Friday, December 28, 2012

Why the Word "Hot" Has to Go

I read Kathleen Parker's latest column in my local newspaper this morning and she definitely hit a nerve. She was writing about some of her personal pet peeves. And while her discussion of young people's inability to make a statement (as opposed to a question) left me laughing: “So, I ran into Jeff? And he was, like, wow, you cut your hair? And I was, like, I know, right?, her discussion of the word "hot" got my blood pressure up because I completely agree and I bristle every time I hear someone refer to someone of the opposite sex as "hot."

Parker writes: 
Can we please shelve this awful word as used by adults to refer to others? What happened to “attractive” or “fascinating”? If you’re 18 or younger, I suppose one can be forgiven for recognizing a person of interest in terms of hotness, but nothing is less attractive than adult men and women appraising others as “hot” (or not) at a certain age, which should be about the time one is old enough to vote. 

Hotness, as I understand it, essentially refers to another’s worthiness to bed. This is not, in the world I prefer to live in, subject matter for dinner conversation. 

While I have heard some women refer to a man as "hot," I have found that this is mainly a male phenomenon. I will give these men the benefit of the doubt. I don't think that they are trying to channel their inner neanderthal. Rather, they see it as meaning "attractive." At least that is what I am hoping. I know men are visual creatures and their attention is easily captured by a pretty face and/or good figure. God made them this way to make sure the species continued.

Yet I, and I think most women, want to be considered attractive for more than our physical appearance and a man's lust for us. So, men, take note - being called "hot" is insulting - it makes us nothing more than a sex object. If you are going to refer to us as "hot," it had better be because it is the middle of a heat wave in summer. Then the statement, "Wow, you look really hot" as sweat is dripping down our backs might be appropriate.

Other than that, please remove the word "hot" as a descriptive word about women from your vocabulary. If you feel the need to comment on a woman's physical appearance, describe her as "beautiful" or "attractive" or "someone I'd like to get to know better." Please see us as more than just an object of your lust and treat us with the respect we deserve.

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