Pan Am and Hillary Clinton: Qui est in, Qui est out

July 30, 2007

One of my favorite things about leaving America is reading fremde newspapers and getting to see what the world really thinks about US actualia. Though I already read too many papers every morning (and the always delightful Pravda which has the great headlines of a paper “NASA Employs Drunkards and Saboteurs” if not quite the journalistic integrity of the Times, “People Come Up with Most Unusual Way of Using Cow” or “Cat Predicts Patients’ Deaths in Nursing Home“), there’s always time for a half a dozen more when traveling.

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The harbinger of death?

One of the big stories in Israel recently has been Hillary Clinton’s cleavage. In a world where John Edward’s 400 dollar haircuts (only 200 quid? Cheap!) get more attention then either Yesterday’s Salad’s own blogess Cate Edwards, or his campaign’s focus on poverty, should we really be surprised that Senator Clinton’s newly formed sartorial tastes have titillated the masses? Given all the attention foisted on Kerry’s neckties during the last election, it would seem that fashion has become an important part of American electoral politics, and perhaps the world around. Indeed, the always dashing former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi even used to attend fashion shows. A politician’s clothes humanize him/her, or at least make them less alien.

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This man, this ugly hat.

The bigger problem with the Hillary cleavage story is what it says about a woman’s place in the US political arena. It’s bad enough that candidates always address her as Hillary during the debates, whereas everyone else is referred to as Senator ___ or Congressman___ or crazy person from Alaska who needs to quit the race already (although not being referred to as Senator might be a good thing given their 40 year losing streak). Why should a woman candidate have to dress down her sexiness? Why should she stop emphasizing her femininity? One would have hoped that by the 21st century, women qua women would be completely accepted in the political realm. Perhaps Hillary needs to one-up Segolene Royal and hold a press conference in a bikini. She should force Americans to confront these issues head-on.

Sadly, there’s more bad news to report this morning. The once ultra-fashionable Pan Am airlines, now probably just a name owned by the giant holding company that is Saladglobalmedia, has decided to suspend service to New Haven Tweed Airport, once again leaving Elm Rockers with only one airline. May God have mercy on our souls.

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3 Responses to “Pan Am and Hillary Clinton: Qui est in, Qui est out”

  1. Annie Says:

    To be fair, the first article about Hillary’s cleavage was written by Robin Givhan, a fashion journalist, and was later picked up by pundits.

  2. dailysalad Says:

    Point take. But still, it’s the fact that pundits so easily made this into an issue that’s disturbing. Also, I dislike the fact that only the leading candidates have their clothing questioned. What about Biden?

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