In case you haven’t been paying attention (for your entire life), I feel I should mention that women have not always been treated fairly.
It wasn’t too long ago that women in these here United States were considered property under the law. And women still don’t earn as much as men—even when they’re doing the Exact Same Job (only backwards and in high heels).
NOTE: You’re heard of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers? They were very famous (seriously famous) movie stars Back In The Day. They sang and danced (think long gowns, top hats, ballroom, tap, and gorgeous). There is a famous quote: “Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, …backwards and in high heels.”
You may be aware that I believe women should be paid as much as men. Or more. You may be aware that I believe fabulous shoes are one of the little luxuries of life. You may even be aware that I color my hair and wear makeup. But you must know that while I think equal pay is mandatory, I do not think shoes or hair dye or mascara are requisite nor that they have any bearing on how a person does his or her job.
Not everyone agrees with me.
That in and of itself should be a clue.
As reported in USA Today (so it must be true), British receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home from work in December 2015 because her shoes were unacceptable—because they weren’t high heels. Excuse me, what?
She worked for an employment agency which had a dress code specifying that female workers “must wear non-opaque tights, have hair with no visible roots, and wear regularly reapplied makeup.”
Excuse me again, WHAT??!
No visible roots and regularly reapplied makeup? I wouldn’t last a week.
Non-opaque tights? Have you looked in a fashion magazine lately? Most people in the workforce aren’t even old enough to remember “Our L’eggs fit your legs”.
Sent home for wearing flats? She was a receptionist! Who was going to comment on her shoes?
The client she was sent home from? PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the giants in the world of accounting and auditing. PwC—a company that absolutely Should Know Better.
I can’t even cope with how wrong this is.
I get that dress codes can be appropriate (no one needs to wear short-shorts to a professional workplace). I get that super strict dress codes are appropriate in some places (like operating rooms). And I’ve heard of some dumb dress codes (really, really dumb). But never (repeat, NEVER) have I heard anything this ridiculously stupid.
So now (again, according to USA Today), Members of the British Parliament are debating a ban on mandatory workplace high heels.
There is so much wrong with that sentence I don’t even know where to start.
There has to be a debate? What’s to discuss? And in today’s world, doesn’t Parliament have better things to talk about?