Pantyhose and Sexism

I started a new job yesterday and was aghast to read that the dress code required me to wear pantyhose if I was going to wear a dress.  Admittedly, I am young (24) and I have never thought of pantyhose as something that someone would willing torture themselves with.  My first experience with pantyhose left me completely disillusioned; i was 12 and was ecstatic to wear my first pair; because I thought they made me grown up.  Twenty  minutes later, in the blistering New Orleans heat, I went into the bathroom and took them off.  Never again.   

I know that men must wear ties, and I think that’s pretty silly too.  In fact, I can promise that if I were a man I would wear clip on ties.  But at lease there is such a thing!  I have heard of “spray on pantyhose”, but I am fairly certain my employer would not consider that the real thing.  I do not know the reasons why men decided to tie fabric around their necks and call it professional, but I do know that making your legs look better is the main reason that women wear pantyhose.  What is wrong with my legs that I need to cover them in nylon?  Maybe men should be made to wear pantyhose over their faces because I decide that their natural face is disgusting.  

The more I think on this matter, the  more I angry I become.  It is sexist, but not just to women.  Why can’t a man wear a skirt if he wants to?  Why can’t a man wear earrings when I can?  Even if the dress code did allow me to wear a skirt sans pantyhose, it would still be sexist.  In fact, all dress codes are sexist because they dictate my dress based on my gender; i think this should be contentious for both men and women.  To me, this is a matter of blatant discrimination, and I am surprised that this is not a matter that receives more attention.  

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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