Hey everyone I was watching loose women yesterday as I sometimes do and the first item for discussion was should women dress a certain way for a working environment?Whilst most of the panellists seemed to say yes to imposed restriction on our right to dress as we pleased, it was left to Sally Lindsay to put forward the view that it is society’s attitudes which need to change rather than our rights to wear what we like.
My position on this is that unless there is a specific dress code which requires us to dress a certain way than the answer to this question must be no as anything else is to deny our right to freedom of choice and expression of personal identity.
Don’t forget I write this post as someone who has the experience of gender reassignment transition whilst working. It is fair to say that this brought with it it’s own particular issues, and these came from both men and women.
Do I believe my appearance was the subject of unfair criticism? Yes I do. this is I believe especially true from those of both sexes whose best days were behind them or those for whom good days were never actually going to happen.
I remember on a number of occasions I was told I was dressing inappropriately by certain members of staff, whilst on the same day I was complemented on my appearance by other colleagues. Now correct me if I’m wrong but surely both groups can’t be right it simply isn’t possible. Therefore how these people viewed me was I believe a matter of personal taste.
However no matter the personal prejudices of others some of whom quite frankly would have to use time travel to move forward from the Jurassic era to the 1950’s what I wore
did not impinge on how I was able to do my job and should not have been able to stop me wearing what I wanted no-one should care if I wore fishnet tights or what length my skirt was or what shade of lipstick I selected on a particular day. I mean for some people it was bad enough I was there so the least they could do was impose artificial rules on me which as far as I’m aware were never imposed on any other women in the workplace because despite some people’s power trip and fantasies there was never a policy on dress code.
This to me illustrates the point Sally Lindsay made so well. The reaction of the reactionaries at my former place of employment demonstrates a deep seated emotional conservatism which desires that we are put in to boxes and given appropriate labels.
Memo to planet Britain we are people not tins of meet. This is the 21st century Downton Abbey is a TV Programme about how things were in the past, it is not and will never be a manifesto for Britain’s future despite. David Cameron and Tony Blair fantasising otherwise.
As Sally said women should be able to wear whatever we want wherever we want and no-one has the right to say otherwise. Indeed to attempt to do so is blatant sexism and this kind of attitude has no place in the modern world let alone in any country which dares to call itself civilised.
There are however still forces of deep rooted forces of cultural conservatism in this land. One only needs to look at the viewing figures for programmes such as Downton Abbey and the rise in support for UKIP to prove my point. So addressing women’s rights to an equal society remains a significant problem. As Sally Lindsay rightly says it isn’t women’s fault that some men can’t control their desires. So why should we be restricted in what we can wear due to their lust filled cravings?
The fact is we shouldn’t. This institutionalised prejudice has led to discrimination against women which simply has to stop. Yes it’s all very well a fellow panellist attempting to excuse this behaviour by saying that we all guilty of judging each other on appearance and if we don’t fit in within a fortnight of joining a new company or organisation people assume we are what they thought we were.
Now I hate to disappoint these people but it is the ass in assume that makes donkey’s of us all. All this clothes maketh the man or indeed the woman is nothing more than a slogan thought up by the rich to make them feel good about themselves. We should never assume anything about anyone and we certainly should never assume things based on what people wear.
Also to make as one panellist did the entirely false comparison of a young male lawyer wearing a ripped T-shirt to show off his abbs is at best disingenuous, it is also hypocritical and if I’m honest barking mad. You see everyone knows there is a dress code for lawyers just as there is for those in the police force, the armed services, those who work in hospitals or even heavy industries. Well it may be a boiler suit and hard hat but it is technically still a uniform.
This however is an argument that diverts attention away from the main issue which is as far as I see it one of equality. You see this is not about jobs where there is an identified dress code. This is about a woman’s right to wear she likes in a job where there is no dress policy and wear it without being judged by the so-called fashion police. It is in the words of Sally Lindsay society which has to change rather than the contents of our wardrobe. It is perhaps time that we girls got a little bit lippy on this matter and told the world that we will wear what we like and in the words of Rod Stewart we will wear it well because to paraphrase the Cyndi Lauper anthem from the 1980’s girls just wanna have rights.
Love And Best Wishes