I'm telling this story for a friend because she asked to remain anonymous. But, as such, her story needs to be heard for those who may not have heard anything like it before:
I recently shared this story with a bunch of my friends. The females all nodded with a depressing sense of empathy. There were several gasps and a few of my more progressive guy friends even said that was “bullsh*t.” But for the females, they got it; they had lived this story before, too.
One girl had experienced the same outfit scandal because she wore jeans to her office job. Another mentioned how she was sent home to put makeup on a zit she had on her forehead. And even another was told she was “being bitchy” for attempting to use up a sick day because of her period. Frankly, women all over the United States are having these issues.
A recent Buzzfeed article discussed men's responses to a policy proposed by a company called Coexist, headed by Bex Baxter, which would give women flexible time off for their periods. One guy had the courage to say, “It might be...slippy.”
As a guy, here's my logic: Men release unused sperm cells by having sex or by masturbating. A shocking 31 percent of men do this in the office, according to recent survey.
Meanwhile, women release unused eggs by bleeding and suffering.
My guess is that biology really seems to have given women the shorter straw here.
It still amazes me, with today's wide range of resources, transparency and availability, that people are still disrespecting and not being more receptive to women's rights and daily issues. In a country where we put on this persona of widespread freedom and blissful rights, it falls short in the depths and cracks of professional settings.
There is still a very high standard for women that men are not held to. Whether you believe it or not, it's true. Women are forced to stress out about what to wear to work, to job interviews and to anything else where other people in a position of power are involved. We want to believe that slut-shaming still doesn't exist, but what if a woman's skirt is an inch too short? Or what if she doesn't wear tights with her dress? Would she look too dressed-up or uptight? Would she be losing herself?
See what I mean? As a guy, I have literally grabbed underwear off the floor and gotten ready. There is no comparison.
In today's society, it is up to both men and women to push through the business politics. Everyone (mostly) in an office -- man or woman -- is there because he or she is capable. Everyone is there because he or she has a voice. And it is everyone's capability and voice that ought be taken into account -- not simply how someone looks.
We combat this by being professional, by being supported by those with a similar mindset and empowering others in authority who are proponents for us and our desires.
Being a man and supporting women doesn't have to be this outstretched, weird persona or stereotype. It's more or less being a human, who acts human.