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Op-ed: Kim Davis Deserves Criticism But Not for Her Looks

Op-ed: Kim Davis Deserves Criticism But Not for Her Looks

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Social media is putting Kentucky clerk Kim Davis on trial for more than refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

It's pretty much a given that when a woman is disliked, for whatever reason, the first thing people do is attack her appearance. Plenty of people supporting marriage equality are not above this.

In a recent tweet, hashtags #KimDavis and #SeaHag can be seen above a picture of the female county clerk who committed the sin of not really caring about looking gorgeous at her boring desk job.

The man who posted the comment, meanwhile, is wearing a white T-shirt in what appears to be a bedroom mirror selfie. His tweet was gentle compared to this one:

Another man, who apparently has no qualms about telling women how they are supposed to look, tweeted:

I'm not condoning Kim Davis's refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her resistance is clearly homophobic and illegal, and she should be punished. But when you have hundreds of commenters on Twitter bashing a woman over her appearance, all ostensibly in defense of marriage equality, we have a problem. Namely, that problem is male privilege.

We do not regularly see Twitter users bashing the way men look, even if they don't like them. But when it comes to attacking women, Twitter is a free-for-all, and that's just as true for LGBT supporters as it is for, say, Donald Trump.

"How much money is the extremely unattractive (both inside and out) Arianna Huffington paying her poor ex-hubby for the use of his name?" he wrote in a tweet disparaging the female chair, president, and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group.

And before anyone goes accusing me of hating on men, let me make it clear that this is something women also partake in.

Because "partners, clothes, hair and accessories" are all we women care about. Also obnoxious is the persistent notion that everyone should be taking fashion advice from gays, since all of them must be naturals at such a superficial pursuit.

Sexism is a real problem for women and the LGBT community as a whole. Yet there are some supporters who feel it's OK to attack a woman's appearance and not just her actions, as if they somehow go hand in hand.

A simple notion that remains all too difficult for many, even LGBT supporters, to understand.

Juliecomptonx100JULIE COMPTON is a journalist in Brooklyn, N.Y. Follow her @julieallmighty.

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