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» babble   » walking the talk   » feminism   » Mandatory makeup not a sexist policy

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Author Topic: Mandatory makeup not a sexist policy
audra trower williams
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posted 17 January 2005 01:35 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
One of the highest courts in the land, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has determined that it's legal for an employer to fire a female employee who refuses to wear makeup. Think this through slowly and carefully, girls: if you live in the 9th Circuit (which covers California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and Montana), you could be fired tomorrow if your boss decides your "uniform" for work includes makeup. Supposedly this ruling doesn't run afoul of discrimination law because it doesn't impose an "" on women. Do you want to know why, ladies and germs? Because a rule for women enforcing face paint is "equal" to a rule forbidding men from wearing it.

From the Scarleteen blog.

News story.


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 17 January 2005 01:42 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Lord knows what the Hooters chain and other places will do with this ruling.

I wouldnt mind if there was more of a logical reason for it (like the cosmetic dept at the bay would be reasonable. After all, there they are selling cosemetics)


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John_D
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posted 17 January 2005 01:51 PM      Profile for John_D     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It certainly seems like the policy placed much more of a burden on women than men. Requiring someone not to do something is no burden at all, in fact, and requiring clean fingernails and short hair is no burden to the vast majority of men and no worse than any other workplace would require.

I do think the standard would be acceptable if Harrah's was willing to pay for the cosmetics required for their female employees, although I am not entirely sure of that position - it is just a gut feeling that it would be fair.


From: Workin' 9 to 2 in the 902. | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
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posted 17 January 2005 01:51 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post
It must have been other women who noticed that she wasn't wearing makeup. Men seldom do. They just think you look nice today. I worked in an office a long time ago as the assistant to a smart, funny woman. The receptionist was young, wore girly-type clothes, lotta make-up and flirted with all the men. My boss would occasionally say to me: "Jane is going to call in sick tomorrow" and by godfrey she'd be right every time. When I asked her how she knew, she'd just smile. Finally, after she'd made her announcement and I whined again wanting to know how she knew, she told me to go have a good look at Jane. Bingo! She wasn't wearing any makeup and the men in the office were all solicitous: "Jane, are you not feeling well?"
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skdadl
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posted 17 January 2005 02:13 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

This is beyond stereotyping. It is sheer superstition.

Ye gods! Some Americans really have to be brave people, just to go on living in a place that puts dinosaurs on the bench!

Blush?!? The law can require anyone to wear blush?!?

Why? Why? Why?


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Melsky
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posted 17 January 2005 02:15 PM      Profile for Melsky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If I worked there I'd make a point of coming in looking like Tammie Faye Baker.
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skdadl
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posted 17 January 2005 02:16 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
After a serious crying fit, eh?

With the mascara streaking?


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 17 January 2005 02:22 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How much discrimination do our own Canadian laws permit?

I used to work at a Black's Camera store back in about 1989, and was told many times that I was forbidden from wearing an earring and that they were within their rights to forbid this, even though I always pointed out that women who worked in the same store were not.

Could I have taken them to the cleaners for a human rights violation, or were they correct and I had to suck it up?


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brebis noire
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posted 17 January 2005 02:23 PM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I particularly and strenuously object to foundation.

Also strange in America is how some Christian circles object to women wearing makeup and others tacitly encourage them to do so.


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lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 02:28 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not long before his suicide, Mayakovsky's 1930 play The Bathhouse featured a time traveller from the year 2030, The Phosphorescent Woman. She is disappointed with many aspects of post-revolutionary society. One of these her encounter with the bureaucrat's secretary who was sacked for painting her lips (non-Soviet) after her boss insisted on her painting her lips ... But he was denouncing incipient Stalinism ...

Beyond all the gross sexism and abusive management rights (I think employers have a right to insist on good grooming, but men's hairstyles are their own business as well) a lot of people are ALLERGIC to makeup.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 17 January 2005 02:28 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've been subject to a dress code that insisted on nylons when wearing a skirt. I actually had a supervisor come over and pinch my calf to make sure I was (I was wearing sheer, light-coloured ones that appeared very natural). I hate nylons, and now would probably have made an issue of it, but back then, I needed the money and had been underemployed for quite a long time.

I wonder if exceptions could be made for those of us with allergies to most makeup? I can wear it for a short time (like, for a one-day shoot or so), but afterwards, I have at least itching, if not a rash.


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Bacchus
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posted 17 January 2005 02:32 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Im guessing no exceptions would be allowed, given the climate of the decision. Don't apply to work at the perfume counter of Macys if you are allergic to perfume would be their reasoning Im sure.

But couldnt she re-direct her suit around the notion of grandfathering. Like ok fine they can now demand that all new employees adhere to the new code but older ones can get away with not doing it or doing it to a lesser extent because they were there before it was a rule?


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lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 02:34 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And women to whom wearing nylons in hot weather gives vaginal infections? I sure remember those, when I had to do such jobs.

If workers had more rights, you'd be able to charge that supervisor with assault. Supervisors have no right to lay a hand on a worker.

It is disgusting to treat workers like slaves.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 17 January 2005 02:39 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Body Shop requires women who work for them to wear five different articles of make-up on their face. For instance:

1. Lipstick
2. Mascara
3. Eye-shadow
4. Blush
5. Foundation

It's your choice what you want to wear, as long as you're wearing five of them. The idea being, they are hoping a customer will ask you, "Gosh, I love that colour of eye-shadow! What colour IS that, anyhow?"

I always thought it was ridiculous, considering that many people who shop at The Body Shop do not shop for make-up but for other supplies. When I worked there (just seasonally - extra money at Christmas) I was going through a stage of my life where I didn't wear much make-up at all. I really resented it that I had to wear it. I got out of wearing foundation (which I HATE) by trying to use the least noticable products and considering it one of my choices.

What really, REALLY bothered me about it is The Body Shop's supposed commitment to feminist ideals, and making women feel good about themselves as they are. It's not anti-feminist to wear make-up and delight in make-up - I actually really like wearing it when I have time to put it on. But it's certainly anti-feminist to force women to wear it.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 17 January 2005 02:47 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There is always the option not to work there, and not to shop there.

The beauty of choice.


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lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 02:51 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There is not always the option of getting another job.

Labour standards exist to protect workers from abusive management powers. They must be extended to such cases of sexism and an infringement on PEOPLE'S BODIES.

That is the ugliness of sexism and untrammelled predatory capitalism.


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kingblake
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posted 17 January 2005 02:51 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So you're pro-choice then, are you?
From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 17 January 2005 02:53 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes I am. What has that to do with makeup?
From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 17 January 2005 02:54 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
There is not always the option of getting another job.

Labour standards exist to protect workers from abusive management powers. They must be extended to such cases of sexism and an infringement on PEOPLE'S BODIES.

That is the ugliness of sexism and untrammelled predatory capitalism.



There is always the option. It is called the want ads.


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skdadl
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posted 17 January 2005 02:55 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's true that people have delighted -- have been able to delight -- in making themselves up, in decorating their faces and their bodies, through all the histories that we know. The henna'd hair, the wonderful Egyptian eyes ...

And that's great. I'm thinking right now of several lovely babblers I've met who have such a talent for such delight, and it is wonderful to meet people who can enjoy make-up as free play.

But as several people have written above, make-up can be hazardous to your health, and workers are not slaves.

I wonder whether anyone has ever investigated the long-term implications of wearing foundation, stopping up the pores that way (which I did for many years). And encasing the lower body in plastics through the summer?!? Yeeee.


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Michelle
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posted 17 January 2005 03:01 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
There is always the option not to work there, and not to shop there.

The beauty of choice.


Yeah. Your boss wants to fuck you and makes passes at you on a regular basis? Heck, don't complain, just find another job. Your boss tells you to fuck off on a regular basis? Heck, that's okay, you can always find a job somewhere else! Your boss pays a man twice as much as he pays you for the same job? Well, the beauty of choice is, you can always go work somewhere else! Never mind fighting for fair employment standards or rights.

Hey, you know what another beautiful choice is? If you discover a forum called "feminism", and its description is "Discuss feminist issues from a feminist point of view", and you're a chauvanist creep who doesn't have a feminist point of view, then your choice is, you can either keep your big sexist mouth shut, or you can post your sexist bullshit on some other forum where it might be appreciated.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 03:08 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Indeed, and the "want ads" comment is a gross insult to workers where there is a certain degree of unemployment. His notion of "choice" only pertains to the richer and more powerful.

Of course the places that will only hire women who wear extensive makeup (yecch, foundation) wouldn't hire someone my age anyway, or someone who looks rather artsy-bohemian, even in her "good" (conference interpretation or party) clothes...

