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April 24 2008

Summer Glau Amongst FHMs "100 Sexiest Women". Only Whedon alum on there this year as far as I can see.

Sarah is in at #32, actually. But I'm having trouble finding Summer :)
I believe (which lists SMG at 32) is the UK FHM, while fhmonline is the USA version. Or not.

[ edited by chazman on 2008-04-24 12:11 ]
Kate Bosworth is at no. 32. I wonder if I'm seeing the UK version and you're seeing the US one.
There's a lot of commonality across lists but FWIW, there're more names i've never heard of on the list with SMG at no. 32 so I reckon you're right Simon and that's the US FHM list.

(dunno who has better taste - we have Posh one place lower but the Yanks have the very lovely Rachel McAdams much higher. I think the cousins have it in this instance ;)
I think these lists of "sexist women" are annoying. Do they really have to rank these women like pieces of meat byproduct?
We've had plenty of "sexiest men" lists too, presumably those are also offensive to you xerox ?

If the mods decided to not link to either sorts of list it'd be fine with me though, so long as there's balance.
These lists don't bother me. I mean, if Whedonesque were just a bunch of lists, I wouldn't come here, but the lists are just part of the entertainment landscape. Being sexy is part of what makes people entertaining to watch. And I haven't noticed any serious gender disparities.

ETA: but the link doesn't work for me

[ edited by jcs on 2008-04-24 15:14 ]
I tend to agree with Xerox. A certain kind of magazine (and there are several to chose from) promotes very specific attitudes towards women. It’s about context and a history of sexism and inequality that is absolutely irrefutable. For me, the fact that “sexiest men” lists also exist does not really excuse or justify it.

Having said that, we all have our own ideas about who is “sexy” or beautiful and what that actually means to us. For me, and I suspect most people, it is not just about “looks”. And as Saje says, it’s all about balance.
So "TV Guide's 100 Sexiest Women" would be OK (because "TV Guide" doesn't objectify women) ? So surely the list itself isn't objectifying, just the magazine ? Is it that you don't want to give the hits to FHM ? That I could understand I guess.

(by "balance" I meant that if making lists of sexiest women is treating women like meat then surely making lists of sexiest men does the same ? Struggling to see the distinction - or is it OK to objectify men because there's little or no history of doing so and so - for now at least - less actual damage is caused as a result ?)
So "TV Guide's 100 Sexiest Women" would be OK (because "TV Guide" doesn't objectify women)?

No, it most certainly would not.

I am not attempting to be argumentative, but my personal opinion is that the history of (and ongoing) sexism and inequality towards women cannot be simply ignored when considering such lists.

Yes, it can be argued that a "sexiest men" list does the same thing, but does it really? Men do not as a rule suffer the horrendous things women are still frequently subjected to.

I am not trying to say that lists like this are the biggest obstacle to true equality or that we should become too heated and obsessive about what they are and what they represent, I am simply saying I am not fond of them in general.
Maybe neither kind of list does anything horrible but that thinking makes it so?
I am not clear...

Are you saying thinking sexism and inequality exists in itself creates sexism and inequality? Or are you saying that thinking an entirely harmless list is bad makes it become bad?

The latter is undeniably possible. But then the argument becomes whether or not the list is actually harmless in the first place. This is one of those debates that can go round and round forever without any reaching any agreement or middle ground.

My opinions are fairly entrenched on the subject, but I fear I am pulling the thread off topic somewhat.
I fear I am pulling the thread off topic somewhat.

Oh, I don't know about that. I think a discussion of the nature of these lists is a lot more interesting than a discussion about who's in them. :)
Exactly. Who's in them is just a question of the 100 sexiest women that people thought of when they compiled this list, it's faddish. What the lists actually signify was true 25 years ago and will be true in another 25 - it's sort of a fashion versus style thing ;).

Yeah, that's cool alien lanes (most of those questions were genuine questions but reading back I can see how they might come across as rhetorical).

Personally, as women become less prejudiced against, I think it's going to become increasingly important not to separate men and women on the basis of what's happened historically (right now we can probably still get away with it - "men can take it" - but it's a very bad precedent to set IMO, it'd be like allowing some enslavement of white folk by black folk after abolition ;). To me, if lists like that objectify women then lists like that objectify men so we either have both or neither, saying one's out of order and one's OK seems to be asking for trouble down the line.

