Melania Trump isn't the only woman the internet is speculating what her wardrobe choices could mean. On Thursday, Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who's accused the embattled U.S. Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, both testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But it was what Dr. Ford was wearing that was speaking to viewers the loudest.
Not long after the hearing began, Twitter users noted that Dr. Ford chose to wear a blue suit, in what they believed was a nod to Anita Hill. 27 years ago, Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that her former boss, Judge Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her. Thomas was confirmed anyway, and today he sits on the U.S. Supreme Court bench. Still, Hill held her own as a Black woman in a bright blue suit, surrounded by a crowd of white men in black and navy suits in 1991.
Sen. Feinstein "Anita Hill, attractive woman in a blue suit". Dr. Ford, attractive lady in a blue suit. Must just be coincidence,; no one would have done that deliberately would they?— Heather R. Higgins (@TheHRH) September 27, 2018
Though it's admirable to think Dr. Ford is wearing blue in tribute of Anita Hill, who underwent similar proceedings, Hill actually wore a bright blue linen suit that leaned closer to teal. In fact, protestors in D.C. are wearing teal to celebrate Hill. The National Organization for Women wrote on its website, "WEAR TEAL to support Dr. Blasey Ford," in preparation for Thursday's rally. "Anita Hill wore TEAL when she testified in 1991. Summon the courage and strength of Anita Hill when you support Dr. Blasey Ford this week."
If anything, Dr. Ford's navy blue suit illustrates the burden of proof needed to be a believable accuser testifying during a sexual harassment hearing — and there isn't anything honorable about that.
When it comes to sexual assault, what a woman is wearing is often given too much attention — what she wore before or during an assault is often used to discredit the victim. Dr. Ford's muted, conservative suit was an attempt at giving her words the spotlight, and it's time the world lets her speak. Because if this was a man in her position, no one would be thinking twice about the blazer and trousers he'd no doubt be wearing.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call theRAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).