Originally I had no intention about blogging this because I considered it a non issue. It seems however some people cannot stop discussing Michelle Obama's dress on election day. It was with complete disgust that I watched a segment on CNN admonishing Michelle for her dress, and reminding her that she is dressing for a nation. Now even the clothing that black women choose are aggressive. For heavens sake.
Michelle Obama is an ivy league educated lawyer. She is an accomplished woman. and people are focusing on her dress. This is social disciplining at work. No one had anything to say about Baracks, suit, tie, or even if the man wears boxers or briefs. His wife somehow is dressing for the world.
Perhaps people would have been happier if she went on a 150 thousand dollar shopping spree at Neiman Marcus, thus proving to the world that she can consume like any other westerner. After all, if you are going to be a part of the elite class in society, to not purchase items that indicate status is a real sin. Those third world workers need to be making her clothes for everyone to accept that Michelle has made it to the big time.
I am tired of Michelle routinely being reduced and attacked by the media. She is not some sort of accessory to Barack, or a black barbie you can play dress up with, she is a woman in her own right.
If Michelle chose to go to salvation army and purchase a closet full of clothing from there it should not matter. What should matter is the content of her character. When it comes to men we focus on power and their ability to attain it and negotiate it; but with women it is all about how pretty they can dress up, as though we are not thinking individuals. Michelle deserves better than that and so does every single woman.
The next time you read or watch commentary on what Michelle is wearing stop and think about how this reflects on all women. Ask yourself why the dress is so important. Are we valued for our appearance and our ability to consume, or our accomplishments? If you like I determine that appearance seems most important then as women we must engage in battle to assure that we are not reduced in this way. The fashion plate woman serves patriarchy in that it ensures that we are not taken seriously.
If appearance is a focal point then the valid issues we raise will be soundly ignored to debate whether or not we are pretty enough. Women have much to contribute to society, and our ability to evolve is severely limited because we silence one half of humanity. Not every good idea has a penis attached to it.