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 Is it time women covered up at work ?

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jul 13, 2001
Women have finally achieved equality in the workplace, but at what cost ?

Many men are having a hard time dealing with the new reality. Genetically programmed to think about sex every six seconds, the modern workplace with its threat of litigation for inappropriate behaviour has turned into a minefield for all but the most emasculated males. With testostorone coarsing through his veins, confronted at every turn by women in provocative modern clothing that leaves very little to the imagination, is it any wonder that occasionally he is unable to control his animal instincts ?

It is time we introduced a mandatory corporate dress code for women, to ensure that men no longer have any excuses for their sexist behaviour.


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It has been a long time coming, but modern women have finally started to achieve equality in the workplace. Women are no longer restricted to the role of mere secretaries or nurses. It is now commonplace to see female attorneys, doctors, politicians, astronauts and even computer programmers.

Unfortunately, the success of the feminist movement has left many men feeling confused and threatened.

It is not uncommon for modern corporations to have an anti-sexism code, or a dignity in the workplace policy or some other ass-covering piece of legalistic mumbo-jumbo, the aim of which is to discourage 'sexist' behaviour. But if we take a closer look, this sexist behaviour is simply the natural instinct of the male of the species when confronted with visual stimulus of a sexual nature.

For example, a man goes to the photocopier where he sees his boss (a woman) bending over to get a paper refill. Naturally, his gaze will move toward her buttocks. The primitive reptilian part of his brain responsible for reproduction will quickly assess her suitability as a potential mate, as a potential mother of his offspring. If she remains in that position for more than ten seconds, the first stages of the physiological process of male erection will almost certainly ensue as the trabecular smooth muscle is relaxed and the helicine arteries of the penis are dilated. This will then leads to expansion of the lacunar spaces and entrapment of blood as increasing blood volume compresses venules against the tunica albuginea. In other words, he will get a raging hard-on (or 'woody' to use the more medically correct term).

Now, if this woman turns around and sees the unfortunate man looking at her 'cute butt', it is highly likely that the male will be either reprimanded, or sacked. It is even possible he may be sued for harassment. And all for the simple crime of being male, and having a perfectly natural reaction to what was essentially, a mating display. (in the animal kingdom, a female chimanzee will expose her buttocks to the males in the pack in order to encourage them to copulate with her).

Now we can argue about the rights or wrongs of this situation until we are blue in the face. We could have an in-depth discussion about how men should respect women more, etc etc. But none of this will get to the core of the matter: Men are programmed to think about sex every six seconds, and no amount of legislation is going to change that. A more practical approach is required.

Instead of trying to reverse what is basically a natural biological urge, we should instead be looking to see what measures could be taken in the workplace to avoid situations such as I have described above, from arising in the first place.

Its time for a novel approach to the problem. And I think I have the answer.

The real problem here is not the inherent sexism of males. That has a biological function and as such it is utterly pointless and futile to question it or try to change it. No, it is the ability of a woman going about her normal duties in the office to incite the lustful passions of the male by perfoming simple tasks that causes most of these 'sexist' incidents.

The way forward in my opinion is that corporate America needs a dress code, one which mandates what every woman can and cannot wear to work. This dress code could be agreeed upon by a panel of experts from the fashion industry, and once it has been agreed upon, women will only be allowed to wear those 'approved' styles of clothing around the office.

The type of clothing will be designed to minimise the possibility of male sexual arousal, and yet at the same time it will be practical, comfortable and hard wearing. The panel of fashion experts can take a look at some of the clothing that women from other cultures wear. There are plenty of clothing styles out there that do not emphasise a woman's tight young buttocks or perky breasts. The panel could choose a selection of such clothing, so women would not feel as if they had lost their identity.

Women may initially object to being told what to wear, but they would soon get used to it, and in my opinion this minor loss of freedom would be a very very small price to pay if it meant completely eliminating male sexism from the workplace. Men all over America could then go into work without living in constant terror of an unwanted erection.

What do you think ? Girls, have you been the victim of unwanted male stares ? Do you think a dress code could help you dress more appropriately (from a male perspective) ? Perhaps you are a male who has fallen victim to your own biology as a result of inappropriate office-wear. Let me know what you think - am I right, or am I way off the mark here ?


Women know this, too (none / 0) (#12)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jul 13th, 2001 at 11:09:33 AM PST
I agree with the premise of the article, but I think you're being a bit naive. Women are not shocked by this kind of male behavior. They have become used to it, and in many cases, have used it nefariously to further their own careers and agendas.

