Flight attendants announce over the PA system for everyone to please take their seats when we all know one dawdling, unmindful person standing is the target. MLB’s new dress code has a strong whiff of that. The league has new sartorial regulations for media members, beginning next season. They maintain this is not a response to any single incident.
Media members must wear attire suitable for a “business casual work environment.” Flip-flops and tank-tops are a no go, as are see-through clothing and “visible undergarments.” No midriff exposure. No more Canseco-style mesh shirts on August day-games in Houston. We’re guessing most male media members, following a trip to Costco, can handle the collared shirt, pants with a belt and shoes look.
There’s nothing wrong with a “business casual work environment.” Where we are concerned is directly targeting female sexuality. MLB now requires skirts to not be more than 3-4 inches above the knee. Will Bud Selig post grizzly nuns with Coke cans at media entrances to enforce this?
Such regulations are couched in language such as “appropriate” and “professional,” when they are really a system of patriarchal control. MLB is instituting the policy to prevent “incidents,” presumably of the sexual harassment nature. However, this absolves responsibility for said incidents from the harassers, men, and places it upon the victims, women. This portrays men, particularly those in baseball uniforms, are wanton, lustful beasts. Any woman who looks attractive is asking for whatever comes for her. This outlook is wrong and outmoded.
Professionalism is dressing sensibly and leaving the six-inch lucite heels at home. It’s also behaving professionally and, more than 40 years after women’s liberation began, learning to deal with women equally in the workplace as women. Bare shoulders or a little bit of leg in a sundress need not devolve into giggles, leering, catty comments on twitter and media pandemonium. That’s on men.
[Photo via Getty]