Gender Equality in the Workplace

by Ilana Weiss about a month ago in career

Bra or Braless?

Gender Equality in the Workplace

I don't know about you other women out there, but I am tired of being required to wear a bra in society. Actually, I'm tired of being judged for who I am as a whole. I am a modern woman who lives an alternative lifestyle, and even as that is becoming the norm, this is a small glimpse of the attitudes and judgement I am subjected to on a daily basis.

I am inspired to write this because of an incident that happened at work. You see, I haven't worn a bra in two years. I nursed my youngest boy who is a year old, and the entire pregnancy, as well as the entire time I was breastfeeding, I was CONSTANTLY leaking, and I'm allergic to the nursing pads.

So I stopped wearing a bra.

I was a full-time mom for about six months of his life. Then I worked at a call center for six months that was business casual dress. I had a few people make some sexual comments (mostly made by men, one of them being my team lead/supervisor), and I also had one of my female coworkers address me, putting me down because I didn't wear a bra. She was talking about how no woman should have to walk around "like that" and attempted to talk me into wearing undershirts, bras, etc. She also brought me in a bag of clothes to further push the issue.

Now I am at another call center (for reasons not related to this), and this time, it was my manager that made the comment.

Now keep in mind, we have a very lax dress code. No more business casual. As long as we aren't dressing provocatively, we can wear what we want.

She pulled me aside one day while I was still in training and told me that I was making people uncomfortable due to not wearing a bra. She also told me that she knew undergarments weren't listed in our dress code policy, but that it was assumed that everyone would wear undergarments. Once I explained that I was not going back to wearing a bra, she brought me in two hoodies that covered from neck to wrist to waist. This was when summer was in full swing and we had heat advisories due to the temperature being over 100°F.

My clothes are not see-through. I wear a cardigan everyday. I am mostly flat-chested after breastfeeding my son. You really wouldn't know I wasn't wearing a bra unless you were staring at my boobs.

I claim sexual harassment, but the workplace claims that my comfort is causing other people discomfort, so I need to sacrifice my "comfort."

My opinion?

I think this was way out of line, and definitely very inappropriate to be said to anyone in a work environment, or really any environment.

I'm sorry real boobs that aren't giant basketballs don't appeal to your wandering eyes.

I mean, I'm a woman and I love boobs of all shapes and sizes, but our country and societal standards are run by white supremacist men who only care about what you have underneath your clothes and the size of your boobs and butt. Therefore, when you work in a corporate office, this is the corporate bullshit you deal with. And guess what? It is also mostly run by white supremacist men. The standard continues.

No offense to people of all shapes and sizes that have boobs because my son has manboobs and he's the cutest thing ever, but there are men with bigger boobs than mine. I mean, let's be honest, everyone has boobs.

If I have to wear a bra, then they do too. Help me end the stigma. Bras are horrible for your back, anyway.

***I'd like to note that everyone is beautiful no matter their shape or size, but the stigmas for everyone must end.

Feel free to share this article if you share my feelings and would like to help me spread the word about incidents involving sexualizing our bodies at inappropriate times and places.***

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Ilana Weiss

I am an aspiring writer. I have a little boy is two years old and currently pregnant with my second child. I am 21 years old and I love learning new things. I have an even stronger love for nature.

See all posts by Ilana Weiss