Earlier this week Erick Ericson and Dr. Melissa Clouthier weighed in on how some CPAC attendees dressed and behaved this year. They really set off quite a firestorm. Everyone has an opinion, that’s for sure.
I threw in my two cents briefly in an update to a long, rambling post about CPAC and my TSA experience. Then Patrick zeroed in on Tina Korbe’s skirt. (Korbe’s skirt probably wasn’t too short – sitting down can make a skirt hike up and seem shorter than it really is. Had there been a different camera angle it wouldn’t have been noticeable.) Patrick’s choice of words was less than desirable. There was some back and forth between blogs that’s getting a bit hard to follow, until Stacy McCain followed up with a long post of his own giving some advice to Patrick. Now Politico has devoted some space to the debate, and Stacy’s under attack from some conservatives.
If you follow the first link to Stacy, and read the entire post, you should realize the point of his post wasn’t so much to pick on Korbe – it was to get traffic while offering advice to another blogger. It seems to have worked, at least the traffic part.
My advice for future CPAC attendees is to dress the way you would for any business conference. Save the night club clothes for a night club. Although there’s a sort of carnival atmosphere about the conference, it’s still what most would consider a business event, and one’s dress and behavior should reflect that.
A couple of real world examples from my own personal experience:
Last spring I had to attend an insurance conference for my other job. It took place at a resort in the Adirondacks and everything was right there on site – the meetings, lunch, dinner, parties, you name it. At a cocktail reception before dinner one evening, a woman I don’t know was wearing a very revealing dress and people were talking about her behind her back. What some people were saying about her was downright vicious. (Much worse than anything I’ve read in the blogs on the CPAC debate.) I don’t know if any of it is true, but this is how people are out there in the real world. Melissa Clouthier’s advice to women on dress and decorum, I believe, is good advice. (More on that here.)
Oh, and to the guys who just want to “hook up,” be careful when doing so at any events related to your day job. During another conference in the fall I had to fire a marketing rep for exactly that reason. It was “behavior unbecoming to the company image” and I was given no choice but to let him go. He had a few other issues, but that was the final straw. I happen to think it was the right decision.
Some people think this is a silly controversy, and perhaps it is. But the last thing someone wants to do in this economy is lose out on a job because of things entirely under one’s own control. Maybe a few people have taken some of that good advice out there to heart. If so, none of this was a waste of time or effort. Maybe we should all just try to be a bit less judgmental, myself included.
Update: Poh Diaries linked – thanks!