Letter of the Day (May 8): Sexism

  • Updated: May 7, 2013 - 6:43 PM

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Dawn Quigley offers sage advice about steering young girls away from oversexualized dress. At the heart of this issue, however, lies a deeper, unexamined blight.

Consider the headline of Quigley’s May 4 commentary: “Girls, you are what you wear.”

And this line from the article: “How you allow a girl to dress now will navigate her life path.”

And: “Change their dress, and you change their future.”

There’s truth there. You don’t want your kid slouching into a job interview with a sweat-stained cap and ripped T-shirt. Dress for success, like Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But there’s also this: How many news stories about Bill Clinton’s hair have been published? Or about the number of times he wore that same blue suit, you know, the one with the pinstripes? (Crickets.)

Teaching our girls to respect themselves through their appearance is important. But what good is that if we fail to call out our practice of esteeming women based upon their appearance and in a way we do not judge men? Hillary’s hair and heels matter far more in our culture than anything Bill will every wear. Period.

That has yet to change.

Charlotte Sullivan, Minneapolis

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