On June 9th ABC NEWS ran this story:
Pantyhose in the Workplace
I read on their web site some of the e-mails that were sent in response. It was very interesting to read what people had to say about the topic. I was amazed and amused that so many people have very strong opinions about the issue of “pantyhose”. In this year of skyrocketing gas prices, home foreclosures, and a pivotal presidential election, many people found the time to think about and sound off on this paramount issue. I hate to admit it but I got sucked into it as well, so here I am blogging about “pantyhose”.
In one corner, pro-pantyhose people who responded to the ABC story, tried to make their point by invoking visions of varicose veins, blotchy legs, cracked heels, and hairy toes. One of them even talked about how pantyhose keeps fat women’s jello-bellies from jiggling as they walk the hallways of the office, and sparing their co-workers from being grossed out.
Anti-pantyhose people countered with arguments that pantyhose is outdated, out-of-fashion, impractical in the summer, itchy, expensive, and an unfair and sexist expectation. Some of them pointed out pantyhose as a remnant of the age when women worried about how they look more than they worried about whether they have brains.
I was laughing my head off at some of the comments, so I decided to do a little survey among the women in my office. Here’s some of what they said:
Jo: “…I do not want to wear pantyhose for the reason its frickin’ hot in Sacramento.”
Beng: “It’s too hot to wear them and sometimes it’s itchy.”
Vicki: “Oh my goodness! I have not had a pair of panty hose on in years and do not intend on starting any time soon!”
Cecille:“…My feet sweat as well as my hands and make me feel very clammy. And that makes me cold, as I am a cold person to begin with. When I wear hose, it helps. It feels as if I’m wrapped at all times. And I only wear them to work…I am as normal as everybody else, I don’t’ want to wear them, as they are an extra expense.”
Obviously, the California culture has a lot to do with how my co-workers and I feel about “pantyhose”. I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes wonders why feminists burned their bras and not their pantyhose. Maybe wearing one or not wearing one would not have been such an issue these days if they only burned pantyhose and made it a symbol of oppression. I have no criticism for those who wear pantyhose, but I definitely agree with those who think that wearing it or not wearing it should be a personal preference, not a professional or social expectation or mandate.