(my own feeling is that in and of themselves they don't objectify but I can see how the context might)
Objectification bothers me when it's out of context (and it certainly happens more to women than men). You know, when someone brings up how the woman looks when it has nothing to do with what's happening at the moment.
For example: watching female news reporter/athlete, etc. Person watching (because both men & women objectify women) starts talking about how ugly she is. Or a woman is involved in a serious conversation & is interrupted by an irrelevant comment about how good-looking she is.

But these lists are all about objectification (of either sex), so they seem pretty harmless to me. I mean, everybody objectifies (what girl never participated in listing all of the cutest guys at school?)--we just need to know better than to judge people based on our objectification of them.
Trouble is what's your definition of annoying? For example I might find two mentions of Obama on the front page yesterday annoying cause I'm a Clinton or McCain supporter.

But I will say if it was "100 sexiest birds I'd shag" list, it would be more than likely pulled.
"Crackers ! And the 100 Women That for the Eating of Them in Bed, No Kicking Out Would Occur".
"100 Women That Are About as Attractive as That Woman you Fancy on the Bus Except More Famous !"
"100 Women That Conform To Western Cultural Stereotypes of Attractiveness !"
"100 Women of Whom Very Few Were Below the Age of Consent When You First Fancied Them !"
100 sexiest birds I'd shag

So is Simon really Simon Powers: International Webmaster of Mystery?
"Summer Glau and 99 other attractive women"
99 men attractive by Western standards who are not George Clooney plus George Clooney!
"100 Sexiest People who happen to have something to promote over the next couple of months"
"100 People We've Heard Of Who You May Also Have Heard Of And Would Perhaps Like To See Pictures Of"

(or the proper version, 100 People of whom we've heard and of whom you may also have heard and of whom you might also perhaps like to see pictures)

(thread ridiculously funny)

You know how awesome I think it would be if I actually saw one of these lists entitled "100 Women That Conform To Western Cultural Stereotypes of Attractiveness?" So awesome.
I agree with crazygolfa. These people were probably picked because they have/had/or will have something going on soon, just past, yadda yadda. Lists like these seem, IMO, to remind the public who's currently in the spot light and what to look forward to, be reminded of, blah blah blah.

Seesh, and I got warned on the Obama thread. Seems like this water is murkier than politics.

I wonder if Dollhouse is still filming.
I am not trying to say that lists like this are the biggest obstacle to true equality or that we should become too heated and obsessive about what they are and what they represent, I am simply saying I am not fond of them in general.
Then why did you click on the link to this post?
I think it's cool that Summer is on the list despite not having a disproportionately large set of breasts. Not that she's not beautiful in her own right, but I'm pleasantly surprised that she makes the list.

How did she get on that list? Joss: WitW, Firefly, Serenity. Sure, there was two guest appearances and one minor movie appearance (according to IMDB) between Firefly and Serenity, but she's there because Joss gave her a chance to shine, demonstrating how her years of dance training combined with her seemingly natural acting skills made her a compelling actress.

She's not there because she had breast implants. She's there because Joss casts strong women and she wowed the world. The fact that some stupid shallow men's magazine recognizes her beauty can't take away from the fact that she's awesome.
Then why did you click on the link to this post?

I didn’t – and nothing in my previous posts suggests otherwise, assuming you mean the link itself.

I simply took a look at the comments posted here at Whedonesque out of idle curiosity and seeing the post by xerox I thought I would post to say that I agreed with the sentiment. If, of course, you are asking why I clicked to look at the comments, surely that takes us down the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” path?

I don’t need to see the new FHM list to know what it is like or what the motivation behind it is – just as I don’t actually need to see, for example, with my own eyes, acts of racism in action to know that is bad. I am not, by the way, trying to say a list like this should be compared to racism as an ideology, although sexism is certainly as bad as racism (I think).
Well, there are two things here. Firstly, there are an awful lot of polls and lists that pop up on Whedonesque, when we're really just playing into the websites' hands because they're just after more visitors. It doesn't add value to us, in my opinion (don't want to start an argument on that).

Secondly, about this type of list in particular:

It really bothers me that people can say, "person x is more attractive than person y who is more attractive than this other person". Beauty is a wonderful thing, people are attractive, and to pretend otherwise is stupid. It's not objectifying women to recognise that a particular woman is sexy. The same goes for men, of course. What I find absurd is how you can make a list like this. It offends me that somebody is ranking these women in order of attractiveness; an order, no less, that is entirely arbitrary and down to personal tastes.

