Cecily McMillan, the 25-year-old Occupy Wall Street activist who was jailed for elbowing a police officer during a protest, returned to court on Thursday, where a cadre of hard-hitting journalists greeted her with questions about her courtroom attire.
“My editor told me to ask who you’re wearing,” a photographer was spotted eagerly asking McMillan, according to The Village Voice.
McMillan, who was earlier this month released from Rikers Island — one of the country’s most notoriously violent jails — explained that although she was free, she no longer felt safe in New York “because I was sexually assaulted and then put in jail for it," according to the Voice. McMillan has alleged from the start that the officer involved in her assault case forcibly grabbed her breast from behind during the protest; after elbowing him, she was promptly arrested and put in jail.
Upon hearing her explanation Thursday, a Post reporter responded, “Well, you look fabulous! But you should eat more.”
The interactions resulted in a blatantly sexist portrayal of McMillan sprinkled with mocking details about her fashion choices — all of which fail to mention that she was asked such questions by the press.
The Daily News went straight to the sartorial details with the headline, “Occupy Wall Street protester wears Calvin Klein to court.”
The Post’s own coverage included a previously dated photo of an emotional McMillan with the caption, “McMillan cries in court in May after being given an outfit she had already worn." The paper led with the headline "Rikers Island: The new way to lose weight.”
Rikers is currently at the center of damning allegations of officer abuse, contraband smuggling by officers, regular beatings of the mentally ill, and corruption.
McMillan has been using her newfound freedom to speak out against the treatment of inmates at Rikers — a cause that is essentially being buried for more important notes on her outfit choices. Well done, New York media!