Ahh, you can hear the faint hum of the patriarchal machinery gently whirr in the background as it gently churns out non-provocative titles such as this:

Sexy outfits for female staff may be discriminatory.

The unabashed use of the qualifier quickly raised this commentators eyebrow and raised the feminist lobes to a strong yellow alert. Was this a sage nod to journalistic principles or just a slavish introduction to (yet another) slap-happy, patriarchally-reinforcing, equality hug-fest?


Objectification? Nah. Double standards for the sexes?

Thankfully, the code yellow lobe condition turned out to be unnecessary as the article found its way and made some crunchy assertions about the sexism women face in the workplace.

“Should you have to dress sexy to keep your job? Many women working at some of Canada’s popular restaurant chains say they do.

But dress codes for female staff at some restaurants — which can include high heels, tight skirts and heavy makeup — may violate women’s human rights, according to some experts.”

Wow, enforced femininity violating human rights?  It’s almost like the material conditions forced on one class of people is destructive and not conducive to healthy existence in society.

“CBC Marketplace investigated the dress codes at some of Canada’s top restaurant chains and heard from dozens of female staff who say they felt pressured to wear revealing outfits or risk losing shifts.

“The dress is so tight that you can see your underwear through it,” says a current employee of Joey Restaurants who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing her job.

She claims she was told not to wear underwear at all in order to avoid this.”

Because wearing a sexy tight dress is the necessary foundation for serving people food and drink.  Hmm, seems like there is a societal standard at work here – rhymes with blofectification….can’t quite put my finger on it.  I’m sure my fellow blamers will help me out though…

“It is sex discrimination. I have no doubt about it,” she [University of Ottawa law professor Joanne St. Lewis] says. “The male employees are doing exactly the same task as the female employees … And they do not need to sexualize their clothing. That’s the bottom line.”

Yep.  The good prof correctly identifies that problem, there is a set of standards for women, and a set of standards for men.  Guess which sex has more harmful rules and stipulations?

“Toronto pastry chef Kate Burnham grabbed headlines in 2015 when she spoke out about her alleged sexual harassment while working in the kitchen of a popular downtown restaurant, Weslodge.

Burnham’s case nabbed the attention of Toronto-based restaurant owner Jen Agg, who took to Twitter to say sexism and sexual harassment are major issues in the industry.

It also provoked Agg to organize a conference on the topic called “Kitchen Bitches: Smashing the Patriarchy One Plate at a Time.” The event, which brought both men and women together to discuss the abuse happening in restaurants, sold out.

Agg says what happens in kitchens is shocking.

“Slapping with tongs, snapping bras, relentless grabbing — women chefs learn quickly to crouch, never bend over, when picking up a pot,” she wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times.

St. Lewis suggests sexualized dress codes can send a signal that tolerating harassment is part of the job.

“That is not something that I think any employer has the entitlement to ask in 2016 of any woman in a Canadian workplace,” she says.”

Yep, because being slapped, having one’s bra snapped and being relentlessly grabbed are all hallmarks of a relentlessly egalitarian society.  Women systematically being treated as objects, with little or no respect to their autonomy, it’s almost like there is a prevailing social set of norms, some feminists like to call Patriarchy, at work.