is this sexist to be commented on every morning

(56 Posts)
moomoome Fri 22-Apr-16 08:44:18

every morning i go into work the man i sit next too needs to comment on what im wearing. i work in a professional job and always wear professional dress. many of my colleges wear t-shirt and jeans etc. im aware that my background (Hertfordshire girl, mostly dresses) makes me a bit different from my rural Australian female colleges (pants and shirt). but is this not a bit sexist to greet me with comments about my dress? his comments im sure are kindly met but he and the boss see no issue in this. i find it extremely sexist as my ability to do my job is not based on what i wear.

DropYourSword Fri 22-Apr-16 08:54:26

Depends what he's actually saying, but every day seems a bit much.

pippistrelle Fri 22-Apr-16 08:54:41

Well, I suppose whether it's a problem depends on what he's saying. If he's saying 'nice dress', well, he might just have an interest in fashion, so you say thanks and move on. But if he's saying 'your dress is a bit short/low cut/tight, you'll make an impression on the Board of Directors if you turn up in that, nudge nudge', then that is an issue.

milkingmachine1 Fri 22-Apr-16 09:03:13

This would bother me, it would make me feel uncomfortable and self conscious. I think it's unprofessional and inappropriate to say it quite so often. Maybe you could comment on his clothing, every time he says something to you about yours. Make him realise it's a bit over familiar. Are you based in the UK or OZ? Maybe in OZ this is normal and seen as a compliment?

milkingmachine1 Fri 22-Apr-16 09:09:26

Do you think he fancies you?

Branleuse Fri 22-Apr-16 09:14:17

I wouldt like it. Are you in Australia. Can you be direct, or comment back or make constant comments on his clothes?

ElspethFlashman Fri 22-Apr-16 09:35:40

What is he actually saying?

He could think he's being friendly in the morning.

I would make it a running gag. But make him into the joke. "Thanks, you can borrow it if you like!" or similar.

Then if you want to go full on, you make It a joke with the rest of the crew.

scallopsrgreat Fri 22-Apr-16 09:42:40

I don't think it matters what he's saying. It's the fact that he makes a comment every morning. He's not making comment every morning on the way the men dress is he? Whether he means to or not he is pointing out, every day that moomoome is different. There is no need to do that. It is quite 'othering'.

ElspethFlashman Fri 22-Apr-16 10:03:04

You could also make use of that though "what do you think of Daves clothes this morning? Dave! Chris is doing his fashion critiques again!"

Maudd Fri 22-Apr-16 10:14:20

Yes I think it's sexist, and patronising. I would do what Elspeth said.

Pootles2010 Fri 22-Apr-16 10:16:19

You say he doesn't see an issue - does that mean you've told him you don't like it? If so that's even worse.

I do like Elspeth's response.

sashh Fri 22-Apr-16 11:33:33

You could just try "Why are you commenting on my appearance?"

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 22-Apr-16 16:20:50

Could be sexist, could be xenophobic! It's definitely othering.

m0therofdragons Fri 22-Apr-16 16:25:27

So you wear something different to the others and are surprised when it gets commented on? Seriously!

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 23-Apr-16 00:58:38

I like getting compliments on my clothes and I give compliments (to other people who I am confident are as vain and shallow as I am) but every day when you are not wearing anything new seems a bit odd.

I don't think it is sexist though, just very odd.

moomoome Sat 23-Apr-16 03:00:04

thank you all for the comments. Elspeths was very good. He is 20 years older than me and retirement age. im thinking this is a cultural thing but just like whistling at girls can be cultural it is still inappropriate unless its your girlfriend. no he dosent say it to others that i know of. i will occasionally say to my boss great colour choice when he wears a purple shirt and im in a purple dress but i dont see this as a gendered comment.......

Peyia Sat 23-Apr-16 03:00:54

Not sure if it's sexist as I comment on my male and female's clothes if they look smart. Perhaps I am bring inappropriate! I hope they don't take it that way.

If he only ever comments about you and no one else (everyday) then I agree it would also make me feel uncomfortable.

I like Elspeth's suggestion too.

PinkIndustry Sat 23-Apr-16 10:00:10

Your comment that he is much older than you is also significant - the fact that older men feel entitled to comment on the appearance of much younger women is quite sexist. He would not feel as comfortable commenting on the appearances of much younger male colleagues, or possibly even female colleagues of the same age. It's a sense of entitlement and, even if he has no intention of making it sexual/more intimate, the implication that this entitlement is a given for older men is, I think, very insulting to women.

Put it like this: recently I have struck up an acquaintance with a man who is 25 years older than me over a shared hobby. However, I was not shocked when he tried to take it further by asking me out for a drink - I am middle aged and he is well into old age and, although I am annoyed that he even thinks I would consider this, I am not overly surprised! At work, I have also struck up a friendship with a man 25 years younger than me over, again, a shared hobby. Imagine his utter astonishment and discomfort if I ever imagined that I could take it further!! I would not dream of it - I do not have that sense of entitlement.

Also, I can't imagine commenting on the appearance or dress sense of either of these men!!

EnthusiasmDisturbed Sat 23-Apr-16 10:17:21

Well we are meant to accept and appreciate nice comments from men regardless if we want them or not

It is sexist but I don't think he is necessarily being sexist he to thinks this is what he should be doing to be nice

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 23-Apr-16 12:01:30

Put it like this: recently I have struck up an acquaintance with a man who is 25 years older than me over a shared hobby. However, I was not shocked when he tried to take it further by asking me out for a drink - I am middle aged and he is well into old age and, although I am annoyed that he even thinks I would consider this, I am not overly surprised! At work, I have also struck up a friendship with a man 25 years younger than me over, again, a shared hobby. Imagine his utter astonishment and discomfort if I ever imagined that I could take it further!! I would not dream of it - I do not have that sense of entitlement.

What a strange way of looking at things. I don't see anything wrong with either the older man suggesting a drink or you suggesting it either him or the younger man.

lorelei9here Mon 25-Apr-16 14:59:57

I think it's wrong to be be greeted by this comment daily.

moomoome Thu 28-Apr-16 11:00:22

i was thinking tho that women often comment on each others clothes amongst peers. but i guess the difference here is that i am being singled out and its a daily occurence. just not sure what im dresed in has any relevance to my ability to work other than to cheer the men up who like a nice Boden dress.

SilverBirchWithout Thu 28-Apr-16 12:16:49

Some men do think that a women dressing in a 'more feminine way' is for the man's benefit, and I guess that is what your instinct is telling you because of his comments.

But, actually I don't think the reason or intention of his daily comments are relevant here.

The point is it that it makes you feel uncomfortable and singled out in some way.

Either a pointed or sarcastic comment back at him is probably the best way of dealing with it initially. If this doesn't work a polite conversation with him about how is comments are not welcome/acceptable and make you feel uncomfortable may be necessary.

catkind Thu 28-Apr-16 12:28:08

If someone routinely dresses differently to the general dress code in our office they might get gently teased about it regardless of gender. There are lots of standing jokes. But crucially if someone didn't want to play along it would stop right away. Have you told him it annoys you?

scallopsrgreat Thu 28-Apr-16 13:19:21

"i was thinking tho that women often comment on each others clothes amongst peers." Yes you are right we do often comment/discuss. But every day? To the same person? Of the opposite sex? About the same thing? Can you imagine if you did that to a man every day?

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