Obama’s summer reading list: Caitlin Moran

I’ve been reading and quoting from Caitlin Moran’s excellent book How to be a Woman. This passage (and the whole book, frankly) would be great reading for Obama.


Women know clothes are important. It’s not just because our brains are full of ribbons and bustles and cocktail frocks– although I believe brain scans will finally prove that at some future point. It’s because when a woman walks into a room, her outfit is the first thing she says, before she even opens her mouth. Women are judged for what they wear in a way men would find incomprehensible–they have never felt that uncomfortable moment when someone assesses what you’re wearing and then starts talking down to you, or starts perving you, or presumes you won’t “understand” the conversation– be it about work, parenting, or culture– simply because of what you put on that day.

Men exist in a different world with extremely different rules about appearance than women exist in. For President Obama to intro Harris as “best-looking” shows not only his own sexism but also his ignorance about how sexism influences and affects women’s daily lives, our identities, and our aspirations.

Another thing I’m wondering about, who are the other 49 Attorney Generals that Harris is in the beauty contest with?

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