I do wear makeup - I love to wear eye makeup, to look like a cat, and sometimes wear lipstick as well. Foundation, never, unless I'm in a theatrical production. The broadcast journalists I know who have to wear it for the camera have to be VERY careful about protecting their skin and removing the crap as soon as possible.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 17 January 2005 03:10 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I felt the flames from here Michelle

To me, the key is a reasonable connection to the job. Wearing perfume at a perfume counter, make up at a makeup counter , Gap clothes as a gap salesman or a love/knowledge of movies/music working at HMV is not unacceptable. But the key is a reasonable connection (not to mention a unbiased one). So refusal to wear the outfit but wanting to be a hooters waitress doesnt fly with me but needing to be madeup for a casino doesnt work for me at all. It is a blantant attempt to objectify women in a place where it is not expected.

That hooters or a stripbar objectifies or sexualizes women (as a male strip bar does to men) is expectied from that type of place and if women or men wanna go there or work there, they know where they stand. In a 'regular' establishment where sexualization/objectification is NOT the norm or expected, it is unacceptable

I hope I made this clear and I prob screwed it up


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Reality. Bites.
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posted 17 January 2005 03:12 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
There is always the option not to work there, and not to shop there.

Ah yes -- as long as we outlaw actual slavery, there's no need for any workers' rights because they can work wherever they wish.

Right.


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 17 January 2005 03:14 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
...is expectied from that type of place and if women or men wanna go there or work there, they know where they stand.

I seem to recall some similar complaints or lawsuits from women who went to work at strip bars as a server and were expected to basically "tart up" for the clientele, even though they weren't dancers and had no intentions of becoming dancers.


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C.Morgan
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posted 17 January 2005 03:20 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not sure how defending an employer's right to excersise dress codes defines me as a chauvenist but whatever. I suspect that there are some woman business owners who impose dress regulations.

I don't recall supporting bosses wanting to "fuck" their employees but whatever.

I fergot about the gender rule round here. I will sink back to other forums where I may speak.


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arborman
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posted 17 January 2005 03:23 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've always found makeup to be a bizarre aspect of our current culture.

From high school through to my current decrepit state, I have found that the amount I have in common with a woman tends to be inversely proportionate to the amount of makeup she wears on a regular basis. I am particularly amazed by the women who feel they must put on makeup to go the gym. (There is a male corrolary to this - the guys who surreptitiously flex every time they see themselves in the mirror).

That is a bit of a generalization, I know, but it has tended to apply through much of my life.

Nobody should be forced to wear makeup, or prevented from doing so (in the case of men, apparently). Personal appearance is a personal choice, period.

I can understand, to an extent, the desire of an employer to manage the appearance of the company. However, there should be reasonable limits to their ability to control individuals. For example: forbidding bondage outfits seems reasonable, in some case. Forcing makeup is obviously not.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 17 January 2005 03:28 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's not a gender rule, it's a respect rule. Sorry you find that challenging!
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 17 January 2005 03:31 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Respect means agreeing then? I don't mean on feminism in general. I mean on this particular issue.

Disagreement on an issue does not mean one is not coming from a pro-feminist point of view.


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HeywoodFloyd
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posted 17 January 2005 03:32 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't really know if this is relevant but I can't stand makeup as a beauty enhancer. I don't find women with it on (especially foundation) to be more attractive.

I will caveat this by saying that if it is done well it can help but who has time to do that? Not many people I know.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 17 January 2005 03:34 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I seem to recall some similar complaints or lawsuits from women who went to work at strip bars as a server and were expected to basically "tart up" for the clientele, even though they weren't dancers and had no intentions of becoming dancers.

If it was the uniform that they were shown when they applied and in a strip bar they should not be surprised. I dont support that one. Though most of the strip bars I've been to, the waitresses were dressed pretty average (t-shirt, jeans, skirt, shorts but nothing really 'tarty')
I put that right up there with my other examples (perfume at a perfume counter)

If what they want relates to the product (perfume, stripping, makeup ) then I dont see a problem. If its not germane to the business then its BS and should not be tolerated.


edited to add

My wife used to model and such had to wear makeup. As a result she rarely if ever wears makeup and doesnt actally like it. In fact the only time I've ever seen her really made up was at our wedding, otherwise its the occasional lipstick or blush.

[ 17 January 2005: Message edited by: Bacchus ]


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lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 03:37 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The question of people's right to control their own bodies is a biggie, to my mind, as are STRICT LIMITS over "an employer's right to excersise dress codes". That is, one can certainly defend expecting people to be clean, to wear garments required by safety, identification (police and bus-drivers' uniforms) and to a certain extent, a professional image. But the latter can easily become discriminatory, racist, ageist or sexist if workers do not have recourse against abuse.
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 17 January 2005 03:38 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There was an episode of Malcolm in the Middle about this where Lois was told that she would do better if she dolled up a bit. She decided to get even by tarting up to the point of a caricature. People responded better to her and she kept it up, even though it drove her batty, until one day on a smoke break she was mistaken for a hooker.

The makeup ended then and the point was that a woman doesn't need makeup to do a good job.

Mandatory makeup makes me ill.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 17 January 2005 03:38 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Not sure how defending an employer's right to excercise dress codes defines me as a chauvinist but whatever.
It is not a dress code that defines you as a chauvinist but the unequal application of a dress code. Only female employees jobs depend on wearing makeup.

Would you be okay if your employer dictated that all male employees, and only male employees, would be required, as a condition of employment, to wear nose rings? I am assuming you would happily quit your job with concern or complaint if you preferred not to wear a nose ring.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 17 January 2005 03:43 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There is a shake-up a'comin', I think.

On the one hand, I will admit that I will be sorry to lose my perfume. I have loved my perfume.

But when I walk into Holt Renfrew or any other store that puts its cosmetics bars right up at the front door, even I feel sickened by that war of artificial smells. I'm sure that it is not good for the human body to be immersed in those chemicals, and I doubt that these fetishes are going to survive more and more environmentally aware younger generations.

People who feel free will dress and decorate themselves out of pleasure rather than defiance. We are already FABULOUS as we are, as Miss Vicky always says, and left to define ourselves, we could make ourselves beautiful in many different ways.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 17 January 2005 03:46 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't care for wearing ties. Thus I am not in a formal office environment.

If I was asked to wear a nose ring, I would either wear one or quit. Pretty simple. I guess that assumes that there are other qualified men willing to undergo the nose piercing for the job.

Perhaps one should direct their vitriol more at the women who seem to have no difficulty in wearing the makeup. If they were not there to fill the jobs, the employers would certainly hesitate before requesting it.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 17 January 2005 03:46 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I go out of my way to avoid the cosemetic counters because I get a headache and altho I dearly love scented candles, 5 minutes in yankee candle and I have a splitting headache. I have a problem even attending partylights shows now for that
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 17 January 2005 04:43 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
I
Perhaps one should direct their vitriol more at the women who seem to have no difficulty in wearing the makeup. If they were not there to fill the jobs, the employers would certainly hesitate before requesting it.

I think not.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scout
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posted 17 January 2005 05:25 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Perhaps one should direct their vitriol more at the women who seem to have no difficulty in wearing the makeup.

Why? I have no problem with what the next woman puts on her face, it's her face, her choice?


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Budd Campbell
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posted 17 January 2005 05:27 PM      Profile for Budd Campbell        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
There is always the option. It is called the want ads.

Is this the appropriate response to all work place complaints, ... get another job? If so, it sounds like what I would expect to hear from the small business lobby, in conjunction with a demand that the minimum wage be lowered or repealed outright, that overtime and holiday pay be similarly reduced, etc., etc. And as for refusing to perform unsafe work, ... well, ... I guess you've got a solution for that too, eh?


From: Kerrisdale-Point Grey, Vancouver | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 17 January 2005 05:27 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
C. Morgan, would you understand the problem if they ordered women to wear blue on Monday, red on Tuesday etc., but allowed the men to wear any colour they wished?
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 17 January 2005 08:18 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I wonder if exceptions could be made for those of us with allergies to most makeup? I can wear it for a short time (like, for a one-day shoot or so), but afterwards, I have at least itching, if not a rash.

Theoretically you could assert a claim about this under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Practically speaking, the Supreme Court has narrowly construed what constitutes a covered "disability," and a skin rash caused by makeup may not count. I recall a similar case involving an African American man who challenged a "no beards" policy on the grounds that he suffered from a skin condition called PFB, which made daily shaving very painful. I don't believe that he was successful on the disability claim although he may have been successful on a race discrimination claim, because PFB disproportionately (maybe exclusively?) affects African American males. I'll see if I can dig up more info on this, as it seems at least tangentially relevant to the thread.

