On this episode of Coffee Break With KA & Dana they talk about the commonly heard phrase Dress Like A Girl.
According to the Daily Beast, the ACLU has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that a Chili’s manager discriminated against a lesbian mom on the basis of sex when he told her to dress more gender appropriate.
In this episode, KA and Dana discuss:
- lesbian attire
- the EEOC complaint
- butch/femme attire
- butch attire in the workplace
KA is an author of lesbian fiction with degrees in counseling, psychology, and social work. She writes stories about lesbians, burdened by past trauma, who find healing in the love of a soul mate.
Dana is an avid reader, a recovering alcoholic, a fisher-woman, and a graduate of the school of hard knocks.
As co-hosts, they’re quite the duo. Connect with them online at www.kamoll.com
Music in this episode (Lucky Way) is licensed for use in various multimedia applications by Melody Loops.
Listen to this episode here
please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
[Music] welcome to coffee break with KA and Dana were brought to you by the lesbian talk show I’m KA a lesbian romance author and in my past life a counsellor and a social worker and I’m Dana an avid reader coffee connoisseur recovering alcoholic and a graduate of the school of hard knocks grab a cup of coffee pull up a chair join us for a meaningful conversation from a lesbian perspective according to The Daily Beast calm in 1989 the Supreme Court ruled in Price Waterhouse vs. Hopkins that a woman named Ann Hopkins had been unlawfully denied partnership on the grounds that she didn’t address and behave feminine ly enough in essence the Supreme Court determined that discriminating against someone based on stereotypes about how a person should look or act because of their sex qualify as sex discrimination did Chile’s cross the line when they reportedly told lesbians single mom to dress more gender appropriate we think so and we’ll be talking about it won’t you join us for a meaningful conversation all right hey so we are talking about lesbians in the workplace specifically lesbians attire in the workplace always an interesting topic I don’t know whether I’ve eventually yeah I don’t know that I’ve actually talked about it before I you know I certainly lived it but I anyway we read an article we ran across an article two recent article that The Daily Beast put out and it talked about this lesbian in Arizona whose manager told her to dress more gender appropriate and that happened after she attended a seminar for management promotion promotion to management and although that never happened to me where someone had that conversation it could have on some days anyway it struck a chord and we thought it was worthy of conversation absolutely now mind you Chili’s has a dress code in this lady was wearing what the dress code had put in place black pants white button-down shirt and so she was doing what she was supposed to be doing as far as her dress but in order to be management they wanted her to dress more feminine yeah that their I mean they didn’t deny that what got me is is according to the article Chile’s didn’t deny that they’d said something to her about her dress and but they claimed that it’s the same for all managers well if that’s the if that’s the way it is then they must want their male managers to dress feminine you know and I wondered about that too because of the way the and you know that could have just been the way that the article was worded I don’t know but here’s my deal if you have a dress code follow the dress code she wasn’t in management she just had attended a seminar now if you move up into management I can understand where the dress may be different however telling somebody to dress more feminine I just think that’s uncalled whore and I according to the article they actually said she should dress more gender appropriate now this woman according you know according to the article um we are we have we have a one-sided account here reported by The Daily Beast but according to the article she wore a button-up meant you know a button up the front shirt like a man’s shirt fitted slacks and boat shoes okay now I never was really too into boat shoes but I mean that could have been me on a lot of days and add to that my guys stretch band watch well and that’s just it any well I shouldn’t say anybody but I think a lot of lesbians kind of run the continuum of how they’d rather you steal that word from me before they get a chance to say it so many times you say it yes they do they do run the continuum you know even in the last job I had which was in administration I could see how my dress tire attire changed as I got more comfortable in the job and that doesn’t have anything to do with dressing masculine or feminine I think I think that sometimes just happens we get as we get comfortable we get a little more casual in our dress and see I don’t have a problem with that I don’t have a problem with an employer saying look you know you’re gonna go into management you need to dress the part I don’t have any problem with that I totally agree with that but if a lesbian is a butch lesbian then dressing the part means dressing up and that means something totally different than it would to offend lesbian so explain the differences to me what help I mean the affair as I see it I am NOT yeah I’ve never done this damn thing but I’ll do my best Terry as I see it a family affair it’s just comfortable in women’s attire she Shops in the women’s department and it’s as you said it’s a continuum so some probably land way over to heels and skirts and others land closer to the middle and you know jeans and a blouse but whatever she wears she’s comfortable buying her clothes in the women’s department usually that’s how I see it I mean we’re talking about a tire there are other differences too that we can tackle of another show but that’s how I see it a butch