Posted by: saraleming | April 4, 2013

initial post 04/04

After class on Tuesday I was thinking about why women wear revealing clothes to work. Personally, I found it appalling that women choose to dress inappropriately because so many other women have worked extremely hard and made personal sacrafuces in hope that women in today’s world would women could have equal opportunities as men.

I researched the topic and found an article that suggested that women dress inappropriately because they seek attention from their male coworkers. It went on to say that women sometimes feel like they can’t catch their male coworker’s attention without showing off their bodies. The women interviewed in the article all agreed that once they had their coworker’s attention (because of their wardrobe choice) their male coworkers were more likely to listen to them and to do what they wanted than if they had dressed conservatively. From my perspective women should want to be noticed because of their brains not their bodies and they should not feel like they have to expose themselves to get their point across or be noticed. But these women are purposely flaunting their bodies like it is an influence tactic. It seems a bit devious of the women to use their beauty as power against their male coworkers. My question for you is are these women taking advantage of their male coworkers because they know they know they have a weak spot for the female body and be more agreeable if they dress promiscuously?


  1. I also find the topic of women’s attire and dress to be very interesting and controversial. My main thought on why women don’t wear appropriate clothing to work is because their norms or values may be different from others. What is “good coverage” for woman may not be the same for the next; same goes for skirt and dress length. My belief is that some women go into the professional work force without any idea of the expectations set before them; this is hopefully until they see the culture and dress style which is thus expected of them. I know personally before coming to CNU, I had no idea what to wear to an interview. However, now having been in the PLP program and having to dress up constantly for events and speakers, I no longer have to think about what to wear but just worrying about matching and styling up my outfits. I feel like a lot of students, unless immersed in the expectations early-on on how to dress, both men and women, don’t have a clue what proper professional attire is.
    To address the comment on women dressing to catch the attention of their male co-workers, I believe this brings an unnecessary atmosphere into the work place. The office is not the club where boobs need to be put on display to find a date for the night; the office is a place for people to work together on task-oriented type of objectives. I also believe that if women wear this type of clothing then it just allows men more distraction as to not listen to women’s thoughts and not take them seriously.

  2. I very much agree with Sarah’s opinion on how unnecessary provocative clothing is in the work place. Although it may be successful in getting males attentions, women should focus their efforts in getting their attention elsewhere, like through success in the workplace or suggesting innovative ideas. I like the suggestion that our recent articles make, about looking at the rank above you for direction on what to wear. I think it is important to survey MULTIPLE women in your workplace to get an idea what to wear because as we’ve said, one women’s view of appropriateness is different from another. I also think something is to be said about the clothing and fashion industry. We can blame women all we want for the way they dress but we also need to focus on encouraging designers to design clothing that IS appropriate and acceptable in the workplace. It’s hard for women new to the workplace to understand what to wear when they are commonly sold the wrong thing.

  3. I think women’s promiscuity to get noticed at work (and therefore wield more influence) goes further than just their wardrobe choices. A lot of women use charm and can even be perceived as flirting with their co-workers. The woman that I interviewed for my paper is a close family friend that I have the utmost respect for, and this was something that she even admitted to doing subconsciously to get respect and be liked in the workplace. This made me think about my behavior when dealing with men and I asked myself if I’ve ever behaved in a way that could be perceived by others as flirting in order to advance. I think I have used charm with both men and women to be liked, and I don’t think that is an uncommon thing. In fact, I think men do too. It’s almost as if it is a natural reaction when in that setting. I think there’s definitely a fine line between hardcore flirting and just using charm, but I think we’re kidding ourselves if we say we don’t put on our best face to be liked (knowing that that will likely lead to respect) in the workplace.

  4. This topic is very interesting and pretty controversial. To an extent, I do think women are taking advantage of men by doing this. This is a power tactic that is not positive nor appropriate. I think the bigger issue though is that they are allowing men to then judge them based on their bodies and not their skills. This is just setting women up for failure, inequality, and abuse. By saying men can look at my body as long as they are listening to me, it basically saying that my looks are more important or the only real asset and priority here. The ironic thing is women then get offended if a man treats them this way when they are not purposely showing off their bodies and women become threatened when men then take it a step farther. All in all, it is best to avoid having any issue of appearance.

