Metro Weekly

GOP Congresswoman Angers Troll By Wearing A Tuxedo

Rep. Nancy Mace says being able to wear traditionally male clothing is "freedom," while at the same time opposing transgender rights.

Mace in Tux – Photo: Twitter @nancymace

A Republican congresswoman who has been all too happy to campaign against the transgender community was triggered after being dragged on Twitter by a right-wing troll who criticized her for wearing a tuxedo to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last weekend.

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) unleashed a storm of tweets after the criticism, seeking to balance her “moderate” image — carefully cultivated on mainstream media news outlets, in part due to occasional deviations from GOP orthodoxy on select issues — with her conservative bona fides.

In those tweets, Mace also sought to push back against accusations of gender nonconformity — which might hamper a future campaign in her Republican-leaning district — by pointing out other women who have worn tuxedos in the past, while also arguing that her style of dress was a form of expressing her freedom to wear whatever she wants, as reported by LGBTQ Nation.

The offending tweet came from Randan Steinhauser, a conservative public relations expert who describes herself in her Twitter bio as a “Counter-Cultural Christian Conservative WOMAN.”

Steinhauser largely used the tweet to attack Mace’s somewhat-nuanced position on abortion — wherein the congressman opposes abortion but has called for finding “middle ground” during appearances on weekend TV news shows.

“@NancyMace – I have known you for a longtime. But your recent anti-life statements & positions are very concerning,” tweeted Steinhauser, before shifting her focus to attack Mace’s style of dress.

“Further, as our culture continues to undermine women by celebrating men who pretend to be them” — an apparent reference to transgender women — “why would you choose to wear a tux to the WHCD?” Steinhauser continued.

Mace responded to a tweet from another conservative criticizing Steinhauser for attacking Mace’s choice of clothing.

When they can’t win the policy or the debate, they go straight for your appearance. So it goes… This ain’t Gilead,” a reference to the dystopian universe that serves as the backdrop for The Handmaid’s Tale.

She also criticized what she called Steinhauser’s “pearl clutching” with a rolling eyes emoji.

Mace also posted a picture of Melania Trump wearing a tuxedo-inspired outfit, without the bowtie. 

“Curious… who wore it better? Then vs. now?” Mace asked, placing Melania Trump’s photo alongside her own. “I love freedom and liberty, including being free to wear a tux.

“@RandanMarie Your attacks of me today are pretty antithetical But you do you,” she added.


Mace later re-tweeted posts criticizing Steinhauser, including one from journalist Yashar Ali showing Melania Trump and Hope Hicks, a former advisor to former President Donald Trump, wearing tuxedos, and another, from conservative columnist Ingrid Jacques railing against critiques of conservative women’s fashion choices — much in the same way that Hillary Clinton and other liberal-leaning women have been criticized in the past.

As LGBTQ Nation noted in its reporting, Mace’s outsized reaction to a single tweet appeared to have “struck a nerve.”

The outlet pointed to anti-transgender rhetoric that Mace employed in her two successful runs for Congress, and may fear a similar tactic being used against her by a future primary challenger, such as accusing the congresswoman of “cross-dressing.”

For instance, in 2020, Mace accused her opponent, then-incumbent Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) of working to pass a law requiring “transgender equality in the military,” asserting that such a law would force the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island — a major military base in her district — to close.

In 2022, according to The Hill, Mace accused her Democratic opponent, Dr. Annie Andrews, of “child abuse” for allegedly treating trans youth with puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery — despite the fact that Andrews never performed such treatments, nor did the hospital for which she worked. 

To clarify her position on transgender issues, Mace tweeted a clip of her speaking on a news show about concerns over, and opposing, transgender participation in female-designated sports and their presence in women’s locker rooms. 

“We want to protect women and girls,” she tweeted, using an oft-repeated justification for pushing for legislation restricting transgender rights. “Biological men should not be in female locker rooms, or competing against women in sports.

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