If you thought we were past the days of criticizing a woman's intellect because of the opinions she expresses — or inexplicably bringing her looks into a conversation about politics — you'd be wrong.
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, did both in a recent tweet expressing his disdain for actress Natalie Portman. Portman recently decided not to accept an award in Jerusalem because of her opposition to the current leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Morton was put off by her choice and tweeted this:
Natalie Portman’s absurd,uninformed,inaccurate,dangerous views on Israel,while ignoring the antiSemitic,pro-terrorist views/actions of Hamas and Palestinian Authority gives credibility and legitimacy to the ludicrous,false,nonsensical belief that beautiful women aren’t too bright
— Morton Klein (@MortonAKlein7) April 25, 2018
While many don’t agree with Ms. Portman’s opinion on Netanyahu, it is insulting to bring her looks into the discussion. For the record, Portman is no dummy. She's a Harvard-educated, A-list movie star who is entitled to take stands on issues without having her looks dragged into the debate.
Klein doesn't have to agree with her, but he could speak out against her point with respect. Instead, he brought her looks and intellect into the conversation — and neither have a place in a world that should respect and champion women.
Until we can have civil dialogue about issues without bringing unrelated, sexist commentary into the conversation, we have a long way to go. Klein received ample criticism for his approach on social media. Here's hoping he'll stick to the facts and issues next time he disagrees with someone.