Update: In case you’re interested, Ms Magazine has made it easy to send a letter protesting the detailed analysis of candidates’ cleavage.
From the Washington Post:
Showing cleavage is a request to be engaged in a particular way. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman is asking to be objectified, but it does suggest a certain confidence and physical ease. It means that a woman is content being perceived as a sexual person in addition to being seen as someone who is intelligent, authoritative, witty and whatever else might define her personality…To display cleavage in a setting that does not involve cocktails and hors d’oeuvres is a provocation. It requires that a woman be utterly at ease in her skin, coolly confident about her appearance, unflinching about her sense of style. Any hint of ambivalence makes everyone uncomfortable. And in matters of style, Clinton is as noncommittal as ever.
Wow. What shocking clothing did Clinton wear? This. Next time your students insist that we no longer trivialize women by focussing on their appearance, show them this article. It’s WARTIME, and she’s RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. And, for God’s sake, she’s not even wearing anything scandalous! OK, calmer now. It is actually interesting to look at the messages said to be sent by cleavage: not *necessarily* “objectify me” (that’s nice), but nonetheless a provocation if there are no hors d’oevres. Good to know.