[ 18 January 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 17 January 2005 08:33 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I found this capsule description of the case I was thinking of:

quote:
Personal Appearance. Some companies prescribe standards in dress and personal appearance. At times, certain dress and personal appearance (e.g., no long hair) codes have been attacked as being either discriminatory or as violating a person's rights of privacy.

In many situations, arbitrators and judges will uphold a company's personal appearance policy provided it is reasonable and justifiable. For example, requiring firefighters to be clean shaven has been upheld in some counties. However, one company's no-beard policy was held to be racially discriminatory. After being told about the company's no-beard policy, the worker explained that he wore the beard because he suffered from a skin condition peculiar to many black males which made him unable to shave. The company told him it made no exceptions and the man was eventually fired. He then filed a race discrimination charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The U.S. Court of Appeals held that the company's no-beard policy effectively operated to exclude those black males from employment.

NOTE: The court noted that the mere fact that a black male employee suffers from PFB is not sufficient to exempt him from the no-beard policy; only those who suffer greatly and cannot shave are protected.


Business Week: Small Business Legal Survival Guide

I'd like to find the actual case, though, and this doesn't really give me enough to go on. Still, I think that this would be a good analogy to the case where a woman actually experiences a medical problem as a result of a mandatory makeup wearing policy.


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 08:41 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But it is all examples of what we call "l'arbitraire patronal" - arbitrary exercise of management powers to ground down workers, without a real relation to the job. I don't think anyone would expect to be able to work in a law court in ripped jeans, but some of the expectations here are gross infringements on people's personal lives - off the job. A man who can't wear his hear long on the job (even if it is neatly coiffed and clean) can't do so in his personal life either. I've done theatrical work and had to wear makeup of course (hell on the skin).

A lot of this pertains to bosses treating their workers like shit, and saying "since I'm the boss, I can control the rest of your lives".

Grrrrr pantyhose in summer (or winter for that matter, that type of boss wouldn't let women wear less abrasive tights). Nothing like condemning women to genital problems to keep a job. I think skdadl was the one who mentioned it. Festering in plastic ...


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 17 January 2005 08:44 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
C.Morgan, this is what you were (originally) pilloried about:

"There is always the option not to work there, and not to shop there.
The beauty of choice."

Your simplistic in-the-extreme response exposes the fact that you are totally unaware of the world around you, the world in which many people do NOT have the choice of leaving their job, for many reasons. eg:
lack of qualifications/skills/work experience
single parenthood
alcoholic/unemployed/disabled partner
child with disability requiring costly services
social isolation
geographical isolation
high mortgage repayments
self esteem
etc, etc.
And that's not even getting into the issues originally discussed in this thread.

You are obviously not encumbered by any of these issues, however you would do well to look more deeply at those around you and imagine the complexity of their lives. OPEN YOUR EYES - THE WORLD IS NOT EQUAL.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 17 January 2005 08:46 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
lagatta, there are options for women who must wear hose in summer; knee-highs with trousers, or stay-ups. We needn't suffer yeast overgrowths!
From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 17 January 2005 09:13 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But it is all examples of what we call "l'arbitraire patronal" - arbitrary exercise of management powers to ground down workers, without a real relation to the job.

Yes, exactly. The problem is that employment law is not really structured to deal with that, indeed, it is generally structured on the assumption that such is a manager's prerogative. Only in certain, specifically defined circumstances does the State see fit to intervene and even there the scope of that intervention is largely pursued and defined through the courts on a case-by-case basis, which leads to blurry and haphazard results.


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 09:19 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The most logical option is none of the above. Even Princess Diana was famously photographed, most elegantly, in a summer frock and NO HOSE.

Actually, stockings are seen as rather gauche nowadays in chic circles in even slightly warmer climes ... They are an absurdity, except in autumn or spring when tights might be too much and bare legs too little.

My point is not that people should be able to look like they've been repainting their flats in a formal work setting, but how arbitrary the rules are. Same goes for ties. Many cultures have workplace/formal shirts or other dress for men that doesn't require such chokers - think Nehru, Mao collars, the most elegant shirts worn in the Caribbean or by Nelson Mandela, without venturing further afield.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 17 January 2005 09:22 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
The most logical option is none of the above. Even Princess Diana was famously photographed, most elegantly, in a summer frock and NO HOSE.

Was she at work at the time? I personally have *no* problem with women being required not to have bare legs at work, Princess Di notwithstanding.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 09:30 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, she was at "work" - an official walkabout, in lovely garb. I agree that Royal Family walkabouts are silly, pointless work, but they are an example of people having to be decorously dressed.

I have also worked as an interpreter in France and seen well-dressed women without stockings when it was hot.

Anchoress, what is your problem. You are practically young enough to be my daughter, and you think women should be forced to wear nylon stockings (with the attendant health problems)?

Where the f have you been???????


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 17 January 2005 09:34 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As an example to C. Morgan and others, I will describe my position (remembering this is Australia, but I would think not that different from Canada):
In my workplace (in a range of A-J where A is surf gear and J is suit and tie) most people wear H type clothes.
Nothing explicit has ever been stated to me or anyone else about dress code.
On a given day, I could be wearing C to H type clothes. Nobody comments, nobody raisies their eyebrows, nothing. Is that because I'm a man?
Who knows.
All I do know is that in general the women in this place make much more effort to keep themselves nice than the men. And contrary to what you might think that is not just coincidental- it's because throughout our lives we pick up on subtle messages that tell us how we should act and be based on our gender.

From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 17 January 2005 09:46 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Anchoress, what is your problem.

I don't have a problem. I particularly don't have a problem with employers dictating dress codes - provided it is done clearly at the time of hiring.

quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
You are practically young enough to be my daughter, and you think women should be forced to wear nylon stockings (with the attendant health problems)?

What health problems? And what does my age have to do with it?

quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Where the f have you been???????

I'm not sure how to answer that question; could you be more specific?


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 17 January 2005 10:17 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Anchoress, get a grip! Provide an example where a woman's work (or their colleague's) would be enhanced by them covering up their legs.

And don't use the 'rules is rules' argument - it's just naive and dumb to say as long as someone is told when they're first employed it's OK. It shouldn't be OK in the first place.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 17 January 2005 10:22 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
Anchoress, get a grip! Provide an example where a woman's work (or their colleague's) would be enhanced by them covering up their legs.

Define 'enhanced'.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 17 January 2005 10:25 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Anchoress:

Define 'enhanced'.


Give me a valid reason why an employer might require women to cover their legs in some way.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 17 January 2005 10:26 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
Give me a valid reason why an employer might require women to cover their legs in some way.

Define 'valid'.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 17 January 2005 10:34 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Anchoress:

Define 'valid'.


"well grounded in logic or truth or having legal force."


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 17 January 2005 10:43 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
"well grounded in logic or truth or having legal force."

Sorry, let me be more specific. Define 'valid' as it pertains to your requirements v/v this specific topic. I don't mind answering your question fully, but I'm not interested in getting into a discussion where I provide examples that I think are valid but that you reject because they don't meet *your* definition of valid.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 17 January 2005 10:51 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wouldn't go two feet from my house without full make up and my husband has never seen me without lipstick. I still believe it is absolutely wrong to impose make up on others. How you present is a personal choice.
From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 17 January 2005 10:51 PM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Anchoress:

Wearing safety glasses in an industrial situation protects the worker from potential eye injury.

Wearing non-synthetic clothing in an environment involving heat and flames protects the worker from burns.

Wearing nylons ....(insert garment function here)

It's not that tough a question, surely.


From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 17 January 2005 10:53 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Human Fly:
Anchoress:

Wearing safety glasses in an industrial situation protects the worker from potential eye injury.

Wearing non-synthetic clothing in an environment involving heat and flames protects the worker from burns.

Wearing nylons ....(insert garment function here)

It's not that tough a question, surely.


So are you saying HF that in order for nylons to be valid they would have to have some kind of safety application?


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 17 January 2005 11:05 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Folks, the reason why I'm cagey in my responses is partly because I don't know where people are coming from, and partly because I know from long experience that I am much more pro-business than most other posters on this board.

Personally, I believe that in some professional situations, a business suit (complete with jewellery, smart shoes (not necessarily heels), make-up and nylons, and a tie for men) constitutes a 'uniform' which it is perfectly acceptable for an employer to demand from employees.

Am I engaging in a conversation with people who don't think it's valid for McDonalds to require its employees to wear uniforms? If so, then there's no point in my defending my position.

If people *do* believe it's an employer's right to demand a uniform from employees, then the questions are a) what constitutes a uniform, and b) what situations should require one?

