I’m sure many of you have seen this story already. Sasha and Malia, America’s First Daughters, were criticized by a GOP aide for their attire choices. She resigned shortly after.
Now, I realize that sounds harsh, but allow me to elaborate. GOP aide Elizabeth Lauten specifically said
“Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.”
That is quite the quote. Even if we ignore the blatant disrespect dished out towards the President and First Lady, it’s still a bit shocking (at least to me). Sasha and Malia are respectively 13 and 16 years old. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have been able to show half of the maturity they do every day when I was that age. So they made some faces. So they showed their knees. Elizabeth Lauten is an adult, and the lack of sympathy and harsh judgements she showed these young girls is awe-inspiring.
So why do I care? Why is this being talked about on Carnal Politics?
It’s just another manifestation of rape culture, in my eyes. Women in short skirts/shorts are sluts. Women with low tops are sluts. Women who spend too much time focusing on their appearance are sluts. Apparently, now underage girls wearing perfectly sensible holiday-wear are also sluts. “A spot at the bar?” THEY AREN’T EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN IN ONE. Why is it that, especially in politics, women are judged so harshly? Even the women on the sidelines who aren’t there to be judged or assessed? They didn’t ask for dad to be one of the most visible men in the world. They aren’t thinking about whether their outfits ask for the right kinds of attention. They got dressed for Thanksgiving, had to stand on national TV for a couple hours, and made a few funny faces in the process. Good for them. They deserve to be kids. Why can’t we, for once, remember that’s exactly what they are?