Why Attacks on Broadwell's Clothes Are OK

Her 'skimpy' outfits make a statement: Ruth Marcus

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 22, 2012 9:06 AM CST

(Newser) – Ruth Marcus has received a flurry of criticism for attacking Paula Broadwell's wardrobe. "Beware the woman who goes on The Daily Show wearing a black silk halter top and flaunting her toned triceps," Marcus wrote earlier this month in the Washington Post. A reader hit back: "Dumping on Broadwell because of how she dresses does a disservice to all women." Another called the comment "dangerously close to the mind-set that suggests women who are raped are somehow responsible because of the way they dress." But Marcus isn't apologizing.

"For women in the public eye, all fashion choices are high-wire," she writes in her latest column. Case in point: Hillary Clinton once faced chiding for Senate-floor cleavage, while John Edwards teased her for wearing pink at a debate. "So when Broadwell shows up—repeatedly—in skimpy, form-fitting, attention-grabbing outfits, she is making a fashion statement: Look at me! Pay attention to my body!" While Petraeus must be held accountable for his actions, women "are asking for sexist treatment when we dress like sex objects," Marcus writes. "If you want to be taken seriously, dress the part." Click through for the full piece.

A screen grab from Broadwell's interview with Jon Stewart.
A screen grab from Broadwell's interview with Jon Stewart.   (TheDailyShow.com)
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