Dear readers, you know how strongly I disapprove of women in positions of authority and public responsiblity wearing revealing clothing in public, what a decadent, demoralizing thing I think that is to do, how it shows a total lack of seriousness and uprightness in the Western elites.

Well, that was a build-up to, uh, hmm, well, I really am speechless. I’ll just tell you that when I saw this, I made loud noises of disbelief at my computer screen for about ten seconds.

(I’ve saved the photo at VFR in case the original article is taken offline.) ,

- end of initial entry -

Joseph L. writes:

Oh, my eyes.

Damn it, you have to give your readers more warning than that!

LA replies:

I warned you, I warned you!

Larry G. writes:

I prefer France’s new First Lady.

Brandon F. writes:

Honestly, I made some unintentional sounds when I saw it as well. I was not expecting an old German milkmaid. I agree with Joseph L.

Adele Gereth writes:

Udderly horrible. That dairy bar needs to be closed ASAP.

I think you gave us insufficient warning of the assaultive nature of those visuals. Unfortunately for me, I’m too much of a lady to retaliate by sending you a link to the infamous photo of a very nude, very pregnant Annie Leibovitz. I can always hope, though, that you’ve already seen it and my description is sufficient to trigger your memory (and possibly your gag reflex).

LA replies:

That’s three readers now who have complained of insufficient warning from me.

I did say that this was about a woman in public office wearing revealing clothing, and that it was so de trop that I emitted involuntary sounds of amazement for several seconds when I saw it. How much more warning does a body need?

However, I didn’t want to give too much away, as I didn’t want to deprive people of the experience I had. I had no warning at all. Shrewsbury simply sent me the link with this message:

Badda-bing, badda-boom!

So I had no idea what I about about to see.

Vincent Chiarello writes:

My Traditional Catholic eyes prevented me from studying the photo of Angela Merkel, but, as an academic exercise, may I make a point, as an disinterested observer, of course?

From 1984-88, I served as Press Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo. During that time, it became evident to me that dressing appropriately for the occasion was not a major preoccupation of most Norwegian men or women. It was a well-known secret that the U.S. Marine Security Detachment at the embassy had requested high-powered binoculars whose sole purpose was not to be trained on the stealth Soviet submarines cruisiing in the Kola Peninsula, but across the street when, during the summer, Norsk maidens dressed in a manner such as Chancellor Merkel—or worse—spent their lunch hours sunbathing on the lawn of the King’s residence. My point, then, is that Chancellor Merkel is only continuing with the tradition, found in abundance in Oslo, of dressing inappropriately. In this case, if one may be Christian and charitable, on the misguided advice of her Ambassador.

I do hope that VFR viewers let their sentiments be known by participating in the poll that appeared next to the photo I saw only briefly. I betray no state secrets when I inform your readers that I voted for the line: It’s Unfair that Women Politicians Face Such Scrutiny.

LA replies:

Your Traditional Catholic eyes prevented you from looking at the photo on a web page? What if you had been the Norwegian prime minister sitting at Merkel’s side?

Also, this is from The Local, a German English-language web site:

German government spokesman Thomas Steg said on Monday he had been flooded with questions about the dress and its unprecedented amount of chancellor cleavage.

“That this dress caused such a furore, seemed excessive to the chancellor,” Steg told reporters at a weekly briefing. “She was not distraught as the reporting was quite kind and she received many compliments, but if the world has nothing more important to do than to talk about or report on evening dresses, what can one do?”

The spokesman’s comment makes as much sense as saying,

“Chancellor Merkel exercised her individual freedoms to walk about naked today in central Berlin. Most people had a very positive response. If the world has nothing more important to do than to talk about or report on the way the Chancellor chooses to dress or not dress, what can one do?”

In reality, it takes a certain amount of effort not to keep looking at a woman’s chest when she’s sitting three feet in front of you and half her chest—or, in this case, three quarters of her chest—is exposed. Women of course know this. Why would they dress in such a revealing way, unless to be noticed? But then when people notice, the women—or in this case, the woman’s spokesman—act as though they were being imposed upon. Which by the way is another factor proving women’s lack of suitability for high public office.

(Come on, Mary Jackson, make my day.)

James W. writes:

Nevertheless, it is better to visit Merkel’s chest than Madelene Albright’s legs, and tradition has it that it is not even inappropriate for the former Secretaty of State to inflict them, which she often did.

LA replies:

Agreed on the Medusa-like curse of looking at Albright’s thighs. However, there was no tradition which made it acceptable for an unattractive woman of a certain age with fat legs who occupied the office of secretary of state to wear short skirts that showed her thighs when she sat.

Adela G. writes:

“That this dress caused such a furore, seemed excessive to the chancellor,” Steg told reporters at a weekly briefing.

Talk about uber-disingenuous! The dress didn’t cause any furore, I doubt anyone but the most avid fashionista could even describe it. The fact that the Chancellor’s dugs looked to be in imminent danger of becoming unharnessed at any moment caused the furore. And it was the amount of cleavage on display that was excessive, not the reaction to it.

“She was not distraught as the reporting was quite kind and she received many compliments…”

Oh, so she would have been distraught had the reporting been unkind? How typically female. As to her receiving many compliments, well, now we know she’s not lurking at VFR.

“…but if the world has nothing more important to do than to talk about or report on evening dresses, what can one do?”

For starters, one can appear in public adequately clothed. To put it bluntly, Angela looked like a streetwalker’s idea of soignee. Someone needs to tell her that a woman’s cleavage should provoke thoughts of animal lust, not animal husbandry.

In any case, a woman who is head of her country’s government should not ever be seen in public as sexually provocative in appearance or actions. In displaying her personal pride in her breasts, she forfeited all hope of public dignity. Not much of a trade-off for a world leader.

Paul K. writes:

I feel like I owe President Bush an apology. I thought he was violating Frau Merkel’s dignity with his unwelcome back rub at the G-8 Summit in 2006, but now I realize that such a violation would be impossible.

James W. writes:

On the other hand, perhaps Merkel is making a courageous political statement, daring the Islamic nutters to issue a fatwa on her. Use it or lose it.

Or maybe not. We must hope Hillary doesn’t get any ideas.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 14, 2008 05:10 PM | Send

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