There are numerous industries (I am thinking professional service industries such as corporate training) where the 'traditional' corporate uniform is a requirement, because - however unreasonable or irritating it may be - corporate clients will a) immediately judge less-professional-looking service providers to be less competent, b) be willing to pay more for services delivered by more professional-looking consultants, c) look elsewhere if they think their current consultants can't be bothered to mirror the 'corporate' look, etc etc etc.

Therefore, I think it is perfectly reasonable for the companies providing corporate services to insist that their employees dress in a manner which is most likely to win and keep clients. No matter how wonderful it would be if competent people could make a go of it in this world without consideration to appearance, and no matter how unreasonable or uncomfortable the 'corporate uniform' may be.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 11:10 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Grrr... as in I thought we'd settled these problems by 1975 at the latest.

I don't have a problem. I particularly don't have a problem with employers dictating dress codes - provided it is done clearly at the time of hiring.

What side are you on? (Old Wobbly hymn) Why the fuck do you support our enemies?
-------
Originally posted by lagatta:
You are practically young enough to be my daughter, and you think women should be forced to wear nylon stockings (with the attendant health problems)?
---------------------------------------------------------------
Anchoress:
"What health problems? "
lagatta:
Vaginal infections

And what does my age have to do with it?

Because I thought stupid rot like that went out with my mother's pre-feminist generation!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by lagatta:
Where the f have you been???????
---------------------------------------------------------------
I'm not sure how to answer that question; could you be more specific?
---------------------------------------------------------------
Other than sticking your tongue out at me, since I'm a "foreigner", after all????

Where the f have you been since the development of the feminist movement?


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 17 January 2005 11:17 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
What side are you on? (Old Wobbly hymn) Why the fuck do you support our enemies?

I'm on my side, lagatta, and I may be supporting your enemies, but I'm not supporting mine.

quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Vaginal infections

My dear, try stay-ups, and you will never itch again!

quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Other than sticking your tongue out at me, since I'm a "foreigner", after all????

quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Where the f have you been since the development of the feminist movement?

I've been right here.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 11:18 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Quoting the female class enemy:

"Folks, the reason why I'm cagey in my responses is partly because I don't know where people are coming from, and partly because I know from long experience that I am much more pro-business than most other posters on this board"

Lagatta's response to "pro-business" persons of any sex is that this board is "news for the rest of us - including the defence of workers' rights and dignity against FUCKING PRO-BUSINESS SHITHEADS!!!!!!

Personally, I believe that in some professional situations, a business suit (complete with jewellery, smart shoes (not necessarily heels), make-up and nylons, and a tie for men) constitutes a 'uniform' which it is perfectly acceptable for an employer to demand from employees.

Lagatta answers: when I work as a conference interpreter, I sure don't work in ripped jeans or a tracksuit. That is not the point.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 11:30 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Reminder of the purpose of this board: news for the rest of us (that is to say, not for corporate whores of any sex

rabble.ca is a public, progressive news and information source.

There are plenty of news media around to support the status quo and the oppression of the working class. Go there.

And I am not your dear, you fucking piece of oppressive corporate shit.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 17 January 2005 11:44 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Pantyhose can be damned uncomfortable and is one reason I tend to wear pantsuits if I need to look somewhat professional. It also makes my feet smell, as do knee-highs. It is also a waste of money, since you often get a hole after wearing it once or twice. I don't think offices can order women to wear only dresses now, can they?
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 17 January 2005 11:51 PM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Anchoress:

So are you saying HF that in order for nylons to be valid they would have to have some kind of safety application?


Define "valid".


From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 17 January 2005 11:54 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The evil twin. I think Anchoresses contemptuous responses echo the comment skdadl made earlier today about "feminism" and how it came to be sidetracked - we'd say "dvoy" - in the servies of corporate power-women. Not only is she here for "me" (in her words) in the singular, oh never for "us", but --------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by lagatta:
Where the f have you been since the development of the feminist movement?
--------------------------------------------------------------

I've been right here.

If I recall, the little fuck is sticking her tongue out at me. Like a reminder that the enemy is always at the gates.

But who cares. The class struggle is always there, as is a feminism that has nothing to do with scum rising to the top.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 17 January 2005 11:55 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Reminder of the purpose of this board: news for the rest of us (that is to say, not for corporate whores of any sex

rabble.ca is a public, progressive news and information source.

There are plenty of news media around to support the status quo and the oppression of the working class. Go there.

And I am not your dear, you fucking piece of oppressive corporate shit.



Geeze with a mouth like that on you I can see how you have difficulty understanding situations that demand good public presentation.

Would take more than a new wardrobe and a makeover to make you fit to represent any company.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 17 January 2005 11:57 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Pantyhose can be damned uncomfortable and is one reason I tend to wear pantsuits if I need to look somewhat professional. It also makes my feet smell, as do knee-highs. It is also a waste of money, since you often get a hole after wearing it once or twice. I don't think offices can order women to wear only dresses now, can they?

I can actually like the feeling and the visual presentation of pantyhose but they are a great waste of money. I put my pantyhose in the fridge so that they don't tear as easily.


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 18 January 2005 12:02 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm perfectly capable of being courteous, my dear class enemy. I am a translator after all, and perfectly capable of rendering anyone's discourse in another language without comment or change.

But you didn't catch the utter contempt in the words of Anchoress, did you?

To my mind, the only courteous response to such contempt is attack.

And I sure as hell won't be defending business, not for any price. We need more people to defend working people - especialy working women - not their oppressors.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 18 January 2005 12:11 AM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My goodness.
From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 12:16 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Woo-hoo!! Go grrl! Give her heaps!

Anchoress, your posts amuse me. I've been having exactly the same argument with a 50-something y.o. man in Aus., who also thinks that business is God and infallible, and if we all just play along and follow the rules, everybody will be happy.

Your naivety saddens me. One day you will get it in the neck, and you will be staggering about saying, 'but I did everything I was told, I wore the right uniform, where did I go wrong?'


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 18 January 2005 12:17 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

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Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 12:25 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 18 January 2005 12:28 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 12:32 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I can't agree more.
From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 18 January 2005 12:37 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have to remark that this is a persistent problem of any liberatory movement that has any degree of success: what to do about those who, now liberated, adopt the ideology of some other oppression-purveying group, seeing as they are now free to do so?

It's an inevitable consequence of women's entry into the workforce that there would be many women who would immediately adopt a corporatist ideology and perhaps even succeed that way.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 18 January 2005 12:42 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So............................

............anyone been following the cricket?


From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 18 January 2005 12:49 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well so far I've been sworn at, called names, and seen a lot of assumptions made about how I view the world and live my life, but my main question hasn't been answered, namely when - if ever - does a company have a right to dictate that its employees wear a uniform, and if yes, can a dress code that optimises an individual's presentation in a particular professional situation and furthermore is germaine to the success of a company be considered a uniform?

Edited to fix spelling.

[ 18 January 2005: Message edited by: Anchoress ]


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 12:51 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mandos:
I have to remark that this is a persistent problem of any liberatory movement that has any degree of success: what to do about those who, now liberated, adopt the ideology of some other oppression-purveying group, seeing as they are now free to do so?

It's an inevitable consequence of women's entry into the workforce that there would be many women who would immediately adopt a corporatist ideology and perhaps even succeed that way.


I recall there were those after the 'liberation' of Iraq (whatever you think of it) who were saying it was better in the days of Saddam.

I even vaguely remember people quoted as saying that when the Taliban was removed.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
angrymonkey
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posted 18 January 2005 12:51 AM      Profile for angrymonkey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Personally, I believe that in some professional situations, a business suit (complete with jewellery, smart shoes (not necessarily heels), make-up and nylons, and a tie for men) constitutes a 'uniform' which it is perfectly acceptable for an employer to demand from employees.

Why is makeup part of that uniform? Men only need to be clean, I don't see anyone demanding they look prettier(except some skin product companies).
And how far do you go with getting employees to make a good impression- are you going to need plastic surgery and dental work just to be seen by people?

This is nonsense, it's too much of an invasion into people's lives under the assumption that business concerns override any other.
It would be really nice if in any business that forced the women to wear makeup, the men wore some as well. See howe that would go over.


From: the cold | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 18 January 2005 12:56 AM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Class enemy? Whore? I can't believe one woman called another women a whore in a durogatory way in the feminism forum. You disappoint me, lagatta.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 12:58 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Anchoress:
Well so far I've been sworn at, called names, and seen a lot of assumptions made about how I view the world and live my life, but my main question hasn't been answered, namely when - if ever - does a company have a right to dictate that its employees wear a uniform, and if yes, can a dress code that optimises an individual's presentation in a particular professional situation and furthermore is germaine to the success of a company be considered a uniform?

Edited to fix spelling.

[ 18 January 2005: Message edited by: Anchoress ]


Far be it for anyone to make assumptions about how you view the world! Sorry, but that actually made me laugh. Let me compose myself before I address your question.

