Do shirts and ties discriminate against men?

An interesting issue taken from the bbc news site.

Well, whaddaya think??
I personally dont think its very fair if the ladies can wear whatever thay want. Of course look smart, but ties can get a wee bit annoying at times. :dubious:

Amen. I hate ties. I find them restrictive. It is like being choked. What about dresses? Should men and women be allowed to wear the same clothes? What about bathrooms? Men and women are different. How much should a company legally be allowed to let these differences dictate policy.

It’s a case of seperate and different requirements, but can they be considered equal in such circumstances? Should they?

Hello, Ico.
I feel that this man is just looking for something to compalin about, so it is hard for me to take it seriously. Even if it is regimentation according to gender, since when have men been held back because of gender? Forcing women to wear makeup and dresses is a way for pigeonholing women to stress their differences from men.
Just my opinion.

Males have been required to wear collared shirts, coats, and ties for over a hundred and fifty years(can you say boring?) in all western countries, so I dont think he has a case.

Long standing historical custom is on the side of the Jobcentre Plus.

That is what males wear - what is the problem?

I dont consider wearing any old coat and tie to be “formal” - rather - it has been, and is the standard dress for males in our society.


Do you think it is “fair” that men dont have to wear bras?

If it is true that “men have to wear formal clothes, while women are allowed to wear T-shirts”, then I think he has a case. It’s wrong for an employer to impose a strict dress code on employees of one sex while letting employees of the other sex wear whatever they like. But if it turns out that these “t-shirts” are really short-sleeved blouses and that women at this place of business are also expected to dress formally too then I think he should thank his lucky stars he’s only got to worry about wearing a collar and a tie and doesn’t have to mess about with pantyhose and high heels.

#1 Things are not made “right” simply becase they are a certain way and have been that way for a long time.

#2 Not all males dress this way because they want to.

#3 Last time I checked, bras were to keep breasts from flopping around and getting in the way. Should I be annoyed that men have to wear jockstraps and cups when we play sports?

It’s not sexist if women are required to wear the female equivalent to suit-and-tie. Given that t-shirts are the underwear worn under suit-and-tie, I don’t think they’re being fair.

If they require fairly formal women’s wear, then requiring men to wear the ties, uncomfortable though they may be, is balanced out somewhat by the fact that women don’t get to have pockets…

It’s kind of funny; I’ve head that in the 60’s women didn’t think it was fair that they had to wear bras, and were taken rather seriously by some.

In fact, most of the societal conventions regarding women’s dress and appearance have been challenged, if not refuted; yet the dress requirements for men stand unabated, mostly because they are largely unchallenged.

It is no more -or less- fair that men don’t have to wear bras than it is that women don’t have to wear cups. A more appropriate analogy is wether it is unfair to force women into skirts, hose, and high heels. IMO, historical custom is no defense; rather it is the problem.

…But flouting societal convention is of course an excellent way to lose your job. This fellow is pushing his luck; more power to him.

Yes, that would be the analogy. The assertion in the article is that women were not being forced to wear such things at the same time as he was forced to wear shirt-and-tie - in other words, women were being allowed much more informality in their dress than men. I certainly find that discriminatory in this case, though it’s not, how shall I say, exactly on the level with the suffragettes and the ERA.

As for in-general: I think it’s wonky that women’s business dress is so much more colourful than men’s. At least we’re starting to wear coloured shirts - you should have seen my dad flip out when I told him I was going to wear a black collared shirt, with tie, to a job interview. (There are black collared shirts on sale at Moore’s, the suit store, for chrissakes.)

Although he being a little petty, he does have a case.

If a dress code is to be enforced then surely it should apply to all workers, regardless of sex?

In saying that, is it sexist to have a dress policy that dictates trousers for men and trousers or skirts for women?

hmm… I wonder what the response would be if I wore a formal kilt to a job interview…

If I were the interviewer, I’d higher you in a heartbeat and make kilts manditory work wear. (For men AND women, of course).

*Ethilrist got sweet knees !!! *


Possibly analogous situation at my place of employment is that the male employees are allowed to wear various types of shoes that are not ‘dress shoes’ and (such as a nice pair of boots) the women are expected to wear hose and heels. Since the day I started working here, I’ve been violating the dress code for a couple of reasons. One is that pantyhose cause me to get hives all over my legs and the bottoms of my feet (a truly painful thing) and the other is that shoes with any kind of high heel are dreadfully uncomfortable, they pinch my feet no matter how well they fit, and after a couple of hours I find it difficult to even stand up much less walk around.

I got myself a nice pair of brown boots with no heel and a rubber sole (they’re hiking boots but have never seen more mud than the parking lot has to offer) so that my feet don’t suffer. I’ve been told several times that I should be wearing heels, and every time I tell them that until the men have to wear dress shoes that cause them physical problems, I’m not about to. I’ve yet to receive any kind of written reprimand, pay cut or threat of termination because I think my employer believes I could win a lawsuit.</anecdote>

So, If men are required to wear collared shirts with neckties at this company, and the women aren’t, I think this guy is absolutely right to be fighting this dress code. Neckties just seem like a horrific idea to begin with, restrictive and uncomfortable things that serve no actual purpose whatsoever. And if a woman can wear a t-shirt under her blazer, why can’t a man? I’d question that double standard just as I do the one about heels and hose at my job.

Aside: My employer also doesn’t like it that I don’t wear makeup. I don’t understand the issue. Men in the workplace look professional every day by simple hygeine like washing their faces. Why is this not good enough for me too?

Anyway, “If men are so smart, why can’t they stop wearing ties?” - attributed to Gloria Steinem

I’ll say. One of my main disincentives to running for Parliament is that male MPs must wear ties…!

catsix-if I were you, I’d throw around the phrase “hostile work environment” and such, or discrimination laws.

I’d also have a doctor’s note for your shoes-just in case.

(I did that when I was at Kmart, just in case someone challenged my sneakers).

If they bug you about wearing make up, then one day come in wearing full goth club glittery whore extrordinare make up. Heh.

They raise the issue occasionally, and I tell them ‘No.’ and then they go away for a while.

In reality, my doctor would gladly fill out paperwork that allowed me to wear shorts to work since being too warm has a serious tendency to send my immune system into war mode. However, so long as they insist on maintaining different standards for me because I’m female than they do for my male counterpart, I’m content to tell them that I just flat out won’t follow a sex based discriminatory dress code.

Seems so far that the prospect of getting lawyers involved is troublesome, especially since some of the other women have also decided the heels and hose requirement is unfair.

I hope this guy wins his case. Requiring a shirt and tie for men but allowing women to wear virtually anything under a jacket is sexist. He might have some very professional looking sweaters or other alternatives to go with his work pants.

Excellent sentiment, Catsix.

I just don’t get ties. I can’t remember who first said that they’re nothing but tiny nooses, but really. What is their purpose? Unless women are required to wear brooches or those horrible blouses that tie up in a ribbon around the neck, ties should not be required on men.

No, it’s better the other way. With colored shirts you have to worry about coordination and all that. A white shirt and black pants always go together.