WTF is wrong with people.

It reminds me of childish school kids who'd make a list of people and score them out of 10. It bothered me then as much as it does now.


alien lanes, I think it's fair to say they're both as bad as each other, and as a people I think we've evolved far beyond the point where we should tolerate either.
I just looked back at xerox's much-referenced comment and realized it says "sexist women." That's funny!
[not making fun--my life is an endless string of typos--I'm just amused by the idea of the "100 most sexist women" list.]
I don't see anything wrong with a list like this. If it's not your cup of tea, fine. Frankly, I think acting as though these lists are somehow harmful just trivializes real gender issues such as equal pay and domestic violence.
MattK: It's not objectifying women to recognise that a particular woman is sexy.

But it is objectifying women to recognise that a particular woman is sexier than another particular woman in a particular person or set of persons arbitrary opinion ? Don't we all do that when we decide we fancy one person and not another ?

We link to a slew of lists that make entirely arbitrary judgements and rank all sorts of things in order of some preference. Most of the time people just point out that they'd order them differently or that "these things are all arbitrary anyway" and get on with it. We've also linked to lists which specifically rank men in order of sexiness (Nathan being ranked above Matt Daaaamonnn was the cause of some celebration a while back - issue wasn't taken then IIRC).
Frankly, I think acting as though these lists are somehow harmful just trivializes real gender issues such as equal pay and domestic violence.

Obviously there's no comparison between the two, and I wouldn't want to trivialise the important things. But, honestly, I don't think you can stop caring about something just because there's a bigger issue out there. I think you could say that about anything, and then we'd be getting nowhere. ("But why do you care about [whatever], when there are people dying out there!")

I'd also take the stance that anything other than zero tolerance for things like sexism is just making it easier for people to carry on. Whether this list qualifies as that is open to debate, of course. Today I had to listen to two friends, otherwise good people (I have no doubt that they don't actually believe what they're saying), make terrible jokes about things like feminism and domestic violence. Maybe I just don't have a sense of humour, I'm not sure. A small dose of irreverence is good, after all.

Regardless, I still find this crude and immature.

But it is objectifying women to recognise that a particular woman is sexier than another particular woman in a particular person or set of persons arbitrary opinion ? Don't we all do that when we decide we fancy one person and not another ?

I see your point, but I think perhaps the key difference there is that there's a difference between an instinctual feeling that happens within yourself, rather than being analytical about it and publishing it to the world on a massive scale...

I'm going to take a step back from this thread now, I'm a little wary I'm being too confrontational about all this. Don't want to spoil anyone's karma, after all. :)
I'd also take the stance that anything other than zero tolerance for things like sexism is just making it easier for people to carry on. Whether this list qualifies as that is open to debate, of course.
I guess I don't see that it is. People talk about "objectification of women" like it's akin to greenhouse gases. 'Don't contribute to the cloud of "objectification" floating around the planet!' To me, sexism is about specific injustices.
I am at a loss to understand how expressing a dislike of lists of the kind being discussed here would in any way trivialise issues such as equal pay and domestic violence. For the record, I do not think those issues are trivial, anything but.

I consider the issue of inequality to be an extremely serious one. I think treating women as objects is harmful. I have very strong opinions about this issue. I also have very strong opinions about a number of other issues – one does not in any way trivialise the other.
To me, sexism is about specific injustices.

True, it is about specific injustices but i'd say most or all of those injustices arise because of an attitude of mind and that is non-specific and intangible. You can blow up all the bridges you like but without the "hearts and minds", wars are tough to win. Course, there's an argument that you change the behaviour and the hearts and minds eventually follow, and that's got merit too.

Way I see it, a sexist person could look at this list one way but the list doesn't make it necessary to look at it that way in and of itself so I don't think it's objectifying (course, like all these lists it's completely ridiculous - what does it even mean to say someone is "twenty five" sexier than someone else ? It's like saying "Star Wars" is "ten better" than "2001", meaningless - I just don't think it's inherently sexist). Reckon we may have established that mileage varies though ;).

Don't want to spoil anyone's karma, after all. :)

Shit, we have karma ? I may be in trouble ;-).
sexism is about specific injustices

But if we didn't aggregate things like this, it would be much harder to declare them present in as many contexts.

