I was at the Trauma centre yesterday and an interesting thing happened.
The Dr wore a head to toe, tightly fitted almost light green, voluptuously figure hugging, cleavage revealing, g-string wearing, open toe sandalled, green summer dress.
The misogyny was real in me as she reduced… I mean introduced herself to us. After a couple of minutes of eyeing this highly qualified woman up and down I couldn’t help but look at her revealing cleavage in disbelief, her painted toe nails, this really really tight fitting dress and the string of her underwear disappearing in between her cheeks…..
It then sort of struck me all of a sudden and I felt my eyebrows quizzically react to the conflict in my thoughts… I wasn’t sure if I was sexually discriminating, degrading her and sexually objectifying her .. Or if she really was inappropriately dressed for emergencies??
I thought to myself, well… She IS fully clothed? And perhaps the cleavage wouldn’t be so much on a woman who had smaller breasts? Same goes for the look of her Be-hind.. If it was smaller it wouldn’t be so in your face… And it’s not like she had a say in the size of her breasts and bums?? I forgot to mention she had lipstick WITH lipgloss.. It was all a bit chaotic as I kept telling myself she’s a doctor she’s a doctor.. I shouldn’t be thinking of her like this?
I wondered what is inappropriate and appropriate clothing??? Would she have been able to do her job more effectively in scrubs? I don’t thinks so.. She did look very comfortable, appeared to manage her movements and work well too.
I then started thinking about a friend of mine whose starting law school and she has been warned of the clothing regulations. No jeans, shorts, open toed shoes.. (Revealing clothing not included), and I became annoyed at myself and the world at how we value the way someone looks!?!?!? Which isn’t a new thoughts I’ve had… We think about clothing As if it has a correlation or input into how effective we-they are at their job? Does it realllllly matter that a lawyer be dressed ‘smartly’ for law school.. That the Dr has open sandals??? That she has breasts of which the tops of them we can see??? Why was I so… Affected? Did I get angry because I thought, how could she dress like that and let men look at her? Perv over her… Insult her intelligence as I did when I was introduced to her?? Was I embarrassed because I was at the trauma centre dealing with an emergency and this woman is standing in front of me that’s supposed to help us and she looks like she is at drinks on the beach?!?!? It was an interesting situation for me. Especially since I have had countless arguments with my family and partner about them judging people the way they look and investing so much time and energy into how they themselves look… It’s baffling.
Here I was judging this woman.
When I’ve had this conversation with people before, I ask, ‘what does it matter what they wear’ and responses are pretty much the same.. People will judge them, people won’t trust them, people will think they have no respect… And I ask but why? I’m not saying grow huge beards and let your fingernails run free, not bathe and look disheveled etc…. Why if someone has on 3/4 shorts can’t they be respected when saving someone’s life??? Life guards do it :p Why must a lawyer win a case in a 3 piece suit??? How did those specific pieces of attire help them in achieving their goals in life? Why is it important?????? Really important… Never mind how people will see you? Why would they decide that that will form the entire impression of you????
If anyone can give me a real answer to this I would appreciate it as I do actually think about this whole clothing and how you are perceived palaver pretty frequently in my life.
Admittedly when I go out and I’m comfortable in my clothing that happens to be making me look good, which didn’t come naturally but from support from my partner… I do feel more confident in myself, more capable, more at ease and ready to take on the world. However, for me there is a distinction between me looking good and feeling good about it and then looking good and wondering what people are thinking about me and whether I am conforming or leaving a good impression. Perhaps I am in denial.. after writing this post perhaps I will think about my physical self in social situations and feel something different.
I suppose, what I wonder most about this whole dress code situation is, what are the real issue we are avoiding by focusing on the way people are dressed. What is so painful about being in social situations that we use soooo much accessories in order to deviate from the true thoughts and feelings when in groups?
Am I thinking too much about it? Perhaps.. More no than yes.