  5. I agree with Olivia – there is a difference between flirting and being charming. However, like most things in this class there is a gray area in between the two. A lot of times people mistake genuine concern and caring for something more, so it is difficult to be professional and still be authentic in the workplace. There comes a point as a leader or a follower, where you have to reign in your communal qualities and put on a professional demeanor that holds people at a certain distance. In work environments, it is difficult to balance the work relationships with the friend relationships, especially when there is a power dynamic thrown in.
    When it comes to how we dress, I think there is a difference between wearing provocative clothes and wearing clothes that grab your attention. Is it also wrong if someone notices me for wearing a bright shirt or shoes, even if they are tasteful? I think that there is a difference in the types of attention women can receive based on their clothing choices. As much as I do not want to be judged based on my looks, I also am not going to snub clothes because they are eye-grabbing based on other factors. In this particular case, I think that it is important to define the difference between provocative and eye-catching clothing.

  6. This is a very interesting point. I would agree and believe that women wear revealing clothing because they crave the attention of others, especially their male coworkers. Women should be able to wear what they want to work, but they need to make sure they are staying classy and not revealing too much, You can amp your look in other ways than wearing tight clothing and low cut shirts. I feel that women wear revealing clothing because they aren’t comfortable with some aspect of their life, whether they feel like they aren’t very good at their job, so they act out and wear revealing clothing. I wish everyone could be comfortable in their own skin and not feel like they always have something to prove.

  7. I think that you have brought up a very interesting point about the clothing choices that women make before they go into work in the morning. When talking about women dressing provocatively to get attention from males, I have to wonder how much time are they actually listening to her ideas and vision if they are thinking about her in a completely sexualized way. You may grab their attention, but are you holding it while talking about work related topics. I don’t think that women are doing themselves any favors by dressing in such a way that will pose more of a distraction rather than a tool to get noticed. Also this type of dressing will lead to women being distracted as well and most likely the lady that doesn’t choose to dress in a respectable manner will not have the respect of her peers.

  8. I definitely think that women are taking advantage of men by using their promiscuous attire as a power tactic over men. This is somewhat of a catch 22 because if you dress conservative, you aren’t noticed and your ideas may not be heard but at least you have dignity, but on the otherhand, women can sacrifice their bodies and dignity just to move up in the work place. Honestly, I would rather accomplish things because of brains not beauty. If a woman gets a promotion, wouldn’t she feel better if it was because of her brains and hard work as opposed to some guy thinking that she has a great body? This is definitely an interesting topic and I hope to learn more about how to get around this catch 22 in a good way.

  9. I think the idea that people pay more attention to what women are wearing than the tasks they are accomplishing is more of the problem. Some women cannot help the way that they are built, if you have big breasts, you have big breasts. I think the fact that women’s bodies are hyper sexualized and women are more worth their weight in cups and tongs than the intellect of their brain is the main issue. Why should women have to stifle their bodies? Why should women have to down play who they are in every respect in order to be considered professional or leadership worthy? I think this issue within itself shows the lower value our society places on women.
    It is unprofessional to have cleavage, it is unprofessional to be curvy, it is unprofessional to appear feminine in any regard. Whether by the colors worn, the way the hair is styled, how much make up is used, the amount of jewelry presented, where clothes fit, how tight cloths fit, how lose clothes fit, what shoes are worn, the list goes on and on.
    The fact that we play more attention to women’s breasts than we do their personality and capabilities is disgusting. We care more about how she looks how she “presents herself”, than the level of professionalism that comes out of her mouth or out of her mind.
    I hope to be in charge of a company or in the lime light of the media one day as a strong female leader. And as such I would totally screw around with our perceptions of what is “professional: in relation to self presentation. I would love to give a speech one day without any make-up, or while wearing something strapless, or in a short skirt, or really in anyway that is either strictly feminine or strictly masculine.
    Stop looking at women in professional setting as WOMEN look at them as PROFESSIONALS. Stop looking at tits and start listening to brains. This issue is SO annoying while being simultaneous degrading.

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