Erotic capital

Perhaps the best example of a speaker destroying the assumptions of the audience. Catherine Hakim speaks about ‘erotic capital’, the observable fact that people with good social skills combined with pleasing appearance do better in the job market than those who ignore looks and personal presentation.(Also, obviously, that accidentally good looking people do very well too.) Hakim’s five minute opener was met with a great, silent audience sulk – not even polite applause to cap the end of her bit, until I started clapping 1.5 seconds into the silence. What was funny about this session was the fact that Doon Mackichan (of The Day Today and Smack The Pony fame) pictured far left, argued the uncontroversial line that feminism recognises inner qualities and that paying attention to looks is a patriarchal trap and got significantly more applause than Hakim, pictured to the left of Peter Tatchell. This was funny because the 15% more applause she got is the same percentage advantage enjoyed by Hakim’s beautiful people, and do you notice anything? The looking very good for her age Doon is wearing a summer dress exposing attractive, honeyed limbs whereas the older Hakim is necessarily more conservatively dressed with less flesh on show. What a loser (or winner, depending on how you look at it).

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