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Bright pink lipstick and vaginas

(60 Posts)
FruitCider Wed 07-Sep-16 19:36:54

I've got some internal conflict and not sure why, thought I would discuss it here and see what you all make of it?

I work in a challenging male environment, with men that have not had much female contact for a long time. My team is mostly made up of women, all of whom (apart from me) wear dresses instead of trousers and have heavily applied make up.

One in particular wears bright pink lip stick, because "it reminds men of vaginas". She reapplies it frequently in front of the men and carries it around in her pocket.

Part of me agrees that women should be able to dress how they want, when they want. But part of me is also confused about the women choosing to wear dresses and wearing heavy make up, particularly that lipstick with that intent.

It's really starting to bother me as I wear my hair short and put bare minimum make up on. I certainly don't want to make myself look even slightly sexual with this group of people that I work with.

I guess I just wanted to verbalise my feelings and get a feminist perspective on scenario/my feelings? Im feeling very conflicted!

Pestