Seattle PI Attempts a Political Metaphor in Maria Cantwell’s Clothes

Today, Joel Connelly of SeattlePI gave a shout out to Senator Maria Cantwell’s tailor:

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is usually turned out in snugly tailored pants suits, so “coattails” is not the right word to apply to her.

Not only did he focus on her clothing, he described the fit. Now that’s some pretty sexist reporting.

Connelly’s lead is distracting and unnecessarily sexual. As it “turns out,” his piece is less about fabrics and more about fundraising.

But Cantwell is engaged in an age-old political pivot that opponents dread.  With a safe lead, pressed by challenger State Sen. Michael Baumgartner, she is devoting time and fund raising resources to helping fellow Democrats, and even lending a hand to the campaign for same-sex marriage.

Disappointingly, there is no mention of Baumgartner’s suits or how they fit.

But seriously, we here at Name It. Change It. are tired of women’s clothes trumping their politics. Whether it’s Linda McMahon’s boots or Elizabeth’s Warren’s sweater, those details are irrelevant.

Instead of pants suits, focus on facts. Because even when your subject is a woman, the “what” still refers to what happened, not what she wore. 

Published by Kate Noftsinger on 10/26/2012

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