The other morning, as I ponderously savoured my tea, a news story came up that caught my eye.
I’m not one to watch the news much, I’m not usually up in time to watch it. But I’m kind of glad I did today, as there was a segment all about how some women in the workplace were being forced to dress in more of a provoking manor. In a survey, women felt coerce to dress ‘sexier’ to protect their jobs. And if you didn’t already find that stomach churning enough, these stats may change that…
it was 86% of those women who felt that way.
This was through things like applying more makeup and wearing shorter skirts. 7% claimed it was urged they wore high heals to make them more appealing to clients. Some actually being sent home for wearing flats.
As you can guess, I was seething. I don’t even know where to start.
Firstly, its 2016 – Why is this figure still so big? Why is it even there? We’re supposedly living in this third wave of feminism, where woman can have a substantial education and can work hard to pursue actual professional careers. Because being a woman doesn’t make us any more in jeopardy. Because being a woman doesn’t make you any less human.
This took me back slightly to my school days, when we were suffocated to wear specific skirts at a specific length, otherwise we apparently weren’t worthy of our education. And now, we see the complete contrary. Where we are deprived of our work because we follow a simple dress code we have always known to be ‘respectable’ or, we wear what we are comfortable in.
Double standards in a nutshell, my friends.
Also, real talk, how uncomfortable are high heels? And for a whole working day? Understandable some don’t want to wear them. And, as I’ve seen from my mum and other women I know, it’s almost impossible for them to wear heels because of foot problems. Why put them in a painfully uncomfortable position just to be ‘more appealing’ to clients – and to certain colleagues.
Our job is not to be a walking advertisement. And, if I say so myself, to have to rely on short skirts, makeup and high heels for the success of a business, that says much more about the efforts of the those above the woman in said workplace than the vulnerability of the woman.We earned these jobs, we have though for decades to get here. Surely we’ve shown our worth? So why should we still be fighting for our place on this platform?
And why do we have to fight for this with our appearance? The corporal, working world is not a beauty pageant, our looks do not reflect our minds and talent.
Personally, if I was being told to wear such things to look sexier, and maybe had to wear uncomfortable clothing, I wouldn’t be particularly chirpy in work. Thus, although I may be more ‘appealing’ to some, my moral and attitude would bring that appeal down. But that would probably be an attitude problem on my behalf…
Now, before I wrap this up, I feel I do need to include somewhat of a disclaimer. Yes, this is still very apparent today, and ultimately, shouldn’t. But I am not saying all managerial positions, companies, men in the workplace are impelling this. However the numbers, according to the survey, are high, and that’s not okay.
Also on this feminism post, I have focused very much on women. It says in the new article, and of course is true, that men don’t always have it easy. But I want to leave that for another day.
Anyway, I hope this wasn’t too in your face.
Until next time,