Sarah Palin: The 150K Woman and the Garment Industry

Once again promoting my latest at Global Comment.

It seems as though controversy and Governor Palin are going to be wedded to each other until Election Day. In this week’s startling revelation the public learned that 150 thousand in RNC donations was spent to purchase a new wardrobe, hair styling, and make-up for the Governor.

Who says that McCain didn’t pick her for her potential to be election eye candy?

Much of the conversation regarding this revelation has revolved around the double standard when it comes to appearance between men and women in the public eye. Campbell Brown commented on CNN, “Compare that with the attention given to Senator Barack Obama’s $1,500 suits or Senator John McCain’s $520 Ferragamo shoes. There is no comparison,” she said.

It is clear that for Brown the issue is not about the money that was spent but about the fact that this is only a story because of the inequality that exists between men and women. She went on to further state, “I speak from experience here. When I wear a bad outfit on the air, I get viewer e-mail complaining about it. A lot of e-mail. Seriously. When Wolf Blitzer wears a not-so-great tie, how much e-mail do you think he gets? My point is for women, unfortunately, appearance is part of the job.”

While I would agree that this is indeed a women’s issue, I feel that it is also important to note the women who are not being discussed in this recent controversy. It is well known that the fashion industry is highly dependent on sweat shop labour to produce cheap garments for the Western world.

The majority of these labourers are women of colour and they are invisible, not only in this particular situation, but often times when it comes to discussion about the ways in which the fashion industry can have negative impact on society.

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