You know why Ta-Nehisi Coates is such a mensch? Read the comments here, and then read this. Bascially, people were making comments on how attractive Joan Mullholland was (a (white) civil rights campaigner who took part in sit-ins at segregated lunch counters.) Which, yeah, she's very attractive. Stalwart commenter Sara_l_r objected, strongly, and got some push back. Here's Coates in his apology.
If you don't see those as reductionist, I'd ask you to remember that you're a man and are not necessarily in a position to understand why those comments feel reductionist.
From what I do know, I think I can say this. 1.) To be constantly evaluated on your physical appearance must represent a serious weight. 2.) It can't be fun to come on to one of your favorite blogs (if I may be so bold) and be reminded that such evaluating is, indeed, a constant. It really doesn't matter how intellectual and artful the execution. To the extent that I encouraged, was blind to, or contributed to that dynamic, I was wrong.
Male blogger gets called out in a way he doesn't like, blogger goes and talks to a woman whose judgment he trusts, and he admits he made a mistake. On the internet. Yeah, that internet. How great is that? I submit that it is awesome.