By Lyonel Doherty
Last week’s story about the woman who refuses to wear a bra at work garnered a lot of thought-provoking feedback.
As you can imagine, some of it was quite hilarious, but it’s not amusing to Christina Schell.
Not surprisingly, the human rights angle is highly supported here by many people, while others are not convinced that the golf club’s dress code is discriminatory. (The code requires female employees to wear a bra or tank top under their uniforms, but Schell doesn’t want to, partly for health reasons.)
It’s ironic that, not too long ago, many women were complaining that some restaurants required or pressured them to wear revealing clothing or high heels to attract male clients. Now it’s illegal for employers to do this.
One could argue there is nothing wrong with businesses imposing the must-wear-a-bra rule. Depending on the circumstances, having “loose boobs” could be offensive to clientele or distracting to fellow staff members. Shouldn’t employers have a right to set a dress code that garners respect for everyone?
On the other hand, there’s also the discrimination argument (the human rights code prevents discrimination on the basis of gender). Schell is the only one being adversely treated here, unless you throw in that restaurant guests are being adversely treated by Schell not wearing a bra.
This is one of these damned if you do, damned if you don’t issues. If you argue either way, you’re damned by someone.
If you’re offended, don’t look (but it’s hard not to because your brain is saying there’s a woman over there not wearing a bra).
One might think that an employer would amend the dress code to take into account the health reasons, but the story did not indicate whether Schell had a “medical” reason signed by a doctor.
But if you really want to play the equality card, why doesn’t the golf club’s dress code require men to wear tank tops under their uniforms? Because men don’t have boobs? Really? Some do.
You see, this argument could go on forever.
Schell obviously feels very strongly about this and wants to make a point, while many women would have moved on without making a scene.
Perhaps we need to stop judging everyone, including employers who feel a dress code is required to operate a business the way they see fit.