Three female senators call NYT coverage of Sinema's clothes 'sexist'

Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPhotos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Real relief from high gas prices The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Congress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills MORE (R-Alaska) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenBiden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions Sununu setback leaves GOP scrambling in New Hampshire MORE (D-N.H.) on Friday criticized The New York Times for a string of pieces related to fellow Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaIRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Green groups spend big to promote climate policy MORE's (D-Ariz.) clothing.  

The three female senators pointed to four stories recently published by the Times — one style section piece published last month and three opinion section pieces in the past three weeks from one writer — saying they "cannot imagine The Times printing similar pieces on the fashion choices of any of our male colleagues." 

"Senator Sinema is a serious, hardworking member of the Senate who contributes a great deal to the policy deliberations before us. Your repeated focus on how she dresses, rather than what she says and does, is demeaning, sexist and inappropriate," the senators wrote in a letter to the editor published Friday

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Asked about the criticism from the senators, Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for The Times, said, "the aim of our Opinion coverage is to invite intelligent discussion from informed people with a diversity of opinions and ideas. We believe in open debate and always welcome reactions such as the Senators' letter to the editor."

Sinema acknowledged the op-ed in a tweet, adding: "Work Hard. Be Yourself."

In a still largely buttoned up chamber, Sinema's penchant for patterns and bold colors stands out on the Senate floor. It's been the source of a steady stream of articles from several outlets, including attempts to analyze Sinema's politics through her fashion choices.  

And while it has earned her praise, it has also sparked criticism, including when some progressives interpreted a photo Sinema posted of herself earlier this year wearing a ring that said "“F--- off" as a response to them. 

Sinema's office has a policy of not commenting on her clothing. Amid criticism earlier this year of Sinema's vote against a $15 minimum wage, where she quickly got pushback from using a noticeable thumbs down, they also told The Huffington Post that "commentary about a female senator’s body language, clothing, or physical demeanor does not belong in a serious media outlet." 

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Sinema, in a recent interview with Politico, also called stories about her clothing "inappropriate." 

“It's very inappropriate. I wear what I want because I like it. It's not a news story, and it's no one's business,” Sinema said. 

Shaheen, Collins and Murkowski referenced Sinema's remarks in their letter to the editor. 

 "We couldn’t agree more," they added.

Updated 4:30 p.m.