As double standards go, it's tough to top the way people judge each other on the basis of their skin color or ethnicity. But the way people judge a woman on the basis of how she looks definitely can give the skin color-ethnicity thing a good run for its money.
I am reminded of that because of the way Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is being judged by far too many people in the punditocracy because she isn't a babe, including a ridiculous (and false) WaPo story stating that unlike most women she doesn't cross her legs when she sits. As others have asked, would Kagan be getting the same treatment if she looked like Kim Cattrall? Of course not.
Somewhat more amazingly, if possible, are some of the reactions to Joan Trumpauer Mulholland (see the post above) to the effect that she was and is being spotlighted because of her beauty. Or as I put it because of the shock value, her forkability and not her courageousness.