A former Canadian prime minister has invited the ire of people around the world after criticizing female TV anchors for wearing sleeveless dresses on air.
Kim Campbell, who served as the PM of Canada from June to November 1993, made the comment on a tweet, and said that these dresses were demeaning to women. She said that women who wear sleeveless dresses "undermine [their] credibility and gravitas."
"I am struck by how many women on television news wear sleeveless dresses- often when sitting with suited men. I have always felt it was demeaning to the women and this suggests that I am right. Bare arms undermine credibility and gravitas!" Campbell tweeted.
In her tweet, she also added a link to a blog post by US communication coach Nick Morgan. In the blogpost, Morgan writes: "Apparently, we humans are pretty simple creatures. If you show up in front of us with skin exposed, we're going to think about your body. If you're wearing lots of clothing, we're going to think about your mind."
I am struck by how many women on television news wear sleeveless dresses- often when sitting with suited men. I have always felt it was demeaning to the women and this suggests that I am right. Bare arms undermine credibility and gravitas! https://t.co/plBRrrtqKV— Kim Campbell (@AKimCampbell) February 13, 2018
After the tweet appeared, critics lashed out at Campbell and said that it is up to the anchor what she wears and that people must not be judged on the basis of their attire.
A critic pointed out that Michelle Obama often wore sleeveless outfits and people still loved her for the person she was. Another Twitter user also said that Campbell seems to have forgotten that she herself posed for a provocative photograph in 1990.
The micro-blogging site has now been abuzz with people saying that Campbell must not make comments like these and how such posts "undermine her credibility."
Here are a few reactions
I think dismissing women because of their outfits undermines credibility and gravitas. Wouldn't it be nice if credibility could be weighed by the content of one's work rather than their apparel?— Rebecca Kepley (@creeandme) February 13, 2018
With all due respect, perhaps this is the reason that you were the shortest serving Prime Minister. You are so out of touch with reality. There are some absolutely amazing and credible news anchor woman that wear sleeves dresses. Don’t judge on appearance.— Avtar Bains (@AvtarSBains) February 13, 2018
It's ridiculous to assume credibility to a man just because they are wearing a suit.— Mary Meier (@marymckmeier) February 14, 2018