Ok So I am a woman, a mother, a business owner. You can say I am a feminist but I am also a humanist and – wait is there a word for it? Am I also a Male-ist (I also stick up for men when they deserve it).
There has been a lot of hullabaloo recently when that woman Nicola Thorp won her right not to wear heels to work after her employers sent her home in the first place for refusing to wear them.
Okay, I get it. Wearing heels can get tiring. Especially if your job involves a lot of standing and walking around. Ms. Thorp’s job is that of a receptionist and as she says “I was expected to do a nine-hour shift on my feet escorting clients to meeting rooms.” So maybe she is right. Imposing what footwear she should wear is unfair, especially if it is a 6-inch heel.
For one second can we really think about this? Ms. Thorp was surely not forced to wear a 6-inch heel. As all of us women know there are heels and there are HEELS. Couldn’t she have solved the problem by simply buying a pair of really “low-heeled” shoes?
Okay I know what you are all thinking. Why aren’t men forced to wear heels? Life is unfair, women are not equal to men because they are forced to wear heels. In 2016. Women are sent home because they are not wearing heels.
Okay fine. In an ideal world I would be going to the office wearing my yoga pants, trainers and favourite T-shirt, have my work station on a couch and a have free flowing wine all day. I own my business. I could do this. But I don’t. Why? Not because I am a forced not to. Not because I like to wear smart clothes. But because of image.
Image you say. How superficial.
No. We tend to forget that people working within a company are representing that company, they are marketing that company. The way they look evokes a feeling, an aura, the way people perceive that person reflects the way people perceive the company. Like it or not, what you wear DOES matter.
I am happy that those women who hate heels now have a voice and are getting the opportunity to choose what footwear to wear at their place of work. It’s all good.
On the other hand I find it strange that men haven’t come out with a petition not to wear suits and ties to work. Let’s face it, women are not forced to wear a tie at work so where is the equality there? Probably if I tried to wear a tie for more than an hour I would break out in hives and get an anxiety attack. So kudos to those men who wear a suit and tie to work and don’t complain. Those same men who do not rally together against their employer to earn the right to go to business meetings in shorts and a T-shirt because it is too hot and uncomfortable to wear a tie.
I have absolutely nothing against feminists and am all for gender equality but if I had to be truly honest I think we are taking it a tad far here. What could have been settled on a one-to-one basis by compromising and wearing a very low smart heel, turned into a 100,000 plus signed petition to make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work.
No harm done. I just wish some of us women wouldn’t act so much like victims all the time. Ms Thorp is right. Wearing heels should not be an imposition, especially to women who find even wearing the lowest of heels unbearable and painful. However it is not a gender discrimination issue, since on the other side of the coin there are image requirements that are expected from men and not from women.
So ladies, let’s put it all in perspective and give a shout out to all the suit-wearing, clean-shaven men who have to endure 9 hours of work, commuting and meetings with a tie round their neck and a jacket on their back.
by Agnes Mae for Buzymummy