Lists like this are completely harmless. There is no more offense in saying A is sexier than B than there is in saying brunettes are sexier than blondes -- it is implicit and, forgive me, rather obvious that this is a preference, a subjective judgment, albeit put in objective, declaratory terms because real people don't turn everything into an "I think" or "I feel" statement.
Lists like this make me realize just how much I miss this hot little number - and I know how very subjective sexy is -but of course, I'm also drawn to him for what's he's like on the inside.
Oooh, that's some hot candy there. He's hotter than normal tamales. :) (Feel free to add the I prefer, I like, etc...)
Please. Clem is so much sexier than Gachnar.

I think the discussion above points up a difference between male and female sexuality, and also the tendency of both to get annoyed by the other. Mind you, I might be completely wrong -- note how I make gender assumptions based on usernames and probably my own sexist prose analysis (I think there was a program on the internet some years ago which could analyze with freakish accuracy whether the writer of a piece of prose was male or female) -- but even if I have gotten some sexes wrong, I'm not sure it undercuts the point. (Empathy and all that.)

Men tend to have a competitive attitude towards sexuality. I think. Generally. And women... don't. (?) Also, I think it's usually fair to say that men are more visually cued, whereas women... again with the uncomfortable equivocation... aren't. Yes, it's purest speculation, and undoubtedly wrong in many cases. But it's sort of an old intra-feminist debate, too; the "sex-positives" and the old-school feminists. I'm halfway convinced at this sleepy point in time that any value judgments on looks are necessarily harmful, but I may well change me mind.

I don't know. I just started seeing what I'm typing highlighted like they do when displaying quotes from documents on the evening news. Think it's time for bed.
OK, I've not clicked the link and seen the photos of the pretty ladies, but having seen FHM on the stands, I have a pretty good idea these photos don't depict their subjects in sweat suits sitting on a couch eating pizza.

The thing is, as aimtomisbehave says, men and women do tend to have different ideas on sexy. There's a reason the women in FHM are usually posed in tiny swimsuits or lingerie. And there's a reason Nathan was posed like a gardener in People. Of course, that's just a generalization, as I know a lot of men who are turned off by the photos in FHM, and plenty women who want to see their favorite actor shirtless. all. the. time.

I guess I sit on the fence with this one. I don't see anything wrong with sexy images of either sex. But at the same time, like many here, I find the "ranking" aspect of lists like this rather galling.
"Sexiest Men Lists" are a little different because Men seem to like being ranked. Women in general don't... But there shouldn't be sexiest lists at all. Everyone has different tastes. Labeling different people "sexiest" is unhealthy, not just for the person being labeled but for everyone else. Someone might not find this "sexiest" person very sexy and he or she might feel like there's something wrong with himself or herself because of it...
Oh I don't know about that. I don't find Matthew MacConehy remotely sexy, no matter how many times People says he is. I think there is something wrong with People, not me, heh.

(And I know I butchered the spelling of his name, but I'm posting this from my phone and I don't feel like going through the effort it would take to look up the correct spelling. If I got the spelling so wrong and no one knows who I'm talking about, it's naked bongo guy, hee.)
I used to find Matthew McConaughey sexy- until someone pointed out how freakishly short his arms are.

I personally don't appreciate a magazine dictating 'sexy' to me as it's such a subjective term. I mean, with a makeup artist, hairdresser and stylist, plus a bit of photo-shopping, anyone could look sexy.

Still, it's all publicity for Summer. And she's playing the Hollywood game very well indeed.
How are they dictating "sexy" any more than the (numerous) lists of best TV show we link to are dictating "best" ? We all know going in that it's arbitrary (some people may like freakishly short arms for instance ;).

And men like being ranked ? Yeah, I bet those guys down at 100 (or worse, 101) just love it ;). Like anyone else, surely they like being ranked if they're ranked highly ?

