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Trump’s dictatorship now extends to ‘women’s’ wear

Anne Kingston on what Donald Trump means with his edict that women should dress ‘like women’


 

You’d think by now Donald Trump would have learned it’s not wise to tell women what to do. It backfires on him, as we saw when some 3 million women marched in the streets two weeks ago. Yet it’s a foolproof way to grab headlines and bandwidth. So we’ve seen with response to reports the president has told female White House staff that they should “dress like women.”

Telling women to dress “like women,” perversely, is the most liberating so far of the new U.S. president’s sandstorm of edicts. It means women can wear pretty much what they choose, as a barrage of #dresslikewomen Tweets make clear. Dressing “like women” circa 2017 includes wearing lab coats, surgical scrubs, evening gowns or pants, heels or flats, frills or army fatigues, zero-gravity suits, hijabs, “men’s wear,” police uniforms, and on and on and on.

The messaging here is bigger of course. Appearances, and image, matter hugely to Trump. Never mind that he favours ill-fitting Brioni suits that went out of fashion in the ’80s and wears his hair in the style of a candy-floss Kangol hat. With typical grandiosity, Trump sees himself a fashion arbiter. His 2005 book, Think Like a Billionaireslams custom-tailored suits as a waste of time: “I don’t recommend it unless you have an oddly shaped body, and unless you have a great deal of time,” his ghostwriter wrote.

Now he’s shaping the imagery of a nation, with an aesthetic that’s decidedly white and male.  Trump has commented on the clothing of male staff as well.  He reportedly upbraided his press secretary Sean Spicer for the fit and colour of his suit at the first White House presser. Top advisor Steve Bannon, who presents like a walking hangover, might seem to be exempt. But even his typically rumpled look has been cleaned up lately. Such fretting about dress code offers a sad, rare and thin veneer of decorum (and reverses Obama’s more casual approach) as the new president dismantles U.S. democracy.

Women, of course, are a separate case. As the former beauty pageant-owner has made clear, they’re fungible, valued for the visual or sexual pleasure they provide. His order for female staff to dress “like women” is clear code for a return to the style of the  ’40s and ’50s, or the pre-Feminine Mystique ’60s. In other words, a time before women had reproductive rights or their own checking accounts, and when raping one’s wife was “marital sex.” Back then, approved lady-wear consisted of  sleeveless dresses, pencil skirts, high heels, clothing much like that worn by Trump’s MIA wife Melania and adviser KellyAnne Conway. But it doesn’t have to stop there: Why not mandate girdles, garter belts, petticoats and bullet bras? Given that it’s Trump, the instruction could be commercially driven. It could be a quasi-veiled order to buy from his daughter Ivanka’s “lady-like” fashion line, which took a major hit this week when Nordstrom announced it was dropping it.

Conway, the highest profile woman in Trump’s administration, appears the female sartorial benchmark. Whether Trump praised or excoriated her for the cartoonishly patriotic red-white-and-blue, Italian-designed military-style coat she wore at the inauguration isn’t known. But given Trump’s fondness for the garish, he probably loved it. In this, his taste dovetails perfectly with the over-the-top, gilded aesthetic of dictators worldwide. Trump and Saddam Hussein, who delighted in showing off his gold-plated toilets with matching gold toilet brushes, could have shared a contractor. At the swearing-in, Conway called her get-up “Revolutionary Wear.” Now we’re seeing what this “revolution” looks like: Trump telling women employed by the American people what to wear as he readies to roll back the clock. At least they’ll be dressed for it.


 

Trump’s dictatorship now extends to ‘women’s’ wear

  1. Trump needs a pointed toe up the wazoo.

  2. Dictatorship? This kind of headline is quite appalling. You are referring to a duly elected president of USA. Clearly macleans have lost their minds as well.

  3. Shame on you Macleans! You are making news when you should be reporting it. To publish such an insulting article about our largest allies ELECTED leader grossly affects future diplomacy and is akin to :opinion” making policy. I am boycotting you and any advertisers in your rag.

    • Keith,
      I sure hope it’s not as ordinary as the last president’s-the US can’t afford the high debt and lack luster economic growth anymore.

  4. I used to respect MacLeans but no longer after an article like this. How low can you stoop. What a piece of garbage. Why would I ever buy another MacLean’s or recommend it to my friends. You should be ashamed. Trump was only asking his employees to be neat and tidy. In our society today is a man a women and a women a man !!! So what if he said dress like a women. MacLean’s must be owned by the elitist who are trying to keep the working class down and are upset that lying, Wall Street loving Clinton didn’t get elected. Garbage, Garbage, Garbage.

