June 19, 2008, - 11:33 am

ABSURD: Business Dress Codes are the New “Sexual Harassment ,” “Oppression” By Men

By Debbie Schlussel
Pity Christina Binkley. After a ton of articles during her history as the Wall Street Journal fashion writer, no-one noticed her reports on whether hemlines were up or down, ties in or out (they’re out, per future allies Obama and Ahmadinejad), and whether or not furs are still in.
But two recent columns she did write–about how the “Sex and the City” look is out at the office (unless you work in the creative fields) and how pantyhose are the new frump and are out (seen as a sign of old age, but sorry, I still wear them)–got her a ton of attention. And they got a lot of men at certain offices in trouble. The men have had to apologize, even while we hear Michelle Hussein Obama at ABC’s “The View” hagfest that she goes barelegged (again, TMI–and methinks she said it to look hip to younger female voters).

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Dressing Like Them @ Work Is NOT a Civil Right

Ludicrous but true. Yup, the inmates are running the asylum. Ask your female employees not to dress like hos at 8:00 a.m., and you will be slapped with a lawsuit, if you don’t grovel to the hoseless hos.
The latest in women’s lib–the right to dress like a Hooters Girl in the executive sweet:

Jim Holt doesn’t see himself as a “Neanderthal Man,” but that’s one of the nicer names he’s been called since he expressed his view publicly, in this column, that panty hose are more professional than bare legs for working women.
Mr. Holt, president of Mid American Credit Union in Wichita, Kan., has become the poster man for a lingering part of the war between the sexes. “It is not just that he is clinging to antiquated notions of femininity; it is also that he thinks he has the right to mandate femininity — antiquated or otherwise — in the office environment. Didn’t we blow past that when we got the right to wear pants to work?” wrote Cyndi Lafuente, a Washington, D.C., tax attorney, in one of hundreds of messages I received. . . .
But when it comes to setting and enforcing dress codes in the workplace, it isn’t the message but the messenger. What might sound like a mentor’s advice coming from a woman can feel like oppression coming from a man. . . .
Tom Mills, managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s Washington, D.C., law office, was asked to make a firm-wide apology for complaining in this column that some young law associates’ work attire was based on “the TV-woman lawyer look with skirts 12 inches above the knee and very tight blouses.” The accuracy of his statement is on view at many law offices and courtrooms. Yet one law blog suggested that Winston’s female associates should buy burqas in response to Mr. Mills’s views. . . .
When a man acknowledges any awareness of a woman’s body — as implicitly occurs when he raises the topic of, say, a low-necked dress — his comments can be misinterpreted.
John B. Phillips Jr., an employment-law attorney with Miller & Martin, Chattanooga, Tenn., says our ability to discuss these topics across gender lines is “worse today than it’s ever been.” . . . People are more aware of discrimination and more worried about saying the wrong thing. . . .
As a lawyer, Mr. Phillips advises male clients to ask a woman to convey dress-code standards to women — or at least to have a woman in the room. Otherwise, he says, discussing attire and women’s bodies “can lead to charges of discrimination if the man is the enforcer of the dress code.”

Yet another sign of America’s steep decline.
But, hey, you can wear a belly shirt and Hello Kitty earrings to work. So, we’re far better off.

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8 Responses

This is yet another example of women destroying the work place in America in the name of Feminism.
It is absurd that an employer could be sued for discrimination for enforcing a dress code but believe me it happens.
When I was in Law Enforcement; jewelry, long hair and makeup were not allowed but the women ignored it and as usual they were not disciplined for violating the dress code due to the fear of a lawsuit and pandering by the PC types that ran our agency.

ScottyDog on June 19, 2008 at 1:45 pm

The best thing for men to do in such a work environment is just say ‘good morning’, act professional & courteous, avoid going to lunch or any social or semi-social contact with any of these women & just make it through the day. Men don’t have equality in today’s work environment, and of course it doesn’ stop there. Affirmative action is rampant, & very few employers, & almost no politicians of their party are doing anything about it.

c f on June 19, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Orthodox Jewish women have to dress modestly at all times! But modesty is too passe for women today. Its a lifetime ago when Wendy Shalit wrote about the virtue of female restraint. Today she and Ariel Levy take one look at the “raunch” culture. The girls have won the right to behave as bad as the guys. Criticize them on that and a man is anti-woman! Its out with wearing decent clothes at work, avoiding profanity and doing the right thing. In is being provocative, swearing and sleeping around. That’s women’s lib in America today.

NormanF on June 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm

I am an independent information services consultant so I work at a number of different companies across the country. I have learned a few things about female corporate attire:
1. Never comment on what any female is wearing no matter how tight, small or casual.
2. 20-somethings for the most part have no idea what business attire means and business casual is whatever they feel like wearing means.
3. I have no idea if half the males graduating from college would even know how to tie a tie.

cbielinski on June 19, 2008 at 2:49 pm

The corporate culture is casual or is that semi-casual? In the old days, white collar men wore a suit and tie with oxford shoes to work and women wore a modest dress with pantyhose and nice pumps. That’s gone now. And its the unspoken rule in modern life a man never ever criticizes a woman about two things: her looks and her dress. So we’re not going to bring the old days back when people dressed up even for church.

NormanF on June 19, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Once upon a time, when a man definitively knew whether a woman wore pantyhose, stockings or went bare-legged, the woman would have at least received dinner and a movie first.
Also, most women do know what is appropriate for an office environment. One woman once said to me that if you want to know what other women think of the skankily dressed ones, you would have to listen to what’s said in the ladies’ room. I take her word on that.
chsw

chsw on June 20, 2008 at 5:35 pm

I am 20 something professional. I always dress professionally. No skirts above the knee, no clevege, and I try to dress tastefully. However, on more then one occasion comments have been made by men at my workplace because of my figure – regardless of what I am wearing. I happen to be a bit curvy. Today someone told me I was too distracting despite the fact that my skirt is past my knees, not skin tight, and my shirt is at the neckline and below the waste. It made me want to lock myself in my office and cry. It really denigrates your feeling of self-worth. I mean what I am supposed to wear – baggy mens suits or maybe sweatpants. Excuse me for having a bustline, a wastline, and a brain all at once.

AJ on August 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm

As a teacher I often encounter girls who push the limits on our dress code. Tight, tight pants that reveal the private parts, and too tight shirts that won’t stay buttoned. I’m sick of it. I feel like I am being sexually harassed when asked to tolerate this kind of dress because it’s fashionable, or because the kids just didn’t know any better, and so on. As teachers we are asked to enforce the dress code. So this means that everyone gets the once over everyday, and of course this is uncomfortable for EVERYONE! When we do send someone to the office…well very often they are just sent back without a clothing change. Do you think we could win a sexual harassment case for this kind of hostile work environment? School is about to start. Pencil jeans and tight tops are in. I am soooo not looking forward to this.

Reva Thompson on July 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm

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