Monitor: Female attire
All the News of the World
Saturday 06 November 1999
her boss insisted she wear a skirt
JUDY OWEN left her job because her boss insisted she wear a skirt - she prefers to wear trousers. He says he was "flabbergasted" when he first saw what she was wearing. It's unbelievable. If she looks smart, why should it matter whether a female employee wears trousers or a skirt? Would a man be treated the same way? Of course not. It is discrimination and it is time it stopped.
THEIR MESSAGE, presumably, runs along the lines of: "Don't be so silly, dear. What's wrong with a dress code? It's nice to look smart. Why shouldn't the men have well-turned-out colleagues." All these sentiments are variations of the original anti-suffragette lines - "What do you want to throw yourself in front of an innocent horse for?" and "What good do you think starving yourself is going to do?", which likewise not very deftly skirted the issue. No, the battle for equality will never be definitively lost or won with the flashing - or not - of the lower knee, or isolated protest of any sort. But if there's one thing the gender war of this century has proven, the road to iniquity is paved with the turning of blind eyes to the little things. (Zoe Williams)
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