The Politics Of Women and Clothing

With this post, I am back– I took a leave of absence.  Please visit my other blog on Medium to see some of the recent cartoons I have been drawing, and of course you can see a lot of my work on my website.


I drew this sketch a few days ago for my New Yorker’s Daily Cartoon submission. They didn’t take it, but I wanted to publish it anyway. It’s in response to the woman in Saudi Arabia recently who posted a video of herself in a mini skirt and subsequently got arrested. She was eventually released. While we in this country are aghast at what is policed re women in Middle Eastern countries, it is important to remember what Western countries do, and how they police what women should and shouldn’t wear.

Women are told what to wear and if we are not wearing what a culture deems “correct,” we are “corrected,” so to speak. Society is beginning to notice how wrong victim blaming is, when a woman who is sexually assaulted while wearing a short skirt is — in many parts of the country — accused of “asking for it.” CBS News reported last week that in the US Congress, sleeveless dresses are not considered “proper business attire,” and thus women are open to being barred from entry if so clothed. In response, Representative Martha McSally wore a sleeveless dress in Congress, in violation of a rule that women are not to do so; and there was even more pushback. There are more examples, and many of them are much more subtle.

Every day is a political day for women around the globe. Here’s to more pushback.



About Liza Donnelly

Cartoonist and writer and live drawer for The New Yorker, CBS News. Speaker for TED and others. Books: Women On Men,
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