The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

18 April 2005

Hemmed in

My stature as a skirt-watcher has never been questioned. (Come to think of it, it's scarcely been mentioned.)

That said, though, I'm not sure I buy the notion that it's necessary to show off a little for a woman to get a job:

[T]hey might be perceived as less than professional and even lose a job offer if they wear a pantsuit to an interview instead of a skirtsuit. And that they can rarely go wrong by reaching for the highest standard of traditional dress — especially in such conservative fields as banking, investments, and law.

I've never considered trying to worm my way into the so-called Human Resources field, but had I done so, and were I to get to the point where I'm trying to gauge someone's professionalism by whether I can see her shins or not, I'd start thinking it was probably time to consider some other line of work.

Of course, I'm not the person hiring. Otherwise, you wouldn't hear things like this:

Most certainly I don't want to play into the stupid sexist bullshit that I need to let someone look at my legs to size my credentials up, and yet I really donít want to be at a disadvantage at the interview.

On the other hand, Sean Gleeson points out, quite reasonably:

Clothing is a social convention, and one must wear specific sorts of clothing to "fit in" with, or conform to, specific societies, and it has ever been thus.

I think we've identified an actual instance of "male privilege": were a man to apply for such a job, he'd don a suit and tie, and that's that. Simplifies the task immensely. (And God knows no one wants to look at my legs.)

Still, when the chips are down, I think looking one's best might actually trump looking like everyone else in the office. And is it just my imagination, or is the Ann Coulter Time cover cunningly designed to flatter its subject as little as possible?

(Update, 1 pm: Drudge reports that Coulter doesn't like the photo at all: "My own mother would not recognize me!" So much for the royal Timese machine.)

Posted at 9:20 AM to Almost Yogurt

Bah. If a woman wears a pantsuit, I would not think her less professional. I mean, yes, if you want a job that deals with people, you would have to look your best, but looking your best doesn't necessarily mean you also have to show skin.

Anyways, I'm glad I'm not in that kind of field. I can come in with ripped jeans and a stained t-shirt and everyone would think I'm crazy as usual or an experiment accidentally blew up in my face.

Posted by: sya at 10:01 AM on 18 April 2005

Check out Ann's response here.

Posted by: Eric at 9:05 AM on 22 April 2005

Now that's funny.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:20 AM on 22 April 2005