dressed To op­press?

As re­ports sur­face of Don­ald Trump’s sex­ist dress codes for fe­male em­ploy­ees, it seems that sar­to­rial dis­crim­i­na­tion against women is more com­mon than you might think…

Look (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Not that any­one will be sur­prised, but ac­cord­ing to a source who worked on Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion cam­paign, the Pres­i­dent of the United States re­quires his fe­male em­ploy­ees to ‘dress like women’.

Nat­u­rally, when this news broke, peo­ple were quick to point out the sex­ist im­pli­ca­tions, caus­ing the hash­tag #Dresslikea­woman to trend on Twit­ter. Thou­sands of women, in­clud­ing celebs like Brie Larson, started post­ing pic­tures of them­selves in all sorts of out­fits to point out that fem­i­nin­ity comes in many forms.

This rev­e­la­tion comes hot on the heels of a par­lia­men­tary re­port re­veal­ing the dis­crim­i­na­tion faced by women at work, specif­i­cally re­lat­ing to their ap­pear­ance. The re­port con­tains ev­i­dence of sex­ist dress codes is­sued to fe­male em­ploy­ees but not their male col­leagues. Sev­eral women re­ported be­ing re­quired to wear a cer­tain shade of nail var­nish, oth­ers were told to ‘un­but­ton their blouses’ and some were even asked to dye their hair blonde.

Only last year, ac­tress Ni­cola Thorp, 28, sparked a na­tional de­bate when she tweeted about be­ing sent home from a temp job in 2015 for re­fus­ing to wear heels. And, thanks to Ni­cola speak­ing out, thou­sands of peo­ple signed a pe­ti­tion ap­peal­ing to the Gov­ern­ment to make it il­le­gal for em­ploy­ers to en­force high heels for women at work. Last month, Ni­cola also ap­peared on Good Morn­ing Bri­tain to dis­cuss the find­ings of the par­lia­men­tary re­port. Luck­ily, Piers Mor­gan was on hand to mansplain sex­ism to Ni­cola: ‘If I started com­ing in to work in high heels, some­body would say to me: “Piers, I have a bit of a prob­lem… Can you stop wear­ing the heels?” and that would be re­verse sex­ism.’ Ni­cola replied: ‘It would be re­verse sex­ism. But un­for­tu­nately we [women] are, as we al­ways have been, the ones who are dis­ad­van­taged.’

What Piers was also for­get­ting is that men aren’t judged on their ap­pear­ance in the same way as women. Yes, many men are re­quired to wear a suit and tie, but women are also re­quired to dress smartly. Why should look­ing pro­fes­sional have to in­volve make-up and heels? Why should women have to con­form to an ‘at­trac­tive’ ideal when men are sim­ply ex­pected to be smart?

A quick sur­vey of the Look of­fice showed that un­for­tu­nately Ni­cola’s ex­pe­ri­ence is not un­com­mon, fur­ther prov­ing just how en­trenched this spe­cific form of sex­ism is. If it hasn’t hap­pened to you, chances are it has to some­one you know. Let’s hope the Gov­ern­ment takes ac­tion so none of us have to hear or share these sto­ries any more.

Brie: ‘I’ll wear what I like’

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