(FWIW BTW and purely in the interests of science you understand ;), I clicked on 10 of the women at random and 8 out of the 10 were photos taken at premieres or other events i.e. just good looking women in their glad rags, not posing or half-naked or particularly airbrushed - though that's one of the things I don't like about FHM and its ilk, it's got to the stage now where the women look like mannequins, almost having a "plastic" sheen. Which, McCarthy/Cattrall aside is, y'know, kinda off-putting ;)
My general dislike of lists like this one, particularly (but not exclusively) when they emanate from certain sources is not influenced by the ranking of women as such, but by the underlying message that is sent out because of the context of what the list is intended to represent. As to men liking to be ranked, I am sure some (possibly many) men like the idea of being ranked first. The same would be the case for some women. Other than that, I am not convinced.

On another note, there is nothing wrong in itself with thinking another person is sexy. We all know what and who we find sexy and why. We will all have our own definition of what ‘sexy’ is and what criteria we use to define it. There is nothing wrong with that. I think the song ‘Ooh La La’ by Goldfrapp is sexy.
Barry or Marvin for me, gotta respect the classics ;).

What is the list intended to represent alien lanes ? Seems to me it represents the top 100 women a subset of FHM readers (i.e. those that could be bothered to vote) find sexy, ranked by number of votes accumulated. It doesn't need to represent anything more IMO. It says nothing about the women as people, it says nothing about their ability as actors (or whatever they're in the public eye for - in some cases of course it's just "being sexy"), hell, it doesn't even say anything about how sexy they "actually" are to the majority of people or even the majority of men (or even, necessarily, the majority of FHM readers).

In exactly the same way that Nathan being voted sexier than Matt Daaammoonnn says nothing about who's the better actor, or who's the better man, or who's better at poker or who could take who in a fight, or anything else except who, in an arbitrary subset of people's arbitrary opinions, is sexier. Or the way that 'Serenity' being voted higher than 'Star Wars' in a poll of best sci-fi films says nothing about either film's relative merits. Or ... and so on ... ;).

(in fairness though, depending on how the poll was executed, it may be implicitly saying a certain set of attributes constitute "sexy" just by who it allows you to vote for. Just thought of that and it might, in retrospect, be what missb meant above about "dictating" so I sit corrected on that if so ;)
What is the list intended to represent alien lanes?

I think a publication like FHM speaks for itself.

Some people find magazines like this offensive, others don't. I don't like them. Some people think there is an issue with lists like this, others don't. Again, I don't like them very much. I would not compare a list of “sexiest women” to, to use the example given, a list of “best sci-fi films”. I don’t think they send out the same message at all.

I think I have already posted too many messages on this topic, but it is one I have quite strong opinions about. I have probably bludgeoned them into the ground by this point.

Just because I probably have not stated it as yet, I also think lists of “sexiest men” are daft, although I don’t think the two can really be compared, given the history of constant and often brutal repression of women and the continuing inequality that is still widespread today.
Ah, I thought you were talking about the list separately from FHM alien lanes (you say "particularly (but not exclusively) when they emanate from certain sources" - my emphasis - and upthread pointed out that you'd still have a problem with it even from "TV Guide"). So by "the context of what the list is intended to represent" you basically mean men's magazines like FHM and/or the "culture" they promote ?

I can totally understand people taking issue with the magazine itself, there's no doubt IMO that it's promoting a particular view of women (even if its readers don't see things the same way).
Basically, yes. FHM might as well call its list "The 100 Sexiest Slabs of Female Meat".

I would not be particularly comfortable with the same kind of list appearing in TV Guide or Empire magazine, just as random examples, because I think there are too many issues attached to the message these lists are inclined to deliver - that women are objects - but there is a distinction I would make between these different publications.

I can be very contradictory in my thinking and in my attitudes, so I am mindful of not attempting to adopt a "holier than thou" stance here. I had pictures of Debbie Harry on my wall when I was a teenager. I also had pictures of Robert Plant up there - and, now that I come to think of it, a giant poster of Gandalf. I don't recall if I thought he was sexy or not. I think Alan Alda is very sexy, for a whole variety of different reasons. I also think Clea DuVall is sexy. To me, she is extraordinarily beautiful. She is also a great actress and I like a lot of her work, which is a big part of the reason why I like her.
Just because I probably have not stated it as yet, I also think lists of “sexiest men” are daft, although I don’t think the two can really be compared, given the history of constant and often brutal repression of women and the continuing inequality that is still widespread today.
You're assuming there's a link between things like this list and the "brutal repression of women". I don't buy it. Societies where women are the most repressed also tend to be the most prudish.
I am not saying the repression of women is caused by silly little lists like this, but I am saying these lists are (a small) part of the wider picture of inequality that exists throughout the world. I have seen huge strides forward in the country I live in over the past forty years or so. Sexism and misogyny was ripe in the 1970s, just as racism was, and there was no attempt to disguise it. That is not the case any longer, but it does not mean it no longer exists. The discrimination is simply more insidious.

