By: Tyra Mills
Not too long ago, Loyola Law School issued a memo to its students outlining what not to wear to work-study jobs. Apparently, this memo ticked off a great deal of the school’s female students and caused a big enough uproar for the story to spread nationwide.
The problem with this memo is that it only addressed females, not males. In my opinion, this is an act of sexism. The memo listed things such as “no low cut shirts” or “stiletto heels.”
There was nothing in this memo about crooked ties or pants with no belts or even sagging pants. There was nothing in the memo about men keeping their hair presentable or their facial hair tamed. There was nothing in this memo addressing anything about male dress codes, which makes it seem as though a female’s appearance matters more in the work place.
Women are constantly worried about their looks and bodies. They are judged by appearances in all industries of business, from law school to modeling.
Not only are women constantly worrying about their bodies, but they are also measured by their looks. Being attractive gets you more respect than if you are not up to society’s beauty standards.
According to research by Daniel Hamermesh, the top one-third of attractive females earn about 10 percent more annually than those in the bottom sixth percentile.
Though I do not blame the school for attempting to set boundaries, I think they should have done a better job of not making it so shockingly obvious whom they were targeting.
I feel embarrassed for the female law students. They already have the odds stacked up against them by being female in a primarily male industry. Not only will they be paid less than their male colleagues, but now they need memos sent out to remind them that cleavage is inappropriate.
If you’re in law school and don’t already know that cleavage is not professional, I don’t know why you’re there in the first place. I’m sure these women are smart enough to know how to dress by now.
These are not high school teenagers; these are ambitious, intelligent women. I only hope that one day women will be judged on their work ethic, not their choice of apparel for the day.