Dressing Like a Woman

Thank you to Chris Bouton, who offered an opportunity to feature my writing on his blog, The Daily Context.

The Daily Context

By Allison Horrocks

Male staffers in the White House have purportedly been told they must be “sharply dressed.” The women, meanwhile, have been told “to dress like women.” But what does it mean to “dress like a woman?” The question of how to dress is not a trivial one, though matters of fashion are often easily dismissed as superficial and apolitical. In fact, the notion of being able to “dress the part” to “do the job” is more complex when viewed in historical context. From early female federal employees to Civil Rights protesters, what some citizens have to say is often measured only after an analysis of his or her self-presentation.

There are countless examples of other moments in 20th century history when dress has mattered. In particular, the weight attributed to one’s appearance has not escaped the notice of leaders within many activist groups, including the early…

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