What Hillary Clinton Will Wear Tonight Is Not The Question You Should Be Asking
Although Hillary Clinton is set to make history Thursday when she becomes the first woman to accept the presidential nomination of a major political party, most of America seems increasingly concerned with one thing: What will Clinton wear tonight? It's unfortunate proof that for as much progress as women have made, sexism in politics is far from over. According to Google Trends, the top trending question regarding Clinton in the run-up to the Democratic Party's historic moment is, "What will Hillary wear tonight?"
I mean, really? A woman runs for the presidency and Americans' most pressing concern isn't where she stands on the issues or how she stacks up to the competition but what she will wear when she walks on stage to accept the nomination.
Clinton has been strategically attempting to distract the media from calling attention to her wardrobe for years by — like many male politicians — boring us with that pants and suit jacket combo. So, it's a mystery why, despite decades of color-coordinated pantsuits, Clinton's physical appearance remains a popular topic of discussion. From openly talking about it to talking about how we shouldn't be talking about it, Clinton's wardrobe is a fixture of American politics.
But I can think of at least a dozen questions more pertinent for the first woman to become the presidential nominee of a major political party than her choice of clothing. Where does Clinton stand on foreign policy? What did Clinton's emails contain? How will Clinton handle immigration? What has Clinton said about student loan debt? Does Clinton support raising the federal minimum wage? What did the FBI determine about Clinton's use of a private email server? Does Clinton support or oppose the Affordable Care Act? Where does Clinton stand on the issue of climate change? What is Clinton's voting record on gun control legislation? Does Clinton support gay marriage? How will Clinton tackle Wall Street reform? What did Clinton do before she got involved in politics?
These are only a few of the questions that should come well before inquiries into what Clinton will wear.
It seems silly to have to say that when it comes to choosing a president, it's not a candidate's fashion sense we should be concerned with. Policy ideas, legislative experience, political values, and leadership should all trump whether a candidate opts to wear the latest in designer fashion or an off-the-rack pantsuit. So, why the fascination over female politicians' wardrobes? It's a reflection of us more than it is Clinton.
The increase in search traffic on inquiries into what Clinton will wear when she formally accepts the Democratic Party's nomination is proof that although Clinton has already survived sexist critiques of her voice, her refusal to eat pie in front of reporters, and most recently her choice of haircut, the double standard facing women in politics is far from quelled.