AHEM!

You see, the problem with your question and your insistence on sticking to generalities rather than specifics is that you don't want to discuss real-life issues that identify the problem, you just want to stick with the mantra. Specifics are just too messy aren't they? With avoidance tactics like that you should go into politics.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 18 January 2005 01:01 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If it's all right for an employer to force women to wear makeup, would it be all right for the employer to force women to wear a burka, or to force male employees to wear trousers with codpieces?

I can't believe we're even having this conversation.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 18 January 2005 01:04 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
...when - if ever - does a company have a right to dictate that its employees wear a uniform...

Well, your use of the word "right" here gives me pause. Under the English common law tradition, they have a "right" to do anything that's not specifically prohibited. However, if an employer makes a requirement of employees of one sex that it does not make from the other, and absent a demonstrable biological reason, this is generally classed as "discrimination based on sex" under the relevant Human Rights Codes. As Human Fly was intimating, it is possible for an employer to require the thing if it can demonstrate that the thing is a Bona Fide Occupational Requirement -- that is, something that is central to the purpose and nature of the job. Otherwise, it is contrary to the Human Rights instrument.

Requiring a certain standard of dress from men, and an entirely different one from women, would prima facie be discrimination on the basis of sex unless the employer can demonstrate that the requirement is central to the purpose and nature of the job. I'm not the ultimate expert on the subject, but I suspect that a claim that requiring makeup to be work by female employees only would be viewed by the BC Human Rights Tribunal as sex discrimination.

Personally, my experience tells me that uniforms may be handy in quickly identifying persons with specific roles, but are useless in indicating competence. In fact, they are often a convenient blind behind which the marginally-competent can hide. Some of the most vacuous, garbage-ridden nonsense I've ever heard has been spewed by people wearing $1000 suits. People who place greater trust in business attire are truly living within a corporate fantasyland.

Just my opinion.


From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 18 January 2005 01:10 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by angrymonkey:

Why is makeup part of that uniform? Men only need to be clean


Because when a female consultant is at the front of the boardroom of a company offering a programme the company has paid $20K for and she doesn't have any makeup on, or she isn't wearing nylons, *unfortunately* (and I really really do mean unfortunately) the thought going through people's minds (not only men, women too) is ... 'gee, my company is paying a ton of money for this course, we're all taking a day off work and the consultant hasn't even bothered to look like the professional the company promised she would be?'

It's stupid and it's unfair, but it's the way a lot of the world works. People have shallow preconceptions about what it means to be professional, and a huge part of it is looking the part. And if the people who in their minds are supposed to look the part - don't - then those with the money to spend on professional services will spend their money elsewhere.

And sure, you can make this about me defending companies instead of workers, or you can call me naive, assume that I'm defending an institution that I'm actually a part of, etc etc etc, but the problem is way bigger than individual employers dictating individual dress codes - it's about all our unconscious expectations when we are at the receiving end of services. And if presenting front line workers with a particular dress code is going to get a company a bigger market share, they're going to do it.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 18 January 2005 01:16 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
You see, the problem with your question and your insistence on sticking to generalities rather than specifics is that you don't want to discuss real-life issues that identify the problem, you just want to stick with the mantra. Specifics are just too messy aren't they? With avoidance tactics like that you should go into politics.

Sorry, but I thought I was very specific. How would you like me to be more so?


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 01:28 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Anchoress:

Sorry, but I thought I was very specific. How would you like me to be more so?


To quote you back: "I don't mind answering your question fully, but I'm not interested in getting into a discussion where I provide examples that I think are valid but that you reject because they don't meet *your* definition of valid."

So, to go back to MY question, "Give me a valid reason why an employer might require women to cover their legs in some way."

In other words, how is an employer's insistence that a female employee wear nylon stockings relevant to their job?
How is that insistence not a clear example of sexism?
And why do you not see that this insistence is not the thin end of the wedge?
Why not just cut to the chase and insist that all female employees come to work naked? (Unless, of course, they are not attractive enough, but that's a whole other issue I'm sure we'd had a lot of fun with)


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 18 January 2005 01:33 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Walker: please check your PM
From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 01:38 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Anchoress:

Because when a female consultant is at the front of the boardroom of a company offering a programme the company has paid $20K for and she doesn't have any makeup on, or she isn't wearing nylons, *unfortunately* (and I really really do mean unfortunately) the thought going through people's minds (not only men, women too) is ... 'gee, my company is paying a ton of money for this course, we're all taking a day off work and the consultant hasn't even bothered to look like the professional the company promised she would be?'

It's stupid and it's unfair, but it's the way a lot of the world works. People have shallow preconceptions about what it means to be professional, and a huge part of it is looking the part. And if the people who in their minds are supposed to look the part - don't - then those with the money to spend on professional services will spend their money elsewhere.

And sure, you can make this about me defending companies instead of workers, or you can call me naive, assume that I'm defending an institution that I'm actually a part of, etc etc etc, but the problem is way bigger than individual employers dictating individual dress codes - it's about all our unconscious expectations when we are at the receiving end of services. And if presenting front line workers with a particular dress code is going to get a company a bigger market share, they're going to do it.


OK, so we're getting to the heart of it. I absolutely reject the 'it's not me, it's us, it's society, really I'm on your side but that nasty thing called society dictates these things.' Come off it, own up th your attitudes, don't blame them on society or your employer.

Anchoress, YOU ARE SOCIETY. YOU control your thoughts, not your employer, not society. You couch your words in corporate rules, yet ironically you are being most shallow and UNprofessional by saying 'if the woman I'm listening to ain't got nylons, she ain't worth listening to'.
Really? Is that really true? No, it's not. The truth is that if the person has got it, it doesn't matter if she is wearing a cardboard box.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 18 January 2005 01:39 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
To quote you back: "I don't mind answering your question fully, but I'm not interested in getting into a discussion where I provide examples that I think are valid but that you reject because they don't meet *your* definition of valid."

So, to go back to MY question, "Give me a valid reason why an employer might require women to cover their legs in some way."

In other words, how is an employer's insistence that a female employee wear nylon stockings relevant to their job?


I think I already answered that in a previous post.

quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
How is that insistence not a clear example of sexism?

Because nylons for women are, like ties for men, a generally-agreed-upon element of the corporate 'uniform'.

quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
Why not just cut to the chase and insist that all female employees come to work naked?

Straw Man!


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 18 January 2005 01:43 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
OK, so we're getting to the heart of it. I absolutely reject the 'it's not me, it's us, it's society, really I'm on your side but that nasty thing called society dictates these things.' Come off it, own up th your attitudes, don't blame them on society or your employer.

Anchoress, YOU ARE SOCIETY. YOU control your thoughts, not your employer, not society. You couch your words in corporate rules, yet ironically you are being most shallow and UNprofessional by saying 'if the woman I'm listening to ain't got nylons, she ain't worth listening to'.
Really? Is that really true? No, it's not. The truth is that if the person has got it, it doesn't matter if she is wearing a cardboard box.


I don't want you to think that I'm ignoring your post, but I find that your responses are such a jumble of my actual words plus your interpretations of my words and what you assume I really mean that I don't really know where to begin responding to them.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 18 January 2005 01:44 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Walker: I recently had dinner with an Iraqi man who does believe that Iraq is better off now with the Americans. However, his wife believes otherwise.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 01:59 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mandos:
Walker: I recently had dinner with an Iraqi man who does believe that Iraq is better off now with the Americans. However, his wife believes otherwise.

Do you think it's a matter of absence making the heart go fonder?


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 01:59 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mandos:
Walker: I recently had dinner with an Iraqi man who does believe that Iraq is better off now with the Americans. However, his wife believes otherwise.

Do you think it's a matter of absence making the heart growing fonder?


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 18 January 2005 02:02 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, I'm all over the place, my back is killing me, and it's home time. Schnitzel for dinner tonight!

And I'm of the opinion that there are some people who just can't be helped.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 18 January 2005 02:48 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wouldn't this be required for certain places though. If a woman where to work at a store selling make up it seems logical that they would be required to wear make-up at least similar to the products being sold. Many places require that people wear certain clothes applicable to the store they work at. This is very prevelent in the retail industry.

I don't see how that initself is sexist. Now if it's something dumb like a crazed boss saying "I want all my female workers to wear make up" than that is sexist (say said work has nothing to do with the selling of makeup). But I don't see how this is unreasonable for a place that specializes in selling make up products.


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 18 January 2005 02:53 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Wouldn't this be required for certain places though. If a woman where to work at a store selling make up it seems logical that they would be required to wear make-up at least similar to the products being sold.

