Justice

Woman Claims She Was Fired Because of What Her Outfit Was Missing

A woman in England is alleging that she was blamed for being sexually harassed at work for not wearing a bra — and then subsequently fired for it. 

Kate Hannah wrote a Facebook post on Saturday explaining an incident at work that she claims led to her firing. That post has since gathered over 1.4k reactions and 600 shares.

"So I've just got home after being sacked from my job, for refusing to wear a bra," her post begins.

She explains what she belives led to this incident, and how it was dealt with:

"Yesterday an inappropriate sexual remark was made to me, by my managers brother, and in the presence of her. I felt uncomfortable, objectified and shocked that this had happened.

Unfortunately she saw fit to deal with the situation by telling me that I'm not allowed into work in future unless I'm wearing a bra. This was said to me in front of three other staff members and customers. Leaving me feeling body shamed and completely shocked that the blame was being put onto me that I had been sexually harassed at work. She called me stupid, silly and over the top when I told her I was upset."

This is what she was wearing:

work outfit

"I am absolutely disgusted, with the unprofessionalism, and blatant lack of respect for my right as a woman to wear whatever makes me personally comfortable," Hannah continues.

Nobody should EVER feel the need to hide themselves in order to stay away from unwanted sexual comments/behaviour.

There are two main issues here, and neither one is Hannah's outfit or body.

The first is that Hannah was, allegedly, blamed for the actions of men. Women shouldn't be punished because of how men may or may not react to their bodies or outfits; instead, men shouldn't harass women.

ATTN: recently reported on a similar story in which a woman was asked to change her swimsuit or leave her apartment's pool because her body would "excite teenage boys."

 

 

Tyler Newman of Tennessee wrote a Facebook post alleging his fiancée was "faced with either changing her bathing suit, covering up with shorts, or leaving the pool that we paid a $300 fee to maintain" because of how her body looked in a bathing suit.

"I have never really witnessed sexual harassment and/or 'rape culture' until today," Newman began. "[T]oday my fiancée was told that she is less important than how men feel around her. That Tori is less important than a man's urges to be sexual towards her." Though the wording and scenario is different, Hannah was sent the same message. 

The second issue is insisting that women wear bras. As Hannah writes in her post, it is her right to do what she wants with her body. Her not wearing a bra in no way affects her work. It wasn't until she was allegedly harassed for not wearing one that it became a workplace issue — and only because the men she worked with objectified her.

There's also a double standard at play. As one Facebook comment points out, "I'm a man and I'm not expected to cover my nipples under a shirt at work from the gaze of men or women. Pure sexism."

There are school dress codes that try to enforce teenage girls to wear bras — and TIME magazine points out why that's a problem.

Kaitlyn Juvik, a high school senior in Montana, was called into her school's office for not wearing a bra; she was told she had made another student "uncomfortable." She then created a Facebook group called "No Bra No Problem" in retaliation.

 

 

"This sends an incredibly powerful message," Laura Bates, founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, wrote for TIME. "It teaches our children that girls’ bodies are dangerous, powerful and sexualized, and that boys are biologically programmed to objectify and harass them. It prepares them for college life, where as many as one in five women is sexually assaulted but society will blame and question and silence them, while perpetrators are rarely disciplined."

Read Hannah's full Facebook post below.