    • http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-related-businesses-boycotted-2016-11

      Speaking of boycotting……There is a group called “grab your wallet”…..a not so subtle reference to Trump’s boast that he likes to grab women’s p*ssys. They are inviting all of us women to boycott he and Ivanka’s products and hit him in a place that is really important to him…his wallet.
      I don’t think guys like Wayne and Gavin would appreciate it if a big bubba grabbed their crotches without their consent. I don’t think they would appreciate if a big bubba bent them over a desk at work. What you boys are forgetting is that Trump’s job is to SERVE the citizens of his country. Women make up 50 percent of those citizens. If there is no dress code in the civil service that mandates women dress in dresses or pencil skirts, he is out of luck.

      • “They are inviting all of us women to boycott……….and hit him in …his wallet.”
        Can’t the boyz play too or is this only for gurlz? I wanna grab him right by his wallet.

        • PS I applaud the writer for using such restrained language, like “dictatorship” to describe a duly elected office holder. It shows the forces of good haven’t given into histrionics and hysterics, and it is sure to help battle hackneyed stereotypes of women held by the antedeluvian slobbermonkeys.

    • Good point…..and I see we have American Trump supporters posting in favour of it.

  5. Does it include crotchless panties in order to facilitate easy access to golden showers ?

  6. I sincerely hope that you fired this stupid woman last week. If not, feel free to quicken the pace at which Macleans is going out of business.

  7. Anne Kingston you absolute Femi-Nazi Bitch??!! I can’t stand little bitches like you who write articles like this, just to stir up shit, you Moron???!!! Any Employer or Manager, Boss whatever the hell you want to call it, including Females, You Ass-Hat, are allowed to have a dress code at their work place????!!!! IDIOT???!!!! I am so sick and tired of little bitches like you, who seem to have DICK envy, and Hate Trump, and will do anything that you can to try and Muddy the waters in the Media, with your Obvious headlines, to paint Trump out to be someone he is not???!!!! I would love to meet you face to face, you little witch, I’d shred you in seconds!!!!! No one cares what you think, so get lost Wench!!!!!!!

    • Dear Joe……you seem to have brain-envy…..and you lost your balls long time ago by the sound of it.

      Yankee go home where stupidity like that is normal.

    • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PHdB95F3MwY

      The problem Joe Paquette, is that the fact your boss is a sleeze bag and better qualified to run a “Hooters” that be the POTUS……. doesn’t give this particular boss the right to force union members to wear dresses. The civil service has a union and although women in the civil service have to dress professionally, no where does it say they have to show their legs so their boss can get a thrill. As for caring what Anna Kingston thinks, plenty of us do. If you don’t, don’t bother to read her articles. Now, you don’t seem to like women much but that gives you no right to be foul mouthed, rude and call a journalist filthy names.

      • I agree with almost everything in your post, Gage, but I suspect that most of the women who would be in Trump’s vicinity would be political appointees and so not members of the civil service or of any union. As such, he has a great deal more power over their employment including the working conditions. He may well be able to dictate a dress code in a way that a regular employer wouldn’t. In addition, several of his employees have already demonstrated that they’re willing to be led around by the nose no matter what they’re asked to do or say – Sean Spicer springs to mind, for instance.
        I wonder if the President is subject to US labour laws – he seems to think he’s exempt from other legal restrictions.

    • Joe’s a little off the wall with the words he uses to express his anger. His overall theme, however, about Kingston’s endless, negative, stirring of the pot is right on. I suspect if Trump found a cure for cancer, Kingston would criticize him for taking work away from The Grim Reaper.

  8. Every work place has rules as to way they want women to dress in the work place, but because Trump says it, all hell breaks lose…this is MACLEAN’S way of creating division in the country. Is the MACLEAN’S getting a list of every company that made the same requests…because here in Canada I know of some

    • You’re missing the point…..it’s not the clothes or the grooming…..it’s the separation of the sexes.

      He wants ‘women to look like women’…that is his version of women. Skirts, heels, jewellery etc

      • Emily,
        I don’t see the version you note discussed anywhere-must be YOUR version I must assume!!
        While Kingston criticizes the concept of a dress code (which exist in most large companies) she’s even more critical of the clothing worn by Trump and his staff. Who appointed her as the clothing standard bearer??

        • You don’t follow regular sites…..that’s why.

          The staff is solid Repub and don’t need to be told to dress in a conservative manner. They all dress like Nancy Reagan anyway

          The Clinton staff did not wear panty hose and the Repubs made a fuss about it. They also complained about the president not wearing a full suit and tie in the WH……so grooming etc is not the issue here.

          In a world of gays and bi’s and trans……your gender is.

          • Time for bed Emily-it looks like you’ve been drinking again.

          • Oh….and you are probably not aware of the dress code requirements in many companies for women to wear heels.

            Heels are dangerous and painful…and in many workplaces women are now choosing not to wear them…which cause trouble.

  9. Trump makes a comment and Macleans publishes an alarmist article….I wonder what you think of the laws restricting what women can wear in Muslim majority countries? The selective outrage is ridiculous. This is why the left keeps taking Ls.

    • When you figure out what the topic is…..let us know.

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