The S-word… and what it means to me.


There. I’ve said it. It’s a nasty word, as are most “-ism”s, but it seems to be one of the current ones doing the rounds in the media spotlight for this month. Twitter, in between Assange and other asylum cases, is rife with stories of sexism against women and how women are made to feel inferior due to their appearance or other characteristics generally thought to be “female”…

A lot of these describe how making the choice to not dress in a provocative manner, or a socially accepted “womanly” way has led to gender based bias from colleages and superiors. I feel their pain. Really I do. By making the choice to not wear short skirts or wearing makeup and/or shiny hair, how is your work any less valuable than another’s? By choosing to look a certain way, do you automatically rate lower than someone who is towing the stereotypical line?

But this is not my gripe to give, per se. Mine is at the other end of the situation. What is you are one of the girls who actually likes to wear make up, have shiny hair and wear short skirts? Does that mean I am automatically buying in to the theory, undermining the last decades of feminist’s hard work?

Why can’t I wear my heels and short skirts and tight blouses, with makeup on and my hair looking lovely, without fear of being sexualised by my co-workers or hearing mutters behind me of other women in the workplace who think I’m sleeping with my superiors to get the good jobs?

I work hard. I do damned good work. Why do I choose to dress that way? Because it makes me feel good and when I feel good, I work better. When I work better, the company wins, When the company wins, I get paid! That should be as far as it goes. I am not performing sexual acts for the boss if I wear a tighter dress than you might feel comfortable in. I am, however, sleeping with the boss if I come out of the closed office with my lipstick awry and my hair a mess as I pull down my dress and remove a soiled condom from my stocking.

All I am saying is that women who suffer sexism on a daily basis should also give those of us who actually, genuinely feel better in our skirts and blouses a little lee-way. Don’t automatically assume we haven’t thought our decision through. Though, I will admit some of us clearly haven’t… and that’s why they don’t seem to get the promotions. Am I right? But that’s because they can’t do the work!

Gah! I am sick of the mentality that simply because I choose to look a way that is the opposite to how you see a feminist looking, that automatically means I must support misogynistic, sexist behaviour. I don’t. It’s uncalled for and yes, I have been the target of it. You know what? I have been the target of it when wearing my skirts AND when wearing my loose pants and a jumper, so arseholes are arseholes no matter what you’re wearing!

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