As the news coverage of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s impending address to the Democratic convention intensifies, I brace myself, cringing, for one last round of obedient journalistic attention to the “PANTsuit.” Have you ever noticed the way broadcast newsbozos always stress the first syllable far more than necessary? PANTsuit. Sheesh, we get it. She’s wearing clothes.
And now that it’s 2008 already, why the modifier? I notice that Sen. Obama is never pointed out as wearing a PANTsuit. Indeed, he is wearing a pair of pants and a jacket that matches. If his clothing is referred to at all, it’s referred to as a suit. Which we all understand, because men are known to wear those, and it’s appropriate to wear while applying to be America’s executive-in-chief.
Is it news to journalists everywhere that women in executive positions don’t go to work in trailing ball gowns? Of course Clinton’s also wearing a pair of pants and a matching jacket. It’s a suit. IT’S A DAMN SUIT! Yes, I get that she can occasionally mix it up with a skirt. That still doesn’t render it necessary to point out every time she sticks with the eminently sensible choice of pants, which men regularly choose to wear without comment.
Either that, or start conducting convention coverage of all those men in PANTsuits. Sigh.