More misogyny from the White House
The Short Version
#DressLikeAWoman started trending overnight as word of an unofficial White House dress code that is more strict for women than men began to circulate. Women have been posting pictures of themselves in various styles to emphasize that there is no wrong way for a woman to dress.
Wait, Haven’t We Been Here Before?
Yes, yes we have. We’ve covered the topic of what is appropriate for women to wear no fewer than three times in just the past year:
- Ciara & The Double Standard was posted almost exactly a year ago after a number of closed-minded people made too big a deal over the evening gown Ciara wore while singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
- Modesty Doesn’t Become You got a lot of attention nine months ago when Kat ultimately left a job because someone didn’t like the way she dresses.
- Appropriate Fashion Is Whatever You Want was our post last September in response to France attempting to dictate what women wear on the beach.
So yeah, we’ve covered this general topic before. The fact that we have reason to discuss it again is rather disturbing.
What’s The Big Deal This Time?
This time around, the issue is an apparent double-standard in the unofficial White House dress code. We have to say “unofficial” because, officially, the White House doesn’t actually have a dress code. However, as presidents inevitably come and go, each one sets a different tone for how people dress.
For example, Jimmy Carter wore blue jeans in the oval office, something that really upset a lot of people at the time. So much so, that when Ronald Reagan became president he immediately reversed the trend and even required male reporters to wear ties inside the White House. President Clinton was, again, more relaxed, and, again, President Bush made things a bit more formal. Most recently, President Obama was known to not wear a jacket in the Oval Office and aides often came to meetings wearing t-shirts and jeans. So, it’s not the least bit surprising that as we return to largely Republican leadership fashion preferences run a more formal direction.
What got everyone up in arms, though, was an article from former Politico writer Mike Allen in his new newsletter Axios. Citing an anonymous source (which we consider questionable at all times), Mr. Allen wrote:
Trump likes the women who work for him “to dress like women,” says a source who worked on Trump’s campaign. “Even if you’re in jeans, you need to look neat and orderly.” We hear that women who worked in Trump’s campaign field office—folks who spend more time knocking on doors than attending glitzy events—felt pressure to wear dresses to impress Trump.”
That was all it took for women everywhere, especially those who already dislike the president and his policies, to take offense and start asking, “How is a woman supposed to dress?” then answering the question themselves with pictures.
While the article has no actual authoritative quote from the president or anyone on his staff, such a dress code requirement from this White House isn’t unbelievable. After all, this is the same man who, while on the campaign trail, rated women on a scale of 1 to 10 and insulting women who criticized him in any way. His misogynistic tendencies are already well known and well documented.
By questioning the White House dress code, however, we are at the same time questioning all dress codes where more emphasis is placed on how women dress over men’s styling. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence among businesses, especially those in more traditional industries such as banking and finance. The president is far from being the only one with antiquated ideas of how a woman should dress.
Does that give the White House a pass, though? Absolutely not. If anything, the White House should be the one setting an example of inclusion and self-definition.
Oh, wait, this White House doesn’t understand those words, does it?
In the end, this is an issue the entire business community needs to address, not just the White House. That we cannot depend on the White House to show any leadership on the matter is just sad.
Answering The Question
Thousands of women have already posted their pictures on twitter with the hashtag, #DressLikeAWoman. Here are some of our favoriates so far:
— camila caceres (@Camila13Caceres) February 4, 2017
— Laura Baudis (@lbaudis) February 4, 2017
— Karen Sue Castle (@KareCastle) February 4, 2017
— WheezySmurf (@snoopmary) February 4, 2017
— Millie (@millieryb) February 4, 2017
— NubianOne (@NubiaOneSpeaks) February 4, 2017
— HoverClosetoInsanity (@HoveringClose) February 4, 2017
— Samantha Oester (@samoester) February 4, 2017
— Becky Aaronson (@RunBeRun) February 4, 2017
Whatever a woman chooses to wear is dressing like a woman. Any questions?