The GEM Debate: The Clothing Conundrum..
Can Paul Pass While Mika Pays? (VIDEO)
By: Ella Rucker
You may remember this little debate Rene and I had. It was about women having the right to do what they want no matter where they are in life (my point) vs. keeping it classy if you want to keep your standing in your profession (Rene’s point). We never did see eye-to-eye on it when this little ditty popped up on my Facebook feed.
It’s just a little blurb in Huffington Post’s comedy section with no write up. Just the video for a day’s laugh but the subject matter caught my eye. It’s David Letterman making fun of a not-so-vice-presidential-looking Paul Ryan. Apparently some photos were taken of Ryan of him posing in his gym attire.
So the conundrum, the debate, the problem: I think that this will have a negative impact on how voters see Ryan which is in direct opposition as to how I felt about the pictures of Mika Brzezinski in the debate I mentioned earlier. Am I a walking contradiction or is there a difference between a newswoman being shown out of character and a vice presidential candidate who may in a scant few months have some sway over my actual life?
Rene’s question to me though was what about our daughters? What do pictures of women posing on tables mean to them? I gotta tell ya, I knew our world was changing when I watched the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky sex scandal unfold in the White House. And let’s not forget Mr. Eliot Spitzer, the New York governor caught frequenting a prostitute, who has maintained his political forum. But these are men; can women yet afford these kinds of missteps (or worse) and still go on to great power? I don’t know about today, but in the next 20 years, while Joelle, my daughter, is becoming the person she is destined to be, Honey Boo Boo will kind of be in her periphery, setting a standard, if not the standard, for women. (For the record: I don’t watch that show and hope Joelle remains just as oblivious.)
In the very end I think both Rene and I are correct and I don’t say that just for job security. Rene comes from the world of journalism where image is critical, whether on the clock or not. I come from a world where I watched The Cosby Show and Married With Children, both of which undoubtedly shaped me in some way. Clair Huxtable was impossibly perfect; Peg Bundy was not. Image is important, but I think it matters more who is seeing the image, what their past says about that image, and how it applies to their own future. I want all of our children to be captains of industry, but at the same time not take themselves so seriously that they forget how to have fun.
So what do you think? Should Ryan keep his clothes on because he is running for the White House? Do men still get to have a little more fun than women? Am I dooming my daughter to a life of bafoonery by not being more sensitive to how women portray themselves? Please help us settle this one!
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