I took a bit of stick yesterday for commenting on how Dalia Stasevska’s kimono-like garment got in the way of good conducting at her BBC Proms debut.
One musician wrote: It’s hard enough to be a woman in a profession where nobody takes you seriously. When you lead off your introductions of both women with how their clothes affected them you continue to put women in the “pretty things obsessed with clothes” category. You may have legitimate complaints about the performance— I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know— but surely someone with as much experience as you can come up with a better way to discuss this situation… I’m quite sure your critiques of her performance would stand had she worn something more acceptable to you. Surely we can all see that commenting on women’s appearances is unprofessional.
It is not unprofessional to report on an item of clothing – chosen by an artist of either sex – when it gets in the way of what the performer is supposed to be doing, which is communicating with the musicians and the audience. What if she had worn a flashing bow-tie? This is not a comment on her appearance per se: it is on her decision how she wants to appear and be perceived in the public eye. That is the very definition of public domain.
Your thoughts, please?