Why It's Totally Okay—and Even Necessary—to Comment on the Fashion Choices of Political Figures
When we wrote about what Texas state Senator Wendy Davis wore during her extraordinary 11-hour filibuster that blocked an anti-abortion bill in Texas last week (Erdem dress, hot pink Mizuno sneakers), we expected some backlash. We anticipated that some readers would think that commenting on what Davis wore would detract from her brave actions. Some did. “I know that this is a fashion site, but I DO think you have taken away from Senator Davis's astonishing accomplishment by reducing it to a story about what she wore,” a commenter wrote. “Women are so much more than clothes hangers.” Of course we are. But how we get dressed is part of how we communicate with the world; what we wear says a lot about who we are. So is it not ok then, to comment, to discuss, to analyze, what women politicians and public figures wear? Is it reductive and harmful? Or is the problem that male politicians aren't subject to the same scrutiny?