In news surprising no one, female restaurant workers say they feel pressure from their employers to dress sexier.
Over in Canada, CBC Marketplace whipped up an investigation on Canada’s top restaurant chains, “dozens” of female staffer told them anonymously they felt they had better to wear revealing clothes or else lose shifts. (They talked to people at Moxie’s, Jack Astor’s, Earls and Joey Restaurants.)
We’ve already read the study reporting that waitresses and bartenders who wear red lipstick score better tips — makes sense to carry trays around like a sex kitten if you’d like to serve food more enjoyably for men with thick wallets at “Earls.” The workers with whom CBC chatted said they have to wear heels, wear heavy makeup, short skirts, and as one off the record Joey Restaurants employee alleged, their dresses are so tight that they’re told to go commando to avoid VPL. Because “remove your undies,” is generally frowned upon in the workplace, Joey sounds like a rough guy.
As CBC’s follow-up report points out, requiring “revealing” dress code violates human rights. When a woman has to choose between skipping underwear so she can get a paycheck or not, then yeah, not flaunting your sexy assets as you read the fishbowl cocktail special is strictly a male privilege.
Even if a Hooters is up front about what the deal is, a boobage and wings combo, it’s still unfair to women as usual. But if a bartender WANTS to wear a shorter skirt or do various sexy things to be a more noticeable earner, that’s her prerogative. A code of dress enforced by an employer is both scary and predictable, but code or not, the financial “pressure” if women isn’t going anywhere for women who want to do wear something revealing because it will help her tips.
CBC didn’t talk to dudes about dress codes, score another one for men’s rights, but the male staff of Union Local 613 wore dresses to protest the double standard. Men dressing up in dresses and heels for a couple of hours is adorable, but it probably won’t move the plot along. In order to actually erode the structures that make women in body con dresses more profitable for the food biz, we’d have to get everyone to go to restaurants where women were allowed to decide if they wanted to wear their undies or not.