I guess they should be glad they don't drive a vacuum truck.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 18 January 2005 03:10 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If this mandatory makeup policy isn't strictly controlled it can obviously be misused. Therefore there should be some strict regulation like "a store that sells makeup may require it's workers of any gender to were make up".

But that comment of yours was so cryptic and it isn't even funny. Could you explain the relevance if any?


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 18 January 2005 06:34 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Audra, I apologise for calling her a "corporate whore" (though I specified "of any sex" - and the vast majority of corporate whores are men). I can see how that can be construed as a sexist insult - though I was referring to the sort of person who "sells out" and also thinks other people should do the same, and who takes the side of management in what was founded as a progressive forum - "news for the rest of us".

It was late (for me) and Iost my temper - I think other babblers have better described the harm done to the human rights of workers, in particular to working women, by those who mouth such an attitude.

Basically a corporate ideologue, and an enemy of working women's hard-won rights.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
aRoused
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posted 18 January 2005 06:59 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
you could be fired tomorrow if your boss decides your "uniform" for work includes makeup.

I take this to be the key line, which has gotten a bit lost in the intervening argument.

- It's not about whether you 'need' makeup to perform the job (stripper)
- It's not about whether 'society' dictates you 'need' makeup to perform the job (business executive, makeup counter saleswoman--I use woman intentionally here)

The legal ruling seems to make it completely legal for any owner/manager of any place of business to require female employees to wear makeup. Any business, any situation, any time, and it's legal.

That implies, for example, that you could lose your job as a letter carrier for not wearing makeup, if your manager decides his female postal employees "really should be taking better care of their appearance".
The Sarge wants his female soldiers to doll themselves up? Better break out the pink camo, ladies, or you'll be discharged.
etc, etc.
From nighttime janitor to CEO, you can now be fired for not wearing makeup, irrespective of whether it affects your job performance, simply because someone higher up decided it was suddenly going to be mandatory.

That. Stinks.


From: The King's Royal Burgh of Eoforwich | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 18 January 2005 08:49 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And that, of course, is the way things were when I was first looking for jobs as a student, aRoused. Being looked up and down by one of those sleazy managers of my youth -- ah, the memories come flooding back. *smiley tosses up*

I think that this is the nub of the problem, precisely because it is true, in a way:

quote:
the problem is way bigger than individual employers dictating individual dress codes - it's about all our unconscious expectations when we are at the receiving end of services. And if presenting front line workers with a particular dress code is going to get a company a bigger market share, they're going to do it.

That is true. Why would we (or some of us, anyway) be socialists if it weren't true? (Ok: that's only one of our reasons, but it is one.)

What bothers me, Anchoress, is that you don't seem to be imagining that history and resistance and brave intelligence can ever make any difference to that clearly mindless status quo. And yet, demonstrably, workers' struggles and women's struggles have made a difference, some difference, so far, and we can continue to make our world both more fair and more intelligent if we keep the pressure up.

We're certainly not going to do it if we accept trite notions of what looks "professional" or "respectable" as timeless verities. They aren't! Until I was an adult, eg, every single middle-class man felt that he had to wear a hat to work in order to look professional. (There was a women's hat culture too, but that's even more complicated.) Look at group photos of those guys of my dad's generation: they always make me think either of a bunch of Mafia dons holding a confab or of the G-men who would have been after the Mafia dons. I mean, too funny.

And I think that that is our weapon against the corporate toadies right now, who indeed are still wearing silly uniforms. Already, the eye has changed, I think. Corporate uniforms are ugly. They just are. Take every opportunity you can to make clear to the next condescending "professional" airhead you meet that you feel FABULOUS as you are, and why would he/she want to look so stiff and boring and probably tacky? I certainly do.

I always have this thought especially sharply when I watch the G-8 guys get together in some sublimely beautiful place, like the Plains of Abraham or an ancient palace in Genoa or the Canadian Rockies, and what are they wearing? They are wearing bad suits! I'm sure those suits are expensive, but they are ugly! And why are they ugly? Not because they are badly tailored (an ancient and noble craft), but because they are all the same! They are a uniform, and not even an interesting uniform (like a Swiss guard's, eg) -- they are boring! They are UNFABULOUS!

I'm serious, you guys. This is a guerrilla tactic. Our eyes have changed, but it is true that most people's haven't yet, or at least most people don't feel confident to defy the grey guys yet.

So Anchoress is right: a woman like me, who insists on looking FABULOUS rather than like Belinda Whozit, is effectively ruled out of one major labour market at the moment. One way of breaking down that form of discrimination is to start laughing -- yes, laughing -- at the pinheads who have so much vested in their pinstripes.

We're smarter than they are, and we are cuter than they are. Go forward in confidence, my FABULOUS brothers and sisters.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
athena_dreaming
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posted 18 January 2005 08:57 AM      Profile for athena_dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Woooooo.

You know, I do not personally like the idea of uniforms. I think they function primarily as markers of social and economic status, and in a practical sense what htey do is let us know who we can shit on and who can shit on us. I don't think they would have any place in an egalitarian world. Of course, we don't live in such a world, and most people like to know their place in the pecking order--hence, uniforms.

After all, it used to be a criminal offence to wear clothing outside of one's social rank. People wanted to know who they could shit on safely and who could safely shit on them. That was the whole point of such "uniforms." And I dare say little has changed today. We want our secretaries to dress like secretaries so bosses know who to order around for coffee and photocopies. The bosses want to dress like bosses so no one will order htem for coffee or photocopies. The engineers and techy people want to dress like engineers and techy people so that people won't either order them for coffee and photocopies OR ask them to sign the timesheet. And the cleaning staff wear a "real" uniform so that people don't even have to say hello to them; it is a marker of their very low social and economic status.

Generally speaking, the vast majority of people forced to wear "real" uniforms are paid shit and thought of as low-skilled and basically uneducated. The only exception I can think of to this off-hand is military high officials. But even there, uniform denotes rank--status and power--and their uniform still marks them as a servant, if of a very peculiar and powerful sort. It is a mark of one's social and professional status, the extent to which one can *not* wear a uniform without penalty. As I sit here at work in my blue jeans and a sweater (it is absolutely freezing here today), I am well aware that if I were an admin assistant, in teh current parlance, this would not be considered acceptable.

OF course then you have people who voluntarily wear quasi-uniforms (suits) because it assists them in their power struggles as part of management and upper management.

Generally speaking, I believe when people say "people have to wear uniforms to present a professional image to impress clients" or whatever, what is actually happening is that these quasi-uniforms appeal to the hierarchical and classist nature of our society--they let us know where people "fit" and make us comfortable. ("Us" used very loosely. Include yourself or not, as you like.) Wearing a quasi-uniform is essentially adopting and reinforcing the status quo of professional and economic status and power.

Not, I would have thought, a dearly held socialist or left-wing principle. Anyway.

Accepting pantyhose or makeup as a legitimate part of a "female uniform" is essentially, as far as I can see, accepting that business and employers generally have a right to force female employees to mark themselves as such--as female. If uniforms function primarily as a marker of social status, adn if women are forced to differentiate themselves by adopting a different uniform than men, then these special female uniforms are a marker of a special female status. Generally an inferior one. Thus sexist.

AGain, I realize my privilege in being able to resist these demands--I'm a professional in a technical field, so I have no makeup on most of hte time. I don't "do" my hair, although I dye it bright red and pretty well only to clash with my clothes. I haven't worn pantyhose in, god, must be at least five years. Even so I'm aware that I'm pushing the uniform envelope for my workplace, and to some extent it's drag. And I am also aware that I am doing this to fit into the expectations of my role in this organization, primary among those being who can tell me what to do, who can't, and what they can tell me to do.

This whole discussion reminds me of an acquaintance I have in management, who went ot a management seminar in her workplace once, where they were told that women should wear skirts, nylons, heels (never mind how bad they are for the feet) adn makeup, or they would "look like techs." Well, at least they were honest.


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 18 January 2005 12:00 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
That. Stinks.

And should be utterly make illegal.

Tho I do disagree with Athena, in that most uniforms do not for me, mean people of low pay since I see them most often in industry (manufacturing) and they are union paid workers, paid very well indeed as is my plumber and electrician, both who wear uniforms. I myself used to have to wear jacket and tie to work and now Im sitting in a sweater and black jeans (cuz its freezing here) and the only suit/jacket I have is the one I bought for my wedding in sept 2003. And I lvoe it. Though I do look smart in a suit (and killer in a kilt) I very much prefer what I work in now

I dont disagree with Anchoress necessarily, she is arguing from how the world is and she could make her mark and refuse but she would do so from the unemployment line.

