It’s Expensive Being a Woman

October 23, 2008

It’s apparently big news how much money was spent for vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s new campaign wardrobe. I am not saying that $150,000 isn’t a lot of money to spend on clothes, but it does seem that the world has higher fashion standards for women than it does for men. If Joe Biden wears the same dark grey suit twice in a week, no one notices. If he wears a new tie, it’s a whole new outfit. Women’s clothing is noticed, and women’s fashion choices are often criticized. It’s necessary for women in the public eye to have high standards and to look nice.

And it’s not just acquiring that wardrobe that costs more. We pay much more at the dry cleaner than men do for the same items. Yes, I know it’s because our clothes are less standard than men’s clothes, but since we still only make 78 cents on the dollar, can’t we get a break somewhere?

We do get a break on one thing: car insurance. We pay less than men do. Great — what a relief. It’s too bad that we, most likely, paid more for the same car … and more for the same repairs. And quite possibly more for gas because we insist on using well-lit gas stations in safe areas that allow us to pay at the pump so we can keep an eye on the kids in the backseat.

And that insurance agent isn’t our friend when it comes to health insurance, either. Women pay more than men do for health insurance, even when they opt out of maternity coverage.

Apparently, the GOP picked up the ticket for Gov. Palin’s new acquisitions. I think it’s their own business where they spend their money (however, I am a little shocked it’s not going to swing-state advertising). I just hope whichever party wins this election “picks up the ticket” for some of the areas of inequality for women — including fair pay, health insurance equity, and enforcement of anti-discrimination laws. Because no matter how it’s dressed, it’s the message that matters.

Kathryn Montiegel By:   |   October 23, 2008


  1. bibliomom says:

    I’m not even remotely a Sarah Palin fan but I don’t think that she should be attacked for this. She needed to look the part especially since she can’t play it very well. There is a high standard for female appearance and I think it’s sexist to have a double standard. I don’t see anyone complaining about how much any of the male candidates suits cost.

  2. Suzanne says:

    I agree that women politicians are far more scrutinized than their male counterparts and in that sense it’s unfair to attack Palin for spending so much money on clothes. But at the same time, it really bothers me that she and others in the McCain campaign are calling people who don’t support them elitists and other such names when they are both obviously far wealthier than the average voter of any party. And of course it’s appalling that they’re willing to shell out that kind of money for clothes but not for legislation that would improve things for women, such as fair pay, as Kathryn mentioned.

  3. Terra says:

    I don’t care about her clothes, nor where they came from. I am kind of surprised that such an issue is made out of it. Do I agree with the spend? Not really nice looking clothes can come at a lower price (really I have a couple of really nice suits from places that I spent a couple of hundred on each), but I don’t care.

    As for woman’s issues I would invite you to look past Biden’s speech problems and look at his voting history… Really, he is just the type of person we need… Even if the VP doesn’t have a huge role, his ideas will be expressed to our president should we want it…

  4. girlseekinggucci says:

    bibliomom, I’m not a Palin fan either, but I can’t blame her on this one. If someone offered to give me $150,000 worth of clothes, I’d take it too. = )

    While this is just another sign of political excess to me, the whole discussion is such a double standard. We scoff at Palin’s attempts to be more polished and “vice-presidential,” but don’t comment on Joe Biden’s hair plugs and unnatural white smile. What makes him distinguished while she is “hawt”? It’s laughable.

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