By Jo Fox
In her weekly ABC column, Jo Fox rounds up the news and views that might have flown under your radar
This week, she asks: Is it ever okay for a woman in politics to wear pricey slacks? What about kitten heels — or cleavage?
And was it fair that Wonder Woman was sacked as UN Ambassador for Women and Girls?
‘Noticed and discussed’: Bitter chocolate leather pants.
Should a Prime Minister wear leather trousers? Or rather, should a Prime Minister wear £995 ($A1,700) leather trousers?
That’s the big news this week in the UK after former education minister, Nicky Morgan, criticised British Prime Minister Theresa May for being out of touch with ordinary voters after she appeared in a Sunday Times photo shoot wearing “bitter chocolate” leather trousers.
The swipe quickly spiralled into a full blown public spat, with Mrs Morgan being disinvited to further meetings at No 10 Downing Street.
“I don’t have leather trousers. I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on anything apart from my wedding dress,” Mrs Morgan told The Times, adding that the trousers had been “noticed and discussed” in Tory circles.
The PM’s joint chief of staff, Fiona Hill, then disinvited Mrs Morgan to No 10 meetings in the future via a fellow male MP, whereupon Mrs Morgan found out about the message and texted back to Ms Hill:
“If you don’t like something I have said or done, please tell me directly. No man brings me to any meeting,” she wrote.
“Your team invites me. If you don’t want my views in future meetings you need to tell them.”
Ms Hill replied: “Well, he just did. So there!”
Mrs Morgan has become a prominent pro-Remainer since the UK referendum and has also disagreed with the PM’s desire to reintroduce grammar schools.
You can’t promote fashion if you’re a woman in charge.
I imagine the PM does not actually sit at home relaxing in leather trousers — in fact, I’d like to meet a person who does.
But wearing UK designer Amanda Wakely trousers (along with other British brands) is likely an attempt to promote local fashion talent — which is exactly what Samantha Cameron, the wife of former UK prime minister David Cameron, and First Lady Michelle Obama have done, and been lauded for.
It appears you can promote fashion if you’re the consort but not if you’re the woman in charge.
And, in a clear double standard, David Cameron and Donald Trump’s far more expensive Saville Row and Brioni suits (respectively), make for very little comment.
Theresa May is not unused to sartorial commentary. Many words have been written over the years about her fondness for a leopard print kitten heel (racy!).
In fact, leather trouser-gate follows double boob-gate earlier this year, with Ms May being accused of distracting the nation during then-Chancellor Osborne’s budget address with visible cleavage in a (double racy!) red dress.