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Women Targeted on Website Rating Sex Appeal of British MPs

Women Targeted on Website Rating Sex Appeal of British MPs

Before founding Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg created facemash.com, a website that loaded pictures of a pair of female Harvard students and asked viewers to choose the “hotter” of the two. Recently, a British website went viral by duplicating this idea. But instead of college students, sexymp.co.uk asks viewers to rate the “hotter” Member of Parliament.

 From BBC News:

A Westminster source told Newsbeat that there’s been a buzz among politicians about the site.

He added: “I don’t think people are taking it too seriously. ‘It’s a bit of fun’ seems to be the consensus.”

Steve Brine, Tory MP for Winchester, who’s number eight on the list, tweeted: “The results on sexymp.co.uk released today are causing great amusement in Westminster. Heaven help us all.” 

But when 18 of the 20 “hottest” MPs listed on the site are women, we have to wonder whether this newest viral internet indulgence should be taken more seriously than a simple amusement.

It happens in the U.S., too

The sexualization of politicians is nothing new. In the 2008 U.S. election, images of Hillary Clinton’s cleavage and Sarah Palin’s photoshopped bikini body were all over the media.

But while female politicians receive the majority of this sexual attention, the men are not off the hook. The “Obama girl” video was one of the most popular YouTube videos of 2007, while images of Obama at the beach will still grace the front-page of many American tabloids. 

Women MPs “rated” far more often than men  

The sexymp website claims to gage the attractiveness of all British MPs, and British media has treated it as such, but the reality gages something different: the attractiveness of British female MPs.

Although the website has different sections for male and female Members of Parliament, the “mixed” section (which pools all the results together), shows that women are the focus of the site.

As mentioned, 18 of the 20 “hottest” MPs are women. When we consider that women make up only 22 percent of the British parliament, this disparity becomes even more striking.

More serious than “a bit of fun?”

Clearly, female MPs are being rated — and, therefore, being sexualized — far more often than their male counterparts. In a country where women are still seriously underrepresented in government, perhaps this viral phenomenon should be regarded as more than just “a bit of fun.”

 

Related Stories:

Half of Women Avoid Sex Because of Their Weight

Male Leader of Female Sex Offender Ring Sentenced in Britain

Houston Press Lists Top 10 “Hottest” Sex Offenders

 

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Photo credit: Caroline Kitchener

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26 comments

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11:32AM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

Its testostrone's fault we were programed this way by evolution.

7:43PM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

very silly. thanks.

8:58AM PDT on Jun 2, 2011

Harmless bit of fun. Let's lighten up a little. Even the MPs was laughing about it.

3:46AM PDT on Jun 2, 2011

Ok let's be logical. This is by no means something that only politiciennes face. Every celebrity is subject to this kind of thing. And the fact that the women on the site rank higher than the men is simply attributed to the fact that more men will participate in these kind of votes on these kinds of sites than women will. I live in South Africa, where the race card is played as soon as there is any offense between white and black people. The gender card is the same immature outlook. Don't victimise yourself.

10:23PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

As long as it has all the male MPs also- if not its is sexist crap!

2:30PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

I would also condemn this story for encouraging these behaviours by showing pictures of the 'victims' with their 'ranking'. SHAME on you!

2:28PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

This objectification of women is an attempt to dismiss and demean women in politics and should not be considered a laughing matter.

1:57PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

Um ... we have the same thing that goes on regularly on certain popular magazines and no I'm not talking about porn.

1:35PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

Why don't we grow up and just respect each other and each other privacy.

1:34PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

This is sooo funny that I want to smack whoever came up with that idea.
It's already tough enough being a gal on this sorry rock, but if one has to put up with blokes with brains stuck in their teen years, it's a waste of time. The idea that women have to be pretty to be worth anything is despicable.

Thanks for the post.

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