Ah yes, this again.

Melissa Block at NPR says Think Twice Before Telling A Woman To Smile.

After the primaries last Tuesday a cable news guy tweeted at Hillary Clinton: “Smile. You just had a big night.”

Suffice to say, women – were not amused.

“Said no one to a man, ever” tweeted one.

Another offered: “Women LOVE it when you say this.”

And on it went, until comedian Samantha Bee was prompted to launch the hashtag “Smile for Joe,” thereby prompting a slew of women to post selfies as they make like Grumpy Cat: frowning, grimacing, and scowling.

The cable news guy said predictable “lighten up ladies!” type of thing – so why is this so annoying?

Because even women who don’t happen to be running for the highest office in the land are all too familiar with men telling them — not asking them, telling them — to smile.

Maybe it starts with well-intentioned grandparents when you’re a kid. And then graduates to not-so well-intentioned, unsolicited sidewalk advice when you’re older.

And to vitally necessary phrases like “bitchy resting face” because we all know women’s faces are public property at all times.

This kerfuffle over women and smiling? it’s not new territory, though it IS new for a presidential campaign. Back in 1970, the feminist writer Shulamith Firestone proposed her “dream action” for the women’s liberation movement: she called for “a smile boycott” in which, she wrote, “all women would instantly abandon their ‘pleasing’ smiles — henceforth smiling only when something pleased THEM.”

But it didn’t work, and the orders to smile have not stopped. Global warming will have wiped out all mammalian life before that happens.

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