Some of the behavior of women in the office is so unmistakeably slutlike that it has to be intentional. For example, in my place of work, a list of potential candidates for a lucrative promotion had been narrowed down to two: a man and a woman. Both candidates were required to give presentations in front of the project staff. The day the man gave his presentation, the woman showed up for work in a form-fitting blouse and a skirt so short it could have been used as a headband. As a result, this poor bastard stammered, stuttered, and basically "ummed" his way through the entire presentation. Ultimately, management gave the promotion to the woman.

In any decent society, this broad would be sitting in jail right now. Instead, she's sitting in her corner office with her windows and her private bathroom and her fucking goldfish. And the silly, slobbering son of a bitch that should have gotten the promotion is stagnating in a cubicle somewhere. Is it time women covered up at work? You're goddamn right it is .. but it's not to protect them from us. It's to protect us from them.

who do she think she is (none / 0) (#16)
by Victors Monster on Fri Jul 13th, 2001 at 11:09:37 PM PST
In old country this woman rightly would been have fed to pigs!


Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by geekchic on Thu Jul 19th, 2001 at 09:25:09 PM PST
I've got a new self-promotion strategy!

a radical solution (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by johnny ambiguous on Fri Jul 13th, 2001 at 11:09:39 AM PST
Surely everyone who works in a sexually-mixed site of employment has seen male employees ducking and jockeying and maneuvering to look down the blouse or up the skirt of a female co-worker as she bends down to retrieve files from the bottom filing cabinet, or leans over a drafting table, or crawls under a desk to toggle her computer's power strip. And how risible the looks and blushes when she sees his questing eyes and slack gaping mouth and he in turn sees her angry stare and compressed lips! Not to mention the millions or even billions of worker-hours squandered, and the valuable spool space consumed on corporate intranet mail servers, as the gossip, derogation and innuendos flash back and forth across the office in consequence. So this problem transcends the merely social and becomes a serious threat to the all-important corporate bottom-line (pun not intended, for sure!).

This is a problem which demands more than trivial cover-up; instead what is wanted is a radical, revolutionary cure. The obvious solution would be complete nudity for men and women in the workplace. Have you ever gone to a nudist camp? If you do, you will see that, despite the presence of many attractive young women in complete undress, as an almost universal rule the male nudists do not suffer that embarrassing venular engorgement.

What's more, this scheme lends a new air of transparency to the enforcement of just anti-harassment policies. Iin the unlikely event that a shameless, perverted male employee (and we all know there are a few bad apples in every barrel) does permit himself to enjoy the sensual pleasure of an irregulationary erection whilst gaping and drooling at his female colleagues's shapely nates and bosoms, rather than the situation devolving into nothing but a feeding-ground for predatory lawyers opposing unprovable claims against equally unprovable denials ("But your Honor, Mr Davies had, he was, o I blush to say, he was clearly sporting, a, a, boner!" "No, no, your Honor! I swear Ms Walker was mistaken; I was just carrying my cell-phone in my pants pocket.") the guilty evidence will be undeniably visible for all to see and condemn.

Yours Johnny A.

Getting into my Chevrolet Magic Fire, I drove slowly back to the office. - L. Rosen

Wishful thinking (5.00 / 2) (#14)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Jul 13th, 2001 at 11:29:11 AM PST
And I think I have the answer.

I'm always leery of anyone who has a lock on The Truth.

You're right, sexuality is a fact of life. Sex is everywhere and always has been, even in societies that are (or were) downright oppressive in their judgement of gender relations. A hundred years ago, the sight of a well-turned ankle was considered sufficient to inflame a healthy man beyond reason. Women were publicly castigated for unseemly behavior because men were clearly not responsible for their vile sexual lusts. And yet...

Today, european businesses allow their workers to engage in behavior that would be downright shocking and scandalous to the American corporate climate, and they do so without blinking.

Why? They're not so bloody uptight about it. Women dress in scandalous clothing and tease their male co-workers as mercilessly as they receive. Nobody gets upset. Everybody gets their work done.

