State of the Style, 2014

I am always impressed when I hear my peers discussing political agendas. I remember most of them as immature children who thought a caucus was a dead animal on the side of the road. But here at Purdue, most ideals are professional and everyone has an opinion on something. Which leads me to this week’s travesty.

If you didn’t catch the State of the Union address on Tuesday, watch it here.

But if you don’t have an hour to spare, I thought the New York Times did a really nice job recapping the important parts the president discussed.

Naturally after a big event like this, people talk. I heard all about health care policies and the economy. It was all fairly yawn-worthy. But one discussion both surprised and insulted me.

I won’t say where I was, but I overheard a woman talking about Mrs. Obama. The first lady, unfortunately, is always seen as a type of accessory to the president, no matter how many leadership positions she takes. The conversation that I heard was, “I can’t believe she wore a (explicative) cardigan when she gets designer clothes like handpicked for her. She’s a representative. She should act like it.”

This, coming from a self-proclaimed feminist. I went online later and found several articles echoing the sentiments by discussing Michelle’s style. Are we really still so stuck in our ways that women must still portray beauty and men must portray power? I wrote an article for the paper earlier this week discussing the differences in expectations for men and women. It shouldn’t still be applicable, but unfortunately, it is.

I hope I see progress on Purdue’s campus soon. Gender inequality is still a very real thing and next time I listen in to the popular gossip, I don’t want to hear stereotypical comments like this.

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