Makin’ Me Blue, Berry
Here’s a little known fact about Texas’ 740 KTRH radio personality Michael Berry, he’s an avid fashionista! Earlier this week, Berry took it upon himself to start a betting pool, encouraging fans and Congressmen alike (props for participating, Rep. Steve Stockman…not.) to guess the color suit Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Tex, would wear to the State of the Union address.
Over here at Name It. Change It., we also had a pool, this one guessing the most sexist thing that could possibly come out of such a serious event. And while we thought it would peak at reducing a respected elected official with a degree from Yale to the color of her dress suit, we were tragically wrong, because Berry’s night was far from over.
Turning to twitter, Berry followed up his oh so relevant critique of Jackson Lee’s clothing with illuminating insights such as “SheJack’s new album is entitled Purple Pain #SOTU.” Real clever nickname, by the way, bet you had to dig deep for that one, eh Berry? And did we mention the photo of McDonald’s character Grimace (the fuzzy purple guy) he posted in regards to Jackson Lee’s purple suit? We didn’t? What a gem!
Michael Berry, you’re the best…the best example of the sexist things being said about the most esteemed and powerful women in this country. Mr. Berry is boiling women in elected office down to the hackneyed clichés of our gender: clothing, physical appearance, hair. This is an age old tool used in separating women from men, to make women appear unintelligent, incapable, or more superficial than men. And the thing is, it works. Studies show that sexist language can severely damage women’s campaigns and the public’s confidence in them.
Besides, has anyone ever heard of an office pool betting on what a man will wear to an event? (Wool FTW!) Probably not, because the court of public opinion cares far less about a man’s appearance than a woman’s, and this is a double standard that we find totally unacceptable. When we remember Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, it’s going to be for her work in Darfur and counterterrorism, not what she wears to work.
And when we remember Michael Berry, we’ll remember that he’s really damn sexist.