Dress Codes for women make it easier for misogynists to harass them. Here’s another example.
This comment reminded me of this post – He said, “You’re a very beautiful girl, but don’t wear such clothes…”
Sharing a comment from the previous post.
We have a dress code at work and recently have had a number of freshers join the company. It’s IT by the way. So the freshers’ dressing sense is quite different from the older women and raised quite a few eyebrows, male and female. Just because people are not used to seeing such clothes here. So the dress code is being quoted left and right so as to ensure employees adhere to it. A couple of days earlier, I was wearing a kurti, three fourth length sleeve, butt-covering length with jeans. The unfortunate kurti’s neckline had a couple of buttons and one of the buttons came undone during a meeting that i participated in. This was entirely unintentional and I was not even aware of it. The buttons were not revealing anything – my mangal sutra chain was filling the gap the button should have closed and i was also wearing my company tag. There really was no cleavage exposed but after the meeting ended, my manager (male) requested me to stay back and told me that he wanted to tell me that I should watch my dress code. He said my top was not in line with company prescribed code and that it made him very uncomfortable during the meeting. He also added that I should not be offended because he thinks of me as a friend and only wants to tell me ‘as a friend’. My immediate reaction was one of shock and i did not know how to respond. I merely nodded and said thanks in a numb sort of manner, walked right out of the meeting into the restroom to check my top. I found the undone button, pinned it and then added another safety pin on top. But the whole episode has given me a bitter taste in my mouth and I feel really yucky. I also sort of feel this is another kind of harassment. My clothing was well within the dress code. The fact that I had a loose button on a single day that I was unaware of does not make me a violator of the code, does it?
I would like to understand what people here think of the whole sordid episode. Thinking of it still makes me feel so awful. I feel uncomfortable when men with bellies wear jeans with their stomachs hanging all over them.. but does anyone talk to these men and ask them to wear loose t shirts?
Why is it only women who have to watch it?
Some thoughts: What makes you uncomfortable? Are you able to enforce a ban on it? Why is some people’s discomfort (if any) more important? What would this man have done if he did not have the option of controlling how his colleagues dressed? Say, in a public space? Would he then feel justified in being ‘provoked into sexually assaulting’ her?