Stiletto heels and the work place

The TUC have decided to raise an issue which is creating something of a divide in the views of both men and women, with the divisions not coming across on gender lines. The TUC have put forwards a proposal that stiletto heels should be banned from the workplace, on the grounds of health and safety.

As an advocate of retaining freedom, I believe the TUC is sticking its nose in to an area in which they have no real business to concern themselves. I have visions of our ever protective Labour Government deciding this would be a good bandwagon to jump on, requiring all high heels are sold with a stamp on the soles, or more likely across the heel and uppers, stating these may cause a health risk.

In practical terms, High heels are not appropriate in all work places, but that goes for Ties for men. Is the natural development of this type of legislation that we should all turn up to work in Maoists suits?

Certainly there are many people who feel that a female dressed in high heels does not project a professional image, but that is for the individual and employer to deal with.

The aspect of work attire, is an ever present conundrum for individuals and employers to negotiate. The timing of the proposal sits neatly with the Liberal Democratic party proposal on photoshopping advertising, with the claim that photoshopped adverts put pressure on women to conform to an idealistic 'standard'.

A similar argument of pressure in attire can be fashioned for high heels. While many people have commented that heels provide them with a sense of empowerment and confidence, many are arguing it looks sexy, which appears to be, for many roles, perhaps a reason that they are inappropriate and are irrelevant to work place standards. The idea that a High Court Judge is wondering if they look 'sexy' while in court, would raise alarm bells for many.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries said the extra height can help women in the workplace. She added: 'I'm 5ft 3in need every inch of my Christian Louboutin heels to look my male colleagues in the eye. If high heels were banned in Westminster, no one would be able to find me. (source Daily Mail)

This type of comment, doesn't, I think, help in any way. I fail to see any need to mention the shoe manufacturer, as it brings the level down to, I wear more expensive clothes than you, once again bringing the issue of dress code down to a battle of wallet and idolatry.

Wearing of high heels in the work place should not be an area in which the TUC get involved. The spurious argument some are making is that for them to be making any comment is sexist, is fatuous.

Those who have concerns with 'image projection' should reign back their horns a little. The issue is being raised on Health and Safety grounds and this is an area in which legislation is rife and becoming ever more encroaching. Those who like the idea of freedom to wear what ever they and their employer deem acceptable, need to listen to the grounds the TUC are taking a stance. Don't let the health and safety creep take away all our civil liberties.

The issue of clothing in the workplace is and should remain, in the majority of cases an issue between employer and employee, not a concern for the Health and Safety police.

Image source China culture center


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