In France, a new controversy regarding the so-called “slut shaming” has just broken out.
French MP Aurore Bergé dressed very sexily during a TV show and she now complains about people who focused more on her appearance than on the content of her statements.
Many view this as a blatant example of sexism.
I personally don’t believe this necessarily has to be sexist.
Sexism means that you unfairly treat both genders differently.
But consider now the principle of decency during a political discussion (PMP):
“During any political discussion, a person ought not to dress in a sexually arousing way if he or she wants to be taken seriously“.
This principle makes no mention of gender. It is valid for men, women, heterosexuals, and homosexuals alike.
Its truth seems very plausible to me. Human beings are much more driven by their feelings and instincts than by reason and rationality.
Since a good political discussion or speech should be focused on facts and reasoning, it is certainly unwise to dress in a way that would arouse members of the opposite sex. And if you do so, you shouldn’t complain about people commenting on your physical appearance.
Consider now the American Republican politician Aaron Schock.
Imagine he dressed like this during a meeting.
I think that very few people would have objections if he wasn’t taken seriously.
So why should sexily dressed female politicians be treated any differently?
I am not saying that dogmatically and I am willing to change my mind if you give me valid arguments.