More news in sexist shit from Steve Gilliard.
A female bartender who refused to wear makeup at a Reno, Nevada, casino was not unfairly dismissed from her job, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
Darlene Jespersen, who had worked for nearly 20 years at a Harrah's Entertainment Inc casino bar in Reno, Nevada, objected to the company's revised policy that required female bartenders, but not men, to wear makeup.
A previously much-praised employee, Jespersen was fired in 2000 after the firm instituted a "Beverage Department Image Transformation" program and she sued, alleging sex discrimination.
In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Harrah's. All three judges are males appointed by Democratic presidents.
"We have previously held that grooming and appearance standards that apply differently to women and men do not constitute discrimination on the basis of sex," Judge Wallace Tashima wrote for the majority.
He cited the precedent of a 1974 case in which the court ruled that a company can require men to have short hair but allow long hair on women.
Okay, let it be known that I think that anti-beard policies are also sexist claptrap that have no place in dress codes at school or in the workplace. But then again, I think most dress codes are so much bullshit. I've had to deal with potential employers who think I wear too many earrings, even though my seven small silver hoops have nothing on some large, garish earrings that some women wear.
But requiring make-up is pure, unadulterated crap. How do you even write such a policy? What is the requisite amount of make-up? Would it have been fine if she put a little cover-up under her eyes and left it at that? A touch of mascara? Or do you specify eyeliner, lipstick, foundation, powder, mascara, and blush? Unlike shaving a beard, which is a one-size-fits-all requirement, make-up is an individualized art. I wear a little cover-up, powder, a touch of eyeshadow, a touch of mascara and then bright red lipstick. Without the lipstick, you couldn't even tell I was wearing make-up.
Much of the time, wearing make-up is an art of hiding that you are doing so in the first place. I can wear half my make-up cabinet worth of make-up and no one would notice unless I had on lipstick. So what's the proof here? A visible zit doesn't mean that she isn't sporting eyeliner or that her foundation didn't wear down. Some women don't wear a bunch of shit on their eyes because they already have big, round peepers and don't feel they need enhancement. A general requirement cannot be anything but subjective, up to the manager's discretion about how much make-up a woman "needs".
I think more than anything, the idea of "needing" make-up gets on my nerves. I cannot tell you how many men have attempted to flatter me by telling me I don't "need" make-up, implying that there are women who apparently do "need" make-up. For what? Who knows? I always felt like I "needed" as much make-up as the next woman because I flush easily and have occasional zits, so I like to even out my skin tone. But god knows I would never wear blush. Does a pale woman who wear blush "need" make-up more than I do?
The vagueness of the requirement points to its sexism. It's assumed that all women are lacking in some way and that we carefully calculate what our flaws are and "correct" them with make-up. There's no standard other than to say that a woman who rejects this notion that her primary duty is to count out her flaws and "correct" them is lacking in her proper femininity. Shrugging your shoulders and saying, "Well, I don't really think that there's a good reason to wear make-up," isn't being properly ashamed of your inadequate femininity.
And, as a fan of make-up, I have to say these requirements are insulting. Make-up is artful and fun. It shouldn't be treated as a corrective, but as a game, and therefore completely voluntary. I generally don't wear make-up, which means that when I do, it's because it's a special time. And I'd like to keep it that way.