Karl's year in the Burberry suit

November 17, 2014

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Does it suit, Karl?

Karl Stefanovic hit the headlines over the weekend after it was revealed he's been wearing the same cut-price suit on air for a year as a social experiment.

Karl was inspired by a lecture co-host Lisa gave last year which touched on sexism in the media and decided to support her.

“I'm judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humour - on how I do my job, basically, whereas women are quite often judged on what they're wearing or how their hair is,” Karl told The Age reporter Michael Lallo.

“Today, so often it seems, the old combo of talent, a love of words and the power to communicate powerfully are not always enough. What you wear can sometimes generate a bigger reaction than even any political interview you ever do” she said at the Andrew Olle Lecture in 2013.

Stefanovic’s frustration at this sparked his frustration. For a month he wore the Burberry suit and no one noticed.

After this first month he told Wilkinson of the experiment, and both waited to see how the Australian public would scrutinise him.

But there was nothing.

"No one has noticed. But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up.

“They say the wrong thing and there's thousands of tweets written about them,” Stefanovic told Lallo.

Karl’s comments were this morning discussed during The Grill with Daily Telegraph columnist Sarrah le Marquand, Lisa and Nine News presenter Alicia Loxley in Melbourne.

Le Marquand was the first to offer her support.

“I love this, Karl. Congratulations. Who would have thought that Karl would become a feminist icon?” Sarrah asked the others.

“[That speech by Lisa] was a watershed moment in shining a light on the double standard. Lisa in that speech addressed that a lot of those emails came from women, to me it doesn’t negate the fact that it is sexism.

“Sexism is about when there is a double standard, it's about when we're not seeing gender equality” said Sarrah.

“I think women are very aware of this, even if we don’t talk about it often” said Lisa.

Sarrah then went on to verbalise the real message everyone can take out of Karl’s experiment.

“Talking about these things is how you change, and challenge the culture," she said.

We often do dress for ourselves. It’s just about how much scrutiny women are under and is that the way that they're measured? The work is ignored often, by all means comment on her appearance, she’s a beautiful woman, but don’t measure her by that”

You can see the full clip of Lisa’s lecture on YouTube here.

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