If you think the FHM list is harmless, fine. I am certainly no expert on the subject, but I could write reams and reams about inequality and repression and the incredible importance of the improvements already seen thanks to the feminist movement – plus the huge obstacles still faced and the enormous variety of issues still to be reconciled. However, it would make not a jot of difference.

I will say again what I said before - I am not trying to say that lists like this are the biggest obstacle to true equality or that we should become too heated and obsessive about what they are and what they represent, I am simply saying I am not fond of them.

I will also say, just so it is clear, that I am a supporter of the feminist movement and as I get older I become increasingly radical in my support.
alien lanes: "I will also say, just so it is clear, that I am a supporter of the feminist movement and as I get older I become increasingly radical in my support."

It is clear, and I'm with you, alien lanes - hey! you were formerly dashboard prophet!

Not only do I become more radical as I get older, I find I haven't become any more sanguine or accepting of the same old arguments that get trotted out in the name of "balance" or "entertainment" or "anti-prudery."

It might be germane to take another look at this wonderful article, which talks about many varieties of the subtler discriminations - you can just replace any of them with sexism, and the language will fit just nicely.

"Attack her vocabulary and choice of words. If she didn't bring it up earlier, attack her for being a hypocrite now, and ignore her if she tries to claim she's been worried about this for a while and/or has brought it up among friends. If she's ever said something that you (or someone else) might find offensive, use that against her as a reason she has no leg to stand on now. Bring up tangentially-related things that could also be found offensive, point out that she's never complained about those (or that no one ever has, if you can conveniently claim later that you had no idea) and again, use it to prove this particular example can't be so bad."

"Whatever you do, don't research. Don't learn about coded sexist language. Do not verse yourself in racist stereotypes. Don't become familiar with the current statistics about violence against women or homosexuals, and be sure to claim that, while there may have been some racism in the past, violence against people of color simply doesn't happen anymore and shouldn't be relevant. Claim to be colorblind (a handy phrase invented in the '70s by anti-affirmative action folks) so that you don't even notice things like the race of a character."
Cool, and on that ad hominem note, I guess the thread's over for me ;).
Megan Fox? I think the voters meant Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Tiny note because I just went and poked around at the list--and I find the Jessica Alba description kind of hilarious:

"Since establishing herself as an article of outstanding natural beauty through performances in Sin City and Into the Blue, the Californian actress disappointed men everywhere when she announced she is pregnant."

The second part is of course just terrible(especially in conjunction with her "last year no. 1" stamp(she's 3 this year)), but my favorite is that they refer to her as an "article" of beauty. It's like they went, "What's objectification? Oh, it's like when they're a thing! That's what we're doing, right? Alright!"

Not trying to win a theoretical war with this, it's just bad writing. But it cracks me up.
QuoterGal, I had not seen this article before. It probably comes as no shock that I like it very much.

Saje, I have to be honest and admit I needed to look up ad hominem to check its meaning. There are big gaps in my education - either the result of a misspent childhood or just because I am generally bone idle.
OT, alien lanes, but I think if you see a word or phrase you don't know and you go and look it up right away, you might not actually qualify as "bone idle." ; >
Or you may just qualify for "bored at work" ;-).

'Ad hominem' might as well mean "end of discussion" to me at least. Once it becomes about implying the opposing viewpoint is a sign of jerkness ("jerkery" ? "jerkosity" ? ;) then reason's clearly taken a back seat. If it's not a situation that's amenable to reason then why would an insult change anyone's mind ?

Anger comes easy to us all, all you need for that are hormones and a pulse. It signifies nothing.
Back at ya, big guy - all you need to do to be ad hominem is to imply that one's point or position might be a result of hormonal activity - a fairly standard step in this particular dance...

; >
The point is, "ad hominem" isn't a position or a point - it's not a counter-argument, it's just an insult.

