly don't trade on their glamour, but they're complicit with the demand that they look the part. And if that means a lot of coiffing, dieting or even nipping and tucking that their male counterparts can skip, well, it's not perceived as an injustice as much as the cost of doing business.

That's why the spotlight into which Holly Petraeus has been thrown casts such a haunting glow. As much as the main narrative of this scandal belongs to her husband and his mistress, her story contains an even more cautionary tale. If it's no longer shocking that a powerful man would have an affair with a younger, worshipful woman, it is a little shocking that the wife of that powerful man, nerdish as he is, would thwart the beauty industrial complex quite so vigorously.

It would be foolish, of course, to suggest that the general would have been able control himself if only his wife agreed to a makeover. After all, assiduous gym rats with nary a gray hair get cheated on; newlyweds get cheated on; all kinds of women — and men — are betrayed by all kinds of spouses. But to see this particular wife betrayed not just by her husband but by hoary stereotype and default cattiness is to be reminded just how far we are from true gender equality.

The era of old, crotchety white male dominance may be coming to an end. But it won't matter much until the women that replace them are allowed to get old and crotchety too. Judging by the amount of Botox on the Hill, that's not happening any time soon.

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Meghan Daum is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.


© 2012,the Los Angeles Times

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