Is the heat about to be removed from the #shirtstorm astrophysicist? Apparently the War on Sexism recognizes no borders, even if you have to cross an ocean to find it. A morning show anchor in Australia is tired of the way women are scrutinized over their sartorial choices and decided to do something about it. He wore the same suit on air every day for a year, and nobody noticed. This, I suppose, proves something?
Karl Stefanovic is a beloved anchor on Australia’s version of the Today show, which is also conveniently called the Today show. Over the weekend, Stefanovic made a startling confession: He’s been wearing the same exact knock-off Burberry suit on-air every single day for a year, and — shockingly — nobody noticed.
Stefanovic says he pulled the stunt to make a statement about how women on TV are judged much more harshly than men, particularly for their appearances. “No one has noticed; no one gives a shit,” he said in an interview with Fairfax Media.”Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear.”
Are women scrutinized more for what they choose to wear than men? I suppose so, but I rather doubt this is yet another sign of rampant societal sexism. Sometimes we need to invoke Occam’s razor in these questions and admit that the obvious evidence just might have something to do with it. Feel free to share your own experience, perspective and perceptions on this, but personally I currently own five suits which are nice enough to wear for business or anything fancy. One is black (funerals and business formal events) two are dark gray and two are deep blue. From a distance – particularly if you’re color blind – you likely couldn’t tell them apart. I know there are some crazy suits out there, but most of us who are not onstage in Vegas have more conservative tastes for professional attire. And they really don’t change that much over the years. Even in casual clothes I have several sets of jeans and plain pocket tee shirts which I’m hard pressed to differentiate from the same style clothes my dad wears in pictures from the 50s. My black leather dress shoes are indistinguishable from those of most of the guys I meet.
Women’s fashion, on the other hand, is all over the map. Trendy styles change year after year, with hemlines going up and down, necklines plunging or rising, collars, shoulder pads, puffiness or lack of sleeves, buttons, belts.. it’s enough to make your head spin. And many of these styles are intentionally designed to, shall we say, highlight a young lady’s assets in a variety of ways. The colors hit the entire palette. They are, in short, designed to attract attention, as well as to drain the pocketbooks of fashion conscious women season after season. And people talk about those choices. That just doesn’t happen on the other side of the gender fence. Men go out into the world wearing uniforms. Women strive to stand out.
Is that sexism? If it is, then please place the blame where it belongs: on the fashion industry that foists these ridiculous displays off on the public and the women who consciously choose to keep embracing them. The video of the big reveal follows.