But I do think that unless the employer can demonstrate a NEED for a specific 'look' then it should not be allowed except for a non-gendered guide (even if it means women wear ties or men wear pantyhose *joking* ) (personally i love the feel )


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
athena_dreaming
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posted 18 January 2005 12:28 PM      Profile for athena_dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hmm. That's true. I hadn't thought of them--but then, the uniforms are relics of an earlier era when these workers were low-paid and low-status, and still in mainstream society, "white collar" workers are considered to rank higher than "blue collar." Even the terms "white collar" and "blue collar" reflect the importance that uniforms have in terms of designating someone's social role, rank and earning power. Though unions may have muddied the waters on earning power a bit, but given today's political climate, that may not have been permanent.
From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 18 January 2005 12:34 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bacchus, I wanna see you in a kilt and pantyhose!

Lipstick is optional.

[ 18 January 2005: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 18 January 2005 01:16 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
LOL well I can post the pic of me in a kilt if you'd like. Dont have any of me in pantyhose though I wore them in the army.

Never liked lipstick or lip balm for that matetr even tho i make a awesome one


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 18 January 2005 01:35 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Bacchus, I wanna see you in a kilt and pantyhose!

Hey, it's been done before. Check out this article (with pictures!)

Swedish bus driver protests dress code by wearing skirt

quote:
BBC News, August 06, 2004

Skirting around Sweden's heat
A combination of summer heat and a rigid dress code has led a Swedish bus driver to wear a skirt to work.

Mats Lundgren, from the northern Swedish town of Umea, got fed up of sitting in the drivers' seat for hours at a time in dark uniform trousers.

He asked his boss whether he could wear shorts for comfort as temperatures hit 25C (77F).

But when his boss said "no", Mr Lundgren decided to find an alternative. And he began showing up to work in a skirt.

"The reaction here has been nice - the passengers all smile and my workmates think it's hilarious, but I don't expect to set a trend among them," he told BBC News Online.

"I wore it all day yesterday. It was very nice to have a bit of a breeze," he said.

Mr Lundgren is exploiting a loophole in the firm's dress code, which allows skirts to be worn but does not specify which sex should be wearing them.


Something tells me he won't be continuing this protest now, in January.


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 18 January 2005 01:41 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Because nylons for women are, like ties for men, a generally-agreed-upon element of the corporate 'uniform'.
That's no longer so for men. Many successful men in the corporate sector, tired of the restrictive and boring appearance of the suit-and-tie uniform, opt for "business casual", a mode of dress that can convey confidence, success and style. It's very popular in offices and board rooms all over the world now.

There really isn't an equivalent for women. They're still trapped in the power suit-nylons-jewellery-makeup trap. And why is that? Because the vast majority of people who set the rules for the average corporate dress code are men. They've made themselves more comfortable attire for the workplace, but there persists this archaic notion that bare legs on a woman is somehow scandalous or cheap. So no comfy clothes for you girlie!

Used to be that a woman couldn't leave her bedroom, never mind her house, without being tightly corseted, otherwise her virtue would be in question. Those corsets were uncomfortable and created health problems for the women who were forced to wear them. Eventually, women rebelled and refused to wear them anymore. Then they demanded the right to wear their hair short, then to wear (gasp!)slacks, to wear underwear instead of those nasty restrictive girdles, etc., etc.

Some women enjoy wearing pantyhose and stockings. Yay them. Many women consider them a form of torture. Yay also to them. As they rarely serve any practical purpose, can cause fungal infections in moist dark areas like the crotch and the feet, are impractical from a durability standpoint, why the hell should any woman wear these things on her legs if she doesn't want to?

The status quo in style, in what is acceptible and what is not, in society in general, is constantly shifting and changing because it is constantly being challenged. And that's a good thing. To passively say, "gosh yes, it's nasty, but that's the way it is so just accept it" is regressive. Uncreative. A cop-out.

[ 18 January 2005: Message edited by: Rebecca West ]


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
arborman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4372

posted 18 January 2005 04:19 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hostility to uniforms is an interesting and misplaced approach to the issue, IMO. Work uniforms allow people to ESCAPE consumerism and the vagaries of fashion. People who wear uniforms to work (even of the suit and tie variety) don't have to spend much time thinking about what to wear, nor is there similar pressure to stay fashionable (beyond minor variations in tie colour for men, and other variations for women). There is a gendered difference in corporate or work uniforms, but not to the extent that there is in non-uniform environments.

Few people were happier at the demise of the corporate uniform (in it's earlier sense) than clothing manufacturers. Variation in clothing options for the workplace opened up huge markets for the fashion industry- and created the opportunity for people with money to differentiate themselves more easily by wearing more expensive clothing. It also created a reason for massive advertising campaigns.

Forcing women to apply makeup (a bizarre and non-uniform practice, given the variations in makeup) imposes an extra cost on women that it does not on men.

Makeup is expensive, far more so than male razors etc. That is an undeniably sexist imposition, not the requirement of some form of uniform. In that frame, the judgement was blatantly discriminatory (unless it provides for extra wages for the women, to offset the cost of purchasing all that muck). This also applies to workplace requirements that cause, or may cause, health issues (like nylons for some women).

I realize that work clothing (of the office variety) tends to be more expensive for women, which is another concern and needs to be addressed, but the absence or presence of uniforms does not affect this issue, except that uniforms reduce the competition somewhat, and actually levels some of the class differentiations.

We have a cognitive mixup between uniforms (a fundamentally anti-consumerist idea) and conformity. Does anyone here really, honestly think that what they wear defines them as an individual? More so than your actions and words? Real non-conformity comes with career choices, personal and public choices, not fashion sense. We can all be fabulous, but I'd rather be a drably dressed fabulous activist than a fashionable and attractively (and therefore expensively) dressed person in a boring job.

[ 18 January 2005: Message edited by: arborman ]


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
James
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5341

posted 18 January 2005 05:17 PM      Profile for James        Edit/Delete Post
Adding my "two bits" to this thread (perhaps to my regret) somewhat late due to the intervention of a family funeral.

I read both the news and text of the legal decision several days before this thread was begun. It disturbed me then, as it does now; though I took some comfort in feeling (reasonably) assured that the result would be different in this country. However, my ire was raised by on labour and human rights fronts. It didn't then, and doesn't now strike me as being uniquely "sexist" in nature. Because of that perception, it has been suprising, and somewhat disheartening to watch this break out into a bush war (h'mmm, now there's a colloquialism that needs to be re-examined)between good people who are ultimately all "on the same side.

I'm also questioning how the "dress code" and "uniforms" analogies are particulary apt. My thinking on that is, if an employer wishes to present an "identifying" corporate image through a unique wardrobe, and is willing to supply and pay for the same, O.K., so long as that is known up-front before hiring. To use an employer mandated but employee suplied "code of dress is unwarranted and wrong.

Why ? Because the only plausible justification for such as "dress code" is "corporate image". IOW, consumers, the public, whoever would not be as comfortable with the organization as a whole if its representatives looked ( fill in you won blanks).

A valid employer concern, I grant. However, it is only valid (1)if the individual employee will be interacting with the customer base, and (2)If that particular employee's appearance is shown to have a negative impact on customers or clients.

So, we are left, as always, with performance based criteria being the only which are valid. If Dominic, who recently started wearing a nose ring and spiking his hair is now selling way more Benz's than he used to, or than expected, then there is reason to iniate progressive discipline; not for his appearance, but for his performance. Dominic is on his own to analize whether his appearance contributes to his faltering production. If he concludes that it is a negative factor, he is then left with the choices: change the image, use the image to attract a new client base, or accept the risk of dismissal.

An astute corporate governance could not help but recognize the financial wisdom; let alone the justice in such an approach. Emplyees who choose an "image" that proves to "turn customers off" can be terminated on performance grounds, something that is almost always proper. Meanwhile, the employer gains the experimental value of seeing what effect this particular "mage" has on its clientel.

Do any of you remember when anything remotely even "gay tollerent" was considered a corporate "kiss of death".

They do learn, over time. Just seems to take them a "long time".

They used to say "better late than never" Probably "they" are wrong in this case. Probably shouln't have showed up here at all.


From: Windsor; ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4650

posted 18 January 2005 06:42 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
What bothers me, Anchoress, is that you don't seem to be imagining that history and resistance and brave intelligence can ever make any difference to that clearly mindless status quo.

I didn't realise that was expected of me, skdadl. What I'm frustrated by is that I have provided an example which *I* believe is valid where an employer can reasonably demand that female employees wear nylons, but most of the responses to my posts have been either personal attacks (very personal) or comments to the tune of 'yes, but why aren't you objecting to it?' or 'yes, but don't you realise how that status quo is just contributing to the worker/overlord disparity?' or 'yes, but not fighting it makes you a bad feminist' or 'yes, but even *mentioning* it makes you a bad feminist' etc etc etc.

