Hillary Is Subjected to Yet Another Demeaning Article About Her Wardrobe

News & Politics
This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

In July, in one of the lower points for presidential campaign coverage, the Washington Post's fashion writer, Robin Givhan, wrote an odd, 746-word piece about an outfit Hillary Clinton wore on the Senate floor showing a very modest amount of cleavage. "With Clinton, there was the sense that you were catching a surreptitious glimpse at something private," Givhan wrote. "You were intruding -- being a voyeur.... Showing cleavage is a request to be engaged in a particular way."

It was an unusually silly article about a presidential candidate in one of the nation's most important daily newspapers, and it deserved all the ridicule it received.

Today, as Michael Froomkin noted, Givhan was at it again, with a piece titled, "Wearing the Pants: Envisioning a Female Commander-in-Chief." It is -- you guessed it -- an entire piece the A section devoted to the senator's pantsuits.
The mind, so easily distracted by things mauve and lemon yellow, strays from more pressing concerns to ponder the sartorial: How many pantsuits does Hillary Clinton have in her closet? And does she ever wear them in the same combination more than once?
The pantsuit is Clinton's uniform. Hers is a mix-and-match world, a grown-up land of Garanimals: black pants with gray jacket, tan jacket with black pants, tan jacket with tan pants. There are a host of reasons to explain Clinton's attachment to pantsuits. They are comfortable. They can be flattering, although not when the jacket hem aligns with the widest part of the hips (hypothetically speaking, of course). Does she even have hips?
And because Clinton seems to prefer crossing her legs at the ankle -- in the way girls were taught when girls were still sent to finishing school -- there is less likelihood of any embarrassing straight-to-YouTube video.
Women have come a long way from the time when wearing a pair of pants was considered "borrowing from the boys." So it would be highly regressive to suggest that the candidate is using trousers to heighten the perception that she can be as tough as a man. And yet ...
Now, I try not to be a purist when it comes to articles about political trivia. Presidential campaigns are bound to include some coverage of the candidate's personalities, families, interests, etc. Voters care about some of these details when evaluating presidential hopefuls, so it's probably not realistic to expect major media outlets to be all-policy, all-the-time.

Having said that, this piece about Clinton's pantsuits is more than just silly; it's demeaning.

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