When General Mike Flynn, president-elect Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser, ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, the agency told women how to dress. MuckRock (a site that helps journalists make FOIA requests) initially unearthed the presentation in 2013, which was picked up by The Daily Beast following news Trump wants Flynn as his top national security aid:
Women in the Defense Intelligence Agency were told to monitor their levels of makeup, avoid flats, and err on the side of skirts and dresses when the organization was run by Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who was tapped to be Donald Trump’s national security adviser Thursday. The January 2013 presentation, entitled “Dress for Success,” was obtained through a Freedom of Information request by MuckRock in 2013.
“Makeup helps women look more attractive,” the presentation declared.
The presentation detailed not only that women should wear makeup but how they should wear makeup, as you can see for yourself below.
As MuckRock explains, the presentation “dictates the particular fabrics women should (and shouldn’t) wear” and told women “to consider their body type and to “accentuate the positive/disguise the negative.” The presentation also had guidelines for male employees, but they didn’t “touch on attributes such as physique or facial features.”
Rather, they inform men that dark suits are more authoritative than light ones, pinstripes are more authoritative than solids and “suspenders = elegance.” The presentation emphasizes the importance of bold necktie choices by telling men “DO NOT BE AFRAID OF COLOR!”
According to an email contained by MuckRock, Flynn claimed he didn’t know about the presentation and said the person responsible would “require some counseling” but not “be taken into the woodshed.”
Who knows exactly what happened. What we do know is Flynn doesn’t seem to take issue with sexism. He didn’t back away from Trump during the campaign despite sexist comments, sexual assault accusations, and a tape surfacing where Trump talked about grabbing women “by the pussy” without their consent.
Unfortunately, this is the least concerning thing about him. As Fusion’s Patrick Hogan explained earlier this week, “Flynn has mainly distinguished himself by cozying up to right-wing leaders, preaching Islamophobia and entangling himself with questionable clients through his consulting firm.” You can read more about that here.