JUST PLAIN SEXIST: NY Times Covers Women Candidate’s Clothes Rather Than Their Ideas

One of the most common forms of sexism against female politicians is focusing on their outer appearance rather than their policy positions. The Name It. Change It. Campaign has previously called out outlets such as the Huffington Post for reporting on Hillary Clinton’s hair clip, the length of her hair, whether she should or shouldn’t wear a headband – basically everything but what the Secretary is doing at the State Department.

This damaging trend continued recently with an article in The New York Times dissecting the meaning behind women politicians’ fashion choices. The piece was accompanied by a multimedia slideshow dedicated to duds donned by Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina, among others.

Name It. Change It. uses the standard of reversibility to gauge media equity. Would the Times devote precious column inches to a side-by-side comparison of suits worn by President Obama, House Minority Leader John Boehnor, and Delaware Democratic Senate nominee Chris Coons? Highly doubtful.

As long as women candidates receive more attention for their appearance than they do for their positions, women in every profession will be held back in their careers.  And, at this critical juncture in the election season, media outlets have a responsibility to report to the voters information about candidates that will help them make an informed decision on election day.

Name It. Change It is dedicated to eradicating this type of inequity and putting the focus on women candidates exactly where it should be: on their politics.

O'Donnell At Values Voter Summit

Published by Kate McCarthy on 10/29/2010

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