This week, Ana Marie Cox of The New York Times Magazine asked Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders what he thinks of double standards for women and men in political campaigns:
Cox: Do you think it's fair that Hillary's hair gets a lot more scrutiny than yours does?
Sanders: Hillary's hair gets more scrutiny than my hair?
Sanders: Is that what you're asking?
Sanders: O.K., Ana, I don't mean to be rude here. I am running for president of the United States on serious issues, O.K.? Do you have serious questions?
Let me get this straight... there are people praising Bernie Sanders because he refused to answer a basic question about double standards for women and men in politics based on physical appearance.
Yet, Bernie Sanders has the luxury of dismissing a woman reporter's concerns over double standards as "worrying about hair styles instead of important issues."
Bernie Sanders has the luxury to not worry about a reporter questioning his hair style.
He has the luxury to wear the same suit daily and not draw scrutiny for it.
He doesn't have to worry about what it communicates to the public if he does or doesn't wear makeup or jewelry or high heels or a wedding ring.
He doesn't have to worry about running for office while visibly pregnant and how this influences voters.
He doesn't have to worry about walking a very, very thin line between "boring prude" and "slutty" based on his clothing.
51.5 percent of our population are women, and every single one of them who has ran for political office has had to negotiate the public's unforgiving, often-contradictory view of their physical appearance.
So, yes, Bernie, I think a woman reporter (or any reporter) asking you about male privilege in political campaigns is a legitimate issue and a "serious" question.