Stop making excuses for our basic animal impulses and start taking responsibility for them. Men want sex. Our bodies drive us to it. We know this and we accept this. Does this mean we're not responsible for our behavior because our hormone production is healthy? Of course not! We're also rational, thinking beings (I'll make a leap of faith in your case) capable of filtering our impulses and actions to meet the requirements of our environment. Men or women incapable of mature behavior need to be reprimanded and punished accordingly. If they refuse, they can go somewhere else.

Here's a concept that some people may find as a shocker: women want sex too, just as much as men. Their drives are slightly different, but the effect is the same. The species is driven to propagate itself. Women are also rational, thinking beings and should be allowed to learn viable social skills they can use to make their own decisions about what's going on around them and how they need to act.

We as a society and as a race need to stop reacting and start acting. That means thinking about what we do and why we're doing it before going ahead with it. Suing for sexual harrassment is a reaction. So is limiting the wardrobe of our fellow humans. Learning to work together is action. Take a moment and think about it, for once.

A troll's true colors.

Gawd, what a stupid article (1.00 / 4) (#15)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jul 13th, 2001 at 11:51:21 AM PST
If I can't look at pretty women at work, I quit.
If I can't show off my beautiful body at work, I quit.

Oh, and by the way:

Trolling is not tolerated here. Any comment may be deleted by a site admin, and all trolls will be deleted. This is your fair warning.

y'all suck.

How 'bout the veil? (none / 0) (#17)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Jul 15th, 2001 at 07:42:18 AM PST
IIRC, this kind of thinking is behind the Islamic practice on women wearing anything from head coverings and "modest" clothing to the full tent forcibly in vogue in Afganistan.

Again, IIRC, it was either the Prophet or one of his first decendents who took the wife of his son as his own. But it was her fault, because she was so beautiful. Thus the male adulterer came up with the injuction that females cover themselves or at list minimize their more attractive parts so that weak-willed males wouldn't be lured into sin.

Inappropriate dress is inappropriate dress. I wouldn't wear my goth club duds to work, just like I wouldn't wear a work suit to a club. But some men are turned on simply by a woman's hair, or a shapely calf, or even a medium-heeled pump -- all of which may be exposed by a woman wearing a nice suit. Is that her problem? The answer is not to dress unattractively, just appropriately. Besides, unattractive women (like unattractive men) have a disadvantage in the workplace.

You raise a valid point. (none / 0) (#18)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Jul 15th, 2001 at 01:43:37 PM PST
Unattractive women are disadvantaged in the workplace, and your suggestion of the veil is probably the only pragmatic solution to the problem of women in the workplace.

It is doubly good, because it means women can no longer exploit their sexual charms to gain promotion, and it also creates a level playing field for the less attractive women who is now able to compete on her merits.

"Cirinsts" (none / 0) (#21)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Jul 18th, 2001 at 07:08:59 AM PST
It is doubly good, because it means women can no longer exploit their sexual charms to gain promotion, and it also creates a level playing field for the less attractive women who is now able to compete on her merits.

Dave Sim explored this idea in his comic book Cerebus. Cirinist (a religious/political group) women covered up in order to minimize both attractiveness and unattractiveness. The interesting thing was that in his extrapolation, other forms of competition emerged. He's known for being a mysogynist, but in some ways he's a keen observer.

I work better with beautiful women around (none / 0) (#19)
by typical geek on Mon Jul 16th, 2001 at 05:46:23 AM PST
and it helps if they dress a little provocatively, too.

I don't know why, maybe it faciliitates mini-mentla vacations and fantasies, but I know I enjoy work more when there's a little sparkling undercurrent of sexual tension in the air.

gcc is to software freedom as guns are to personal freedom.

Let it all hang out (none / 0) (#20)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Jul 17th, 2001 at 11:55:18 AM PST
SEX -- the most overhyped human activity of the twentieth century. Is it really that we think about sex every six seconds, or is it that we have complicated a simple human interaction to an unrecognisable monstrosity. Somehow the societies where women are butt naked do not seem to have the obsession with breasts as we do. I say go the other way, let it all hang out:)

by Anonymous Reader on Sun Feb 10th, 2002 at 07:39:00 PM PST
Did i miss something? Uncontrollable biological urges are a concept invented by a patriarchal society as one more excuse for everything from objectification to molestation, and it even has the incredible effect of making us men sound like the victims. Don't get me wrong, the urges are there. I know, i'm male. But we have brains too, guys. The brain can say no, and the brain has control of the spine. There has to be a decision in there somewhere to do the right thing or the wrong thing. Take responsibility for your actions.


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