“No one has noticed; no one gives a shit. But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there’s thousands of tweets written about them. Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear. I’ve worn the same suit on air for a year – except for a couple of times because of circumstance – to make a point. I’m judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humour – on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they’re wearing or how their hair is.”
A note from Down Under provides a moment for thought:
Angered by the sexism he saw being heaped upon his female colleagues – and attempts to downplay it – Karl Stefanovic decided to conduct an experiment.
He wore the same blue suit on air, two days in a row. Then three. A month ticked by without a ripple.
Now, a full year has passed – and he is still wearing the same cheap Burberry knock-off, every morning, on Channel Nine’s Today program.
Not a single audience member has asked about it, he says. Fashion commentators and other media also seem oblivious.
Yet co-host Lisa Wilkinson still receives regular and unsolicited fashion appraisals, as she revealed in her well-received Andrew Olle lecture last year. (“Who the heck is Lisa’s stylist?” one emailer demanded to know. “Today’s outfit is particularly jarring and awful. Get some style.”) These same viewers, however, have failed to observe – or simply don’t care – that the man beside her happily slips on the same outfit, day after day.
Did you ever notice how news is written at websites in Her Majesty’s Dominion? As few words per sentence, as few sentences per paragraph, as possible. Twenty years ago I learned that the word processor I was using at the time judged grammar against three documents, two of which were the Gettysburg Address and a boilerplate insurance contract, and all equaled out to an eighth grade reading comprehension equivalent or so.
To the one, them’s some pretty smart fourth graders reading the news in Australia. To the other, well, it is effective. That is to say, compared to what passes for daily media in the United States, how many of the words in Michael Lallo’s report about Karl Stefanovic’s suit are actually wasted?
And questions of sexism aside, look, it just has to be pointed out that the white and blue and pink thing Ms. Wilkinson wore is so 1988. Couldn’t you just die?
Lallo, Michael. “Karl Stefanovic’s sexism experiment: Today presenter wears same suit for a year”. The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 November 2014.