Noticing a woman's style now sexism...even if you're a woman

Hot on the high heels of the New York woman who got one hundred catcalls in ten hours, an Australian newscaster is doing his part to expose the rampant, evil, and also rampant sexism in the Western world.

...Maybe.

Via the Sydney Morning Herald (whose URL, helpfully, is "smh"), Karl Stefanovic of Australia's Today Show decided to wear the same "cheap Burberry knock-off" suit every day for a year, "with the exception of a couple of days of dry-cleaning and the like."  Apparently, no one noticed.

Yet co-host Lisa Wilkinson still receives regular and unsolicited fashion appraisals, as she revealed in her well-received Andrew Olle lecture last year. ("Who the heck is Lisa's stylist?" one emailer demanded to know. "Today's outfit is particularly jarring and awful. Get some style.") These same viewers, however, have failed to observe – or simply don't care – that the man beside her happily slips on the same outfit, day after day.

The Herald portrays Stefanovic as a crusader for "gender equality," quoting him thus: "But women, they wear the wrong colour [sic] and they get pulled up.  They say the wrong thing and there's thousands of tweets about them."

However, a video of the Today Show cast's conversation on the matter, cited in the Herald piece itself, shows a different story.

First of all, as co-host Lisa Wilkinson notes and this mash-up shows, Stefanovic did see fit to change his tie.  If he really wanted to make a point, the tie – often the focal point of a man's suit – should have stayed the same, too.

Then Stefanovic himself makes an important addition: "I think in this situation, for women on TV, it's mainly women judging other women for what they wear.  So is that sexism, is my question."   Wilkinson goes in the same direction: "I would have to say, for the e-mails I've had over the years I've been in this job, most of them have been from women. ... Although I would say the majority of women are really, really encouraging.  I get a lot of really good stuff.  But when I get criticism, more often than not, it's from women."

(Worth noting:   both the Herald and liberal content aggregator Mashable, who quotes Wilkinson as "not[ing] ... the daily critique she faced from members of the public," did not see fit to include the above in their write-ups.)

So which Stefanovic should we believe?  The one in the Today video, or the one in the Herald story?

Bottom line: to focus on a woman's fashion sense is hardly sexism, unless sexism is defined as acknowledging differences between men and women.  The commonsense fact, as revealed here, is that if anyone is appraising a woman's style qua style, chances are it's a woman.  Men tend not to care about this sort of thing – at least not until feminist crusaders make it into blog-worthy material.

Feminists in the West have been clinging to non-issues to fuel their petty first-world-problem outrage for some time.  Now we can throw style scrutiny – a harmless pastime, and one many women and women's magazines enjoy – on the heap of phenomena requiring a "trigger warning," lest the left's coterie of privileged finger-waggers descend once again into hysterics.

Hat tip: Dustin Siggins

Drew Belsky is American Thinker's deputy editor.  Contact him at drew@americanthinker.com, or follow him on Twitter here.

Hot on the high heels of the New York woman who got one hundred catcalls in ten hours, an Australian newscaster is doing his part to expose the rampant, evil, and also rampant sexism in the Western world.

...Maybe.

Via the Sydney Morning Herald (whose URL, helpfully, is "smh"), Karl Stefanovic of Australia's Today Show decided to wear the same "cheap Burberry knock-off" suit every day for a year, "with the exception of a couple of days of dry-cleaning and the like."  Apparently, no one noticed.

Yet co-host Lisa Wilkinson still receives regular and unsolicited fashion appraisals, as she revealed in her well-received Andrew Olle lecture last year. ("Who the heck is Lisa's stylist?" one emailer demanded to know. "Today's outfit is particularly jarring and awful. Get some style.") These same viewers, however, have failed to observe – or simply don't care – that the man beside her happily slips on the same outfit, day after day.

The Herald portrays Stefanovic as a crusader for "gender equality," quoting him thus: "But women, they wear the wrong colour [sic] and they get pulled up.  They say the wrong thing and there's thousands of tweets about them."

However, a video of the Today Show cast's conversation on the matter, cited in the Herald piece itself, shows a different story.

First of all, as co-host Lisa Wilkinson notes and this mash-up shows, Stefanovic did see fit to change his tie.  If he really wanted to make a point, the tie – often the focal point of a man's suit – should have stayed the same, too.

Then Stefanovic himself makes an important addition: "I think in this situation, for women on TV, it's mainly women judging other women for what they wear.  So is that sexism, is my question."   Wilkinson goes in the same direction: "I would have to say, for the e-mails I've had over the years I've been in this job, most of them have been from women. ... Although I would say the majority of women are really, really encouraging.  I get a lot of really good stuff.  But when I get criticism, more often than not, it's from women."

(Worth noting:   both the Herald and liberal content aggregator Mashable, who quotes Wilkinson as "not[ing] ... the daily critique she faced from members of the public," did not see fit to include the above in their write-ups.)

So which Stefanovic should we believe?  The one in the Today video, or the one in the Herald story?

Bottom line: to focus on a woman's fashion sense is hardly sexism, unless sexism is defined as acknowledging differences between men and women.  The commonsense fact, as revealed here, is that if anyone is appraising a woman's style qua style, chances are it's a woman.  Men tend not to care about this sort of thing – at least not until feminist crusaders make it into blog-worthy material.

Feminists in the West have been clinging to non-issues to fuel their petty first-world-problem outrage for some time.  Now we can throw style scrutiny – a harmless pastime, and one many women and women's magazines enjoy – on the heap of phenomena requiring a "trigger warning," lest the left's coterie of privileged finger-waggers descend once again into hysterics.

Hat tip: Dustin Siggins

Drew Belsky is American Thinker's deputy editor.  Contact him at drew@americanthinker.com, or follow him on Twitter here.