How I feel is that the more personal information I share about my feelings/POV on the class struggle is just going to be used in more personal attacks, so I have no intention of providing any more context v/v the examples I gave.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4650

posted 18 January 2005 06:46 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bacchus:
I dont disagree with Anchoress necessarily, she is arguing from how the world is and she could make her mark and refuse but she would do so from the unemployment line.

Bacchus, you are about the fifth person who has made the assumption that I am defending an institution I am a part of. Actually I *did* make my mark and refuse, and have been out of the professional 'service' industry for about five years.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Walker
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7819

posted 18 January 2005 10:14 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, but I just can't resist taking another shot at Anchoress. I am not speaking from the perspective of the downtrodden worker, I am speaking from the perspective of what you sid much earlier:

"Because when a female consultant is at the front of the boardroom of a company offering a programme the company has paid $20K for and she doesn't have any makeup on, or she isn't wearing nylons, *unfortunately* (and I really really do mean unfortunately) the thought going through people's minds (not only men, women too) is ... 'gee, my company is paying a ton of money for this course, we're all taking a day off work and the consultant hasn't even bothered to look like the professional the company promised she would be?'

It's stupid and it's unfair, but it's the way a lot of the world works. People have shallow preconceptions about what it means to be professional, and a huge part of it is looking the part. And if the people who in their minds are supposed to look the part - don't - then those with the money to spend on professional services will spend their money elsewhere."

What I get from that is that you don't personally feel that this mythical consultant should have to wear nylons. Is that right?


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 18 January 2005 11:20 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My apologies Anchoress, that was indeed my assumption but the underlying agreement is still there. Its fine to work against it, but doing so from 'within' the beast, will least in the short term to be tossed aside.

Personally I hate ties and am ever so glad I don't have to wear one, except once a month now


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Budd Campbell
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7019

posted 19 January 2005 12:46 PM      Profile for Budd Campbell        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rebecca West:
That's no longer so for men. Many successful men in the corporate sector, tired of the restrictive and boring appearance of the suit-and-tie uniform, opt for "business casual", a mode of dress that can convey confidence, success and style. It's very popular in offices and board rooms all over the world now.

There really isn't an equivalent for women. They're still trapped in the power suit-nylons-jewellery-makeup trap. And why is that? Because the vast majority of people who set the rules for the average corporate dress code are men. They've made themselves more comfortable attire for the workplace, but there persists this archaic notion that bare legs on a woman is somehow scandalous or cheap. So no comfy clothes for you girlie!



I feel I would like to politely differ with just a small part of what you say, Rebecca. In summer, when women are allowed to dress more coolly, men are still expected to wear a suit or sports jacket, at least in the kind of fussy offices you're referring to.

As a self employed consultant I don't need to dress according to any written or announced code. Sometimes I wear a suit, sometimes a sports jacket and slacks, sometimes the same sports jacket with jeans or cords. Most days I wear a tie, but I don't have to. I do have to shave, though, as a day's growth would arouse suspicions of a hangover.

The offices, business or government, that I visit in the course of my work don't generally have dress codes either, so no one, male or female, is making them up.

One thing that has always astounded me is how much more women do have to pay for dress and grooming and cosmetics. If I get a pair of Rockports on sale for $125 I figure I am doing OKay, but still forking out more than I would like. My wife generally pays well over $150 for something similar. I can get a bottle of cologne for about $60, but perfume for my wife is about $90. The last two suits I bought were on sale at The Bay for $130 each; they were originally $400 or something, but had been remaindered. They look fine to me! I cannot imagine what a woman has to pay for a wool suit, but I am going to guess that $300 is about the minimum even at the end of the season.

Why women pay these prices I'll be damned if I know. And lower paid female white collar workers, bank tellers, who make little, are always dressed up! Is that a dress code imposed by management, or a cultural thing, a peer pressure thing among those female workers, or a code imposed by the fashion and pop culture industries and reinforced by their boyfriends, or maybe a bit of all three?

In any case, the old slogan "the clothes make the man" can be rewritten in non-sexist terms and still be just as silly. And varying the "look" to something more casual, but just as expensive, and then pressuring people to keep up with that, is just as extractious on the worker's bottom line, mainly, how much does it cost to keep working.

[ 19 January 2005: Message edited by: Budd Campbell ]


From: Kerrisdale-Point Grey, Vancouver | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
steffie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3826

posted 19 January 2005 05:49 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To reply to Budd's comment about the cost of dressing for work:

We have a dress code at work. I'd call it "business casual". Even so, it's not cheap to buy clothes! However, if one is not so hung up about "how much I paid for it" (equating price with worth) then sufficient attire might be obtained at second-hand clothing stores, and the like. I also happily accept the hand-me-downs from my sisters at work: those who have the need to revamp their wardrobes every three months! It's amazing how many combinations of slacks-tank-blazer one can come up with and still look professional! I have never and will never wear a skirt/dress to work - oh, except when it's 40 degrees in there in the summer. Then, I wear a sundress with cotton panties and place an oscillating fan under my desk!


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Walker
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7819

posted 19 January 2005 06:37 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hah! Amazing coincidence: an intranet email this morning from Employee Services, enclosing the new Dress Code Policy!

I love the language used in these policies:

This policy will outline a contemporary dress code that is consistent with the Councils commitment to:
Providing high quality, friendly, responsive service to the community; and
Enabling its staff to effectively serve the community..."

"Employees clothing, grooming and personal accessories:
must appear neat and clean; and
-must not be extreme or detract from their appearance as members of a citizen responsive, professional organisation."

and then we get to the heart of it:

"Smart business attire must be worn by all staff who are not required to wear a uniform. Minimum standards are defined as:
-Slacks/Trousers/Skirt (not denim)
-Open-necked business shirt (tie not necessary for males)
-Appropriate long or short sleeved tops or shirts for females."

Damn! Seriously, by the end of my working week, I just can't be bothered ironing a shirt, although I can stretch a pair of trousers across 3 days.

And I must say, although it is usually the women who pay more for their clothes and put more effort in, men do face a bit of discrimination in the summer: when women happily wear sleeveless shirts, could you imagine a man doing it?


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
smllinv
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7362

posted 19 January 2005 07:46 PM      Profile for smllinv     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
i'm not a regular poster here at babble ... for a reason. everytime i come to the feminist forum ready and eager to engage in a serious discussion over an issue that matters to me (usually in the feminism forum), i find the thread that brought me here has been taken over by men and/or trolls and the issue has been trivialized to the point where any serious comments would be in vain.

to be honest, i am totally disgusted by babble. i really expected more from a site that labels itself progressive. i keep hoping each time i login that i will be proved wrong, that i will come upon a thoughtful, reflexive debate on the issue at hand, and that the people who have nothing useful to say on the topic or who don't see it as an "issue" will have kept their keys quiet. i have yet to have that happen and, after five months of trying, i'm giving up.

is it really that hard to just 'walk' on by a thread that doesn't pertain to you or that you feel is "silly"? i guess so. to those of you who seem to be hampered by this need to always get in your $.02 and repsond to every thread that you find(i think you know who you are): step away from the computer, go outside, take a deep breath of fresh air, and ask yourself if it's really worth it. after that, try to get a life.

i know the loss of someone who does not reside within the babble clique will not be of great concern but maybe it should be

ciao


From: vancouver | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Walker
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7819

posted 19 January 2005 09:01 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, but at least in regards to this thread, what is your issue? There has been an indepth, wide-ranging and mostly serious discussion of the topic at hand. And about 75% of the posters have been women.

Are you sure you don't mean that you don't find enough people who think like you do?


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Amy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2210

posted 20 January 2005 12:30 AM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
With the exception of the last sentence in the above post, I'd like to say, I'm kind of confused as to what you're talking about too. This thread has had a little humour, granted, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I'm a *tad* late here, but for what it's worth, I can barely afford second-hand business casual clothes when I'm working part time, let alone makeup. It seems to me to be yet another thing to exacerbate to the wage discrepancy.


From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
FabFabian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7496

posted 20 January 2005 12:39 AM      Profile for FabFabian        Edit/Delete Post
Getting back to topic...

It wasn't so long ago when there were only two types of women who wore make-up, actresses and prostitutes and they were both on the same social level. Only respectable ladies refrained from make-up.

This judgement is just plain wrong. The most an employer should expect from their employees is basic hygenine and grooming, clean clothes and shoes. Looking like you are prepared for work is being "professional". Gamblers are there for the gambling, not oggling the dealers. If they want to oggle they go see the floor show.

What next? No trousers, skirts only rule?


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2

posted 20 January 2005 11:22 AM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Too long!


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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