As I walked out to greet the troops, my coat blew open in a rather swashbuckling way to reveal the top of a pair of knee-high boots. My coat and boots speak of sex and power – such a volatile combination, and one that in political circles rarely leads to anything but scandal. It is as though sex and power can only co-exist in a fantasy. When I combine them in the real world, stubborn stereotypes have my power devolving into a form that is purely sexual.
Well, no one has ever accused me of being stylish. My uniform is something that I feel comfortable in and don’t have to worry about so instead I can worry about things like surviving, getting the story, making deadlines. So my professional uniform is a Beretta shooting jacket; a white shirt; beige pants or black jeans; and flat leather Tod’s lace-up boots. I’m not trying to dress like a soldier or a photographer but in this I feel appropriate, especially in the Muslim world. And being appropriate enables me to get my foot in the door.