lesbian although not all buy their clothes in the men’s department many do I do yeah I don’t buy very much outside the guys department I think it also depends on your body shape too true but you know you know you can have things fitted right and there there are in fact businesses that cater to the butch lesbian you know we you know tailored clothes and suits and whatever and in fact you know this go you know I worked I worked in government for my whole career in management much of my career and so I I had to dress up some but but not a lot and I was I was never totally comfortable but I net I was never brave enough to really dress you know who I was I dressed somewhere in between and so it was women’s clothing but as far over to the masculine side the tailored side as I could get it and the day I left state employment and began writing and retired from that first career it took eight garbage bags but I got eight leaf bags and my wife just my wife tells the story but like that that was one of my first activities on the day after I left a traditional job I I loaded all of my clothing literally there was nothing left put them in the bags and I carried them to Goodwill I used the car to do that but we drove them to Goodwill and then I had to buy a wardrobe because although I had comfortable clothes that I wore on the weekends I needed more of them to survive the other five days of the week so and you know I kind of get that I I get that she was she this lesbian chose to dress how she was comfortable and some do that and some are more like me they try to fit in right and I had the same experience when I quit working in administration you know a lot of my dress slacks and stuff like that went out to Goodwill we have a savers here that’s where we dropped him off at but anyway and a lot of the blouses just because I have no need to dress like that again and so for me it was just a matter of I will never wear these clothes again because I will never be in a courtroom again I well hopefully I’ll never be in a courtroom again but you know I just had no need for them anymore because I kind of got backed into the corner because of my job where I had to dress more feminine just because of the job that I had and was I comfortable I wasn’t uncomfortable but it would not have been my chosen attire yeah and and we we probably why no we we fall a little bit differently on the continuum I mean on those days that I had to do a much more feminine attire I felt like it must feel to crossdress only cross-dressing isn’t your thing right I mean that’s how it that’s how it felt so it was liberating for me to get rid of those clothes and since that last day I’ve not worn the clothing from the women’s department one time Wow I mean other than I mean obviously I wear a sports bra and those don’t typically come for the men’s department but other than that they should now let’s just know far more than they need to but but other than that I don’t wear anything other than what I’m comfortable in and it’s liberating and I have total respect for this woman – oh I do I do too had the guts to take a stand on this you know absolutely and you know I think for a lot of butch lesbians it’s it’s gotta be hard to try and dress feminine you know it may not it may be it may not fit their body it may be that they’re not just not comfortable or it may just be I don’t want to say their morals but just their own personal compass of what they need to wear in their job to be successful well yeah and and it’s illegal you know we open this show talking about a Supreme Court ruling I mean it’s pretty clear to me that that based on that ruling and that asking someone to dress more feminine their woman or more masculine if their man is sex discrimination I also I think it happens way more than anyone would ever know and so I am also glad that she decided to press the issue because there’s so much hate and discrimination going on right now in our country that you know everybody doesn’t affect everybody and those that doesn’t affect they don’t think about it as much as as people in the gay and lesbian community do know and and if indeed this came down as it was reported to have come down this manager asking her to dress more gender appropriately I I don’t think it probably ever crossed that managers mind what was being asked of her because unless you’re in in our position you don’t even think about that you know and that’s something I think I didn’t realize it that it had already gone in front of the Supreme Court until I read that so you know again it’s information and it’s information the people in our communities need so so they can go to their employer and say look yes you asked me to do this but I don’t look look at this law that went in front of the Supreme Court yeah and and you know a lot of times we may not have a person may not have been asked by their employer to dress more feminine or more masculine sometimes we impose that on ourselves much like you did when I did two the same thing no one ever told me that I just did it because I knew I should do that to fit in but you know that’s just wrong to feel like you have to do that to fit in it is but I also can understand how you how and why you know people need their jobs and so they will work to fit in so that they can be gainfully employed oh absolutely and I wasn’t saying that in terms of wrong behalf of the of the lesbian it’s just wrong that you know we’ve come as far as we have with rights and yet we really have so far that we still need to go absolutely and on that note it’s been a great discussion much resolutely like always you’ve been listening to coffee break with KA and Dana meaningful conversations from a lesbian perspective were brought to you by the lesbian talk show listen to us on pot bean and iTunes follow us on Twitter like us on Facebook until next week be kind to one another for car and watch amazing things happen in your corner of the world [Music]