Donald Trump has angered feminists all over again, after a new report revealed that he has told the female staff of his administration that they need to always "dress like women" when at work.
According to Axios, who spoke to sources inside the president’s team, Trump requires all of his employees to “have a certain look" and “be sharply dressed" at all times. But while, for male staff members that mostly equates to having well-groomed hair and an on-brand tie (“If it's not a Trump tie, you can get away with Brooks Brothers,” offers the source) the rules for women seem significantly more complicated.
“Trump likes the women who work for him 'to dress like women',” the report suggests. "Even if you're in jeans, you need to look neat and orderly." Insiders also told Axios that women who worked in Trump's campaign field offices and are public-facing, but only on a local scale, “felt pressure to wear dresses” to impress the president.
But what does it really mean to "dress like a woman" in Trumpland? Donald’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, has built a clothing empire off the back of her own Instagram hashtag #WomenWhoWork and a subsequent stream of daily posts showcasing her formulaic pencil dresses and pointed court shoes. Melania, too, favours this polished brand of power sheathing; figure-skimming dresses, double-breasted coats and nude Louboutin heels.
It’s true that formal and corporate environments will often call for a professional, personality-minimal approach to fashion, but - as now seems standard practice for any Trump directive - it's sparked an instant backlash on social media. The hashtag #DressLikeAWoman has started trending on Twitter, with thousands taking to the social media platform to offer alternative suggestions of what it really means to “dress like a woman”.
#DressLikeAWoman - The backlash
In response, female firefighters, soldiers and surgeons have all shared photos of themselves at work, while many are also circulating shots of tennis star Serena Williams and Game Of Thrones warrior Brienne of Tarth in her armour. Racing car driver Leilani Munter meanwhile has posted a picture of herself on the track.
Firefighters joined the debate
— Eve Silver (@Eve_Silver) February 3, 2017
This surgeon is dressed like a woman
— Judy Melinek M.D. (@drjudymelinek) February 3, 2017
— Leilani Münter (@LeilaniMunter) February 3, 2017
— sanctuary citizen (@fogandpinetrees) February 3, 2017
A mother and son got involved
— Tara Wildes (@TaraWildes) February 3, 2017
Inspirational women from across the world have been highlighted on the hashtag
— smoze (@sarahmozal) February 3, 2017
It would be a bit impractical to wear a skirt to this job
— #TheResistance (@AynRandPaulRyan) February 3, 2017
People have taken it as an opportunity to celebrate influential women
This is Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-Born American. She was the World's First Muslim woman in space. She's specialized in Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science. Look @POTUS she can #DressLikeAWoman #immigrant #muslimban #MiddleEast
A photo posted by Noor Al-Hajri | نور الهاجري (@nooralhajri) on Feb 2, 2017 at 11:50pm PST
Women from popular sports...
A photo posted by Ashley Amin (@ashleyamin_) on Feb 3, 2017 at 4:01am PST
— Beth Costello (@253hustle) February 3, 2017
Women in the army past...
— Schrödinger's Trump (@SchrodngrsTrump) February 3, 2017
— KateP (@doctorwibble) February 3, 2017
“[Trump’s] obsession with optics, style and TV glam are central to his being,” the Axios report muses, perhaps attempting to explain his overzealous concern for his employees appearances. “President Trump doesn't view life through the lens that most people do... he sees himself as The Producer, conducting The Trump Show, on and off stage.”