(and this in itself is one of the main problems with reducing a debate to ad hominem i.e. you leave yourself open to insult in return and lose any moral high-ground you may have started with ;)

As I say, now the debate is over and we're left with two poles to which we gravitate, those on your side QG and those who are jerks because you say they are ;).
I don't think these lists are so much sexist as just shallow and predictable. The people I find sexy never make it onto these lists. I think the real damage is more of the "attractiveness looks like this" type than the "let's ogle at women" type. These are usually women who are already well known for their looks, so I don't see the issue with making an explicit list when they're already all over billboards and so on. If a publication was being really slimey about it and not treating the list members respectfully, that'd be different. It's a men's magazine, so I'm not particularly concerned with this kind of thing. It's all the ads in those magazines that really weirded me out last time I flipped through one of them. The list may say "this actress is hot," which to me may or may not be sexist, since the connotation of that communication is highly context-dependent. But the ads, last time I checked, communicated much more suggestive things about womens' roles in society.
Personally, I think its good to sometimes have a little fun without categorizing, classifying, admonishing or dissecting. Are these lists meaningless fluff? Of course.

If I had a motto, it might be, "Have fun and try not to be offended by the pictures of pretty women or men."

ETA: Sorry, forgot about the men! (Some people like to make lists of pretty men, too.)

[ edited by alexreager on 2008-04-25 20:54 ]
I have absolutely no problem with being perceived as holding an extreme position at one of the poles.

Sometimes the truth lies at one of these outer reaches, and not at some middle point equi-distant from the nether poles. And sometimes the extreme position is needed to shift the whole playing field into a different realm.

(And sometimes I get so abstract I wander - albeit blissfully - away from the heart of the matter...)

Ah, well - 'til the link rolls off the front...
When the link rolls off the front, we will start the spoof lists. Top 10 Morgan Freemans. 20 Sexiest Non-Vampire Demons in BtVS.

The un-sexiest BtVS demon list is... crowded. And a real tribute to makeup artists and the power of well applied goop.
Or, best of both worlds "20 Sexiest Morgan Freemans". It's the house that win built.

('Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' Morgan Freeman would be up there I reckon though i'd also stoutly defend 'Kiss the Girls' Morgan Freeman)

I have absolutely no problem with being perceived as holding an extreme position at one of the poles.

Trouble is, if you're at one pole and you insist on putting anyone that disagrees with you at the other, how you gonna hear each other speak ? Isn't the objective eventually for everyone to be at your end ? Wondering how insulting people achieves that *shrugs* ;).
nether poles

Hahahah! QG said nether poles ;) Sorry, I just don't have the time to tackle the issue that is actually on topic yet again, so I'm going for crass and non-topical.

p.s. - Morgan Freeman is definitely on my list of Top 20 Sexiest Morgan Freemans. As is Morgan Freeman, and one that shocked a lot of people, but I stand by this choice - Morgan Freeman!
Morgan Freeman is definitely on my list of Top 20 Sexiest Morgan Freemans.

Well you say that but I heard Kate Beckinsale was in talks. She's just checking to see if she has the right underwear for the part.
My initial thought is that she probably does.
1. The real Morgan Freeman
2. Our imaginary Whedonesque Morgan Freeman
3. Driving Miss Daisy's Morgan Freeman
4. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Morgan Freeman
5. Cyborg Morgan Freeman of the future sent back in time to avert disaster
6. Zombie Morgan Freeman
Oh, and sexiest non-vampire demons requires some brain-racking. But I think Anyanka is #1 and the demon who tried to kill Xander over the Seal of Danthalzar gets #2 (Xander is rocking the demon-dating world, if you don't factor in the extreme danger and attempts to kill him). D'Hoffryn and Halfrek have gotta be up there too.
Yeah Anya would be up there. I also liked both halves of Cordelia very much and, later on at least, one of them was demon. Also, Skip had a certain something, pre-evil (or rather, during evil but pre-us-knowing).

And that's a lot of Morgan Freemans. I'd even say that was a plethora of Morgan Freemans. No love for 'Wonder Woman' Morgan Freeman though ? He totally rocked those satin tights IMO.
I think imaginary Whedonesque Morgan Freeman includes the Wonder Woman appearance.
Fair point ;). Very flexible performer, imaginary Whedonesque Morgan Freeman, how he's never got an Emmy I just don't know ...
I checked this thread purely because it's over 50 posts, so I knew one of three things had happened:

a) Somebody had bashed season 6
b) Joss had posted something
c) Morgan Freeman had been mentioned

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