A story on Roll Call Thursday night cast aspersions on Janet Yellen, President Obama's pick to head the Federal Reserve, for, of all things, having an insufficiently varied wardrobe. The consensus on Twitter was that such an article would never have been written about a man.
Actually it's worse than that.
Those stories have been written about men, and they're unfailingly praised for being decisive leaders who don't waste brain power on frivolous things like fashion. Take, for example, Obama, or Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs.
Obama famously told Vanity Fair that he wears only blue or gray suits. "You need to focus your decision-making energy," he told Michael Lewis. "You need to routinize yourself." The headlines praised him for decluttering his mind and cutting down on "nonvital" choices. " Barack Obama's Secret Weapon? Routine," read a headline in The Guardian.
Zuckerberg, who wore the same Facebook T-shirt almost every day for years was lauded for saving time in the morning. "He's extremely busy, and picking clothes takes time out of his day that could be spent doing other things," notes a post in The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, Steve Jobs's decision to wear a black turtleneck and jeans every day had him being praised as a "fashion visionary." Jobs's uniform, observed one writer, "has heretofore seemed less like a sophisticated sartorial choice than a savvy excercise in personal branding, a symbol of ascetic devotion to technology." Acclaimed designer Ralph Ruccinhas has called it one of the most "wholly original" ideas in modern fashion.