Female senators from both sides of the aisle slam NYT for ‘sexist’ coverage of Sinema’s outfits

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A bipartisan team of three female senators leaped to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.) defense in response to a smattering of recent New York Times articles focusing on the Arizona native’s fashion choices.

“Your repeated focus on how she dresses, rather than what she says and does, is demeaning, sexist and inappropriate,” Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski, (R-Ark), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) wrote in a joint letter to The Times that was published Friday.

Their response was prompted by four articles published between Oct. 18 and Nov. 12, including the first penned by The Times chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman, titled “Kyrsten Sinema’s Style Keeps Us Guessing.” The Times opinion columnist Tressie McMillan Cottom authored the other three pieces with headlines including, “Why we Should Talk About What Kyrsten Sinema Is Wearing,” “Kyrsten Sinema and the Politics of a Sleeveless Silhouette” and “How Kyrsten Sinema Uses Clothing to Signal Her Social Class.”

“The Times has published four separate pieces analyzing the style and dress of our colleague Senator Kyrsten Sinema,” the three lawmakers wrote. “We cannot imagine The Times printing similar pieces on the fashion choices of any of our male colleagues.”

“As Senator Sinema recently said about the commentary on her fashion: ‘I wear what I want because I like it. It’s not a news story, and it’s no one’s business.’ We couldn’t agree more,” the three females wrote in Sinema’s defense.

“Senator Sinema is a serious, hardworking member of the Senate who contributes a great deal to the policy deliberations before us. Your repeated focus on how she dresses, rather than what she says and does, is demeaning, sexist and inappropriate,” they added.

Not everyone agreed with the Senators and one person defended the coverage of Sinema’s fashion as “fair game.”

But another social media user found the swath of articles absurd.

A spokesperson for The Times rationalized their coverage to Fox News, “The aim of our Opinion coverage is to invite intelligent discussion from informed people with a diversity of opinions and ideas. We believe in open debate and always welcome reactions such as the Senators.”

Sinema has endured numerous attacks from the left as she and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) held the line on Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” spending plan. On two separate occasions in October, she was followed in an airport. In the first instance, protesters had the chutzpah to follow her all the way into the bathroom and continued recording while she was in a bathroom stall.

When Sinema was slated to officiate a wedding last month in Arizona, she and the bride were greeted by loud protesters who gathered outside of the venue to protest her putting the brakes on the spending bill.

Last month, a Times editorial board author attacked Sinema from a different angle and suggested she leave the Democratic Party.

“Some have suggested that she’s charting a path out of office entirely,” The Times’ Michelle Cottle wrote. “But Ms. Sinema’s better course may be not to leave the Senate but to split with her party. Her departure might even wind up being a positive for all involved.”


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