We’re told by feminists and members of the elite media that we are not to comment on what women politicians are wearing because that would be sexist. Yet this past week, the mainstream media fawned over Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ Timberland boots, even though some outlets previously ripped First Lady Melania Trump for wearing the same brand.
On Wednesday, multiple media outlets covered Harris’ choice to wear Timberland boots while visiting areas affected by the California wildfires. The most bootlicking (pun intended) of which came from Yahoo!Finance writer Brian Sozzi, whose headline read: “Kamala Harris may have made Timberland boots cool again.”
The opening paragraph of the article read: “And with one boss like [sic] move, vice presidential hopeful and California Senator Kamala Harris may have brought V.F. Corp.-owned Timberland a long overdue sales boost this fall/winter season.”
Marie Clair similarly applauded Harris’ fashion choice with a headline reading, “Kamala Harris Wears Her Timberlands, Gets Sh*t Done.”
The Yahoo! article is especially egregious since the same outlet ripped Melania Trump for wearing Timberland boots while visiting Puerto Rico with President Donald Trump after the island was hit by Hurricane Maria. “Melania Trump mocked for wearing Timberland Boots: ‘This is not a modelling show,’” read Yahoo!’s headline in October 2017.
In December 2018, Yahoo! and other outlets again chastised Melania for wearing Timberland boots while visiting U.S. troops in Iraq. At that time, the Yahoo! headline read: “Melania Trump mocked for Timberland boots in Iraq,” again citing random Twitter accounts with small followings to make it appear as though Melania was roundly derided.
This isn’t even the first time the media fawned over Harris’ shoe choice. Earlier this month, The Washington Post ran an article headlined: “Kamala D. Harris goes viral – for her shoe choice,” praising the California Senator’s frequent wearing of Chuck Taylor All-Stars on the campaign trail. On Monday, Buzzfeed also drooled over Harris’ shoes with an article titled: “People Are Low-Key Loving That Kamala Harris Has Worn Converse Sneakers For Much Of Her Campaign.”
As podcast host and political commentator Stephen Miller pointed out on Twitter, the media’s treatment of the Democratic candidate is far different than its treatment of Republican women. While Harris was still running for president, CBS News political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns tweeted about an instance at a fashion boutique where CNN national political reporter Maeve Reston jokingly picked out a garish sequin jacket for the Senator to try on. Huey-Burns tweeted a video of the laugh-filled stunt, even though she and the reporters involved are supposed to be straight-news journalists and not opinion writers, Fox News pointed out at the time.
The media has struggled with whether to cover what female politicians wear, with outlets like Vox calling such coverage “sexist” (when it comes to Democrat fashion choices) while The Atlantic insisted it was “not sexist.” As expected, the sexist/not-sexist line is drawn along party lines, where it is okay to mock Republicans but sexist to mock Democrats.
After Harris was announced as the VP candidate, The Washington Post ran an article about “How sexism is going to make Kamala Harris’ life harder,” completely ignoring how the outlet covered former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin when she was the Republican VP choice in 2008.