Anna Sheffer
November 16, 2017 11:12 am

Holding up a sheet of newly minted one-dollar bills may not seem like a normal day at work for most Americans. But for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, the photo op was all in a day’s work. What was unusual was the internet’s uproar over Mnuchin and Linton’s pose.

For some backstory: The bills in the photo have Mnuchin’s signature on them and will go into circulation in December. The signatures of treasury secretaries have appeared on money in the U.S. for decades, so the visit to the U.S. Mint was nothing out of the ordinary. Mnuchin, however, has been in the news recently for his involvement in President Donald Trump’s tax reform efforts.

Most notably, he has defended tax cuts that would disproportionately benefit the rich (he himself is a former hedge fund manager and known millionaire).

After the photo was released, Mnuchin’s wife, Linton, immediately became a Twitter meme. Something about her black leather ensemble and facial expression caught people’s attention. Users tweeted that she looked like a Disney villain, and some compared her outfit to Darth Maul’s.

It’s understandable that the photo of Linton and Mnuchin could rub many the wrong way amidst the bevy of potential tax cuts for the wealthy.

But let’s be clear: It’s never okay to ridicule or scrutinize a woman’s appearance — regardless of her politics.

And again — we get it — there are plenty of valid reasons why some may take issue with Linton (an offensive memoir she wrote about the year she spent in Zambia, and several insensitive Instagram posts, to name a few). But two wrongs don’t make a right, and criticizing her looks because one doesn’t like her politics only serves to reinforce sexist and derogative double-standards.

Women of all shapes and sizes are shamed for their appearances every day. Let’s strive to be part of the solution — *not* the problem.

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