Regarding the Feb. 2 Free for All letter “Irrelevant fashion,” in which Linda Marschall complained that the coverage of a witness in the John Leopold case included a description of what she wore to court:
Did any of the male witnesses or attorneys wear “a bright, sea foam colored suit”? Of course not. They did not want to call attention to what they were wearing, so they wore appropriate business or professional attire in attention-deflecting colors. If any of them had shown up for court in a bright, sea-foam-colored suit, it would have gotten them unwanted attention — along with a quiet word from their peers not to dress that way.
The clearest example of the double standard is Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority whip of the House. If Hoyer were to wear a form-hugging, bright-red outfit to call attention to himself on television, he would never have his leadership position. Yet his leader, Nancy Pelosi, has flaunted the fashion double standard as she ascended the leadership ladder. Feminists complained about the comments when Hillary Clinton wore a “plunging neckline” on the floor of the Senate; if Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) had done the same, his colleagues would have laughed him off the floor.
Make up your minds, 21st-century feminists. Do you want the attention, or do you not? If you don’t want the attention to what you’re wearing, then don’t dress for attention. If you get the attention you dressed for, you have no right to complain.
Steven D. Livengood, Washington