Friday, March 04, 2016

Don't Ban the Hobbits!

Yesterday a friend of mine was thrown out of a pub. Not for being drunk and disorderly, or for starting a fight, or for peeing into a pot plant instead of the loo. No, he was slung out for having bare feet.

That hit a nerve so I started looking for a campaign for people to be able to wear whatever they like and found that Amazon Fashion is running one, or so it says. "Wear whatever you want" it proclaims, as long as it's stylish. Does anyone else see the contradiction right there?

There are so many unnecessary rules about what clothes are acceptable and where, starting but not finishing with our feet.

I wear men's wide leather trainers to keep the irritable nerve in my foot for acting up. In many schools trainers are banned. Mine are black and well-polished so I can get away with them under trousers if no one looks too hard but I really don't see what it matters to anyone what I have on my feet.

Not wearing a bra is also unacceptable, if you're a woman that is. Even young girls just coming into puberty have to wear "training bras" which suggests to me that many women wouldn't wear them unless they were "trained" to do so. Men with "man boobs" are exempt, because the rules are inherently sexist.

They're not just sexist against women. Men are expected to wear suits and a tie to an office job, although the tie seems to be more optional these days. Could my husband wear a skirt to work? I think HR would have a quiet word with him if his boss didn't get to him first. There are many places where a man wearing a dress or skirt risks insults at best and injury at worst.

I just don't understand why. Why can't we all wear whatever we want and leave other people's clothing choices to them?


Lexi said...

Interesting post, FH. One has to balance the right of a person to wear what he wants, versus the right of a business owner to run the business as he sees fit.

During a heat wave many years ago, my assistant came in wearing cut-off jeans, a vest and sandals. He told me his flatmate had said to him, "You're going to work wearing that?" This made me laugh. "Yes, we don't really have a dress code..." Mischa could wear whatever he liked. But, had I had a jewellery shop rather than a workshop, I'd have wanted him to look more formal for the customers.

When I go to a Livery Dinner at Goldsmiths' Hall, I don't wear jeans and a tee shirt. I wear a long evening dress. The men wear dinner jackets. It's what's expected from the Company's guests.

These days we have more freedom to wear what we want than ever before. But a man will still need a tie and jacket to drink at the Savoy. I don't think it's reasonable to expect the world to fit in with you the whole time. Sometimes you have to fit in with the world.

RVA_Grandpa said...

It's the old "No shirt, No shoes, No service". I definitely agree that many of the clothing requirements are sexist. I personally hate ties and have told my wife that I will haunt her if she buries me in one. That said, the requirement for shoes in a bar is a logical safety issue with the chances of stepping on broken glass. Hobbits with their hairy foot pad should be exempt.

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Harry!

My late father hated ties too - he always felt they strangled him! I'm not sure about the bare foot safety issue. I always get the feeling that a lot of people think feet just aren't "hygienic".

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