Kim Campbell was a non-elected Prime Minister, and to date, the only woman in this country has had for the position.
She has said something that has the typical knee-jerk reaction: that it is demeaning for female broadcasters to wear sleeveless shirts when on air.
It depends, and she is not entirely wrong.
If women are cajoled into wearing them on air by their superiors, then yes, it is very demeaning, as men on air wear long sleeves and do not dress to vogue to increase viewership (men on prime time programming, are often topless and ripped).
If it is the female anchor or reporter’s decision to wear a professional outfit without sleeves, it is a different matter.
As Canada is not the UK, where there is always Debrett’s to give sensible advice, we sort of wing it here, anyway.
But Campbell does have a point that goes beyond television news: women on magazine covers in general do have to be more naked than the men.
Notice all of the men are wearing pants, but the one who has the bigger cumulative box office draw on that cover — Julia Roberts (who outdoes Clooney by hundreds of millions of dollars) — doesn’t.
Campbell’s observation isn’t reactionary. When you see a consistent pattern that women cannot get publicity unless she is some state of undress, that points to inequality.
Even men who are considered sex symbols get to be dignified about it:
And some women do have to fight tooth and nail for that equality, and win:
It is an issue that women have to take into consideration.
Versus Bono, who isn’t just staring vapidly at the camera, he is making real change!
So for those who are offended by Campbell’s remarks, they ought to think about more than throwing their noses in the air, thinking women have made progress.
Because that Beyonce cover is from 2014.
The Candice Bergen cover is from 1992.
Should women wear sleeveless shirts when they deliver the news?
If they want to wear them, yes, of course. They are women, after all, and they are adults.
But they should also think why they are really wearing it, as well. Is it just because, or is it, deep down, you are worried the interns swarming around the newsroom will replace you and you have to keep up with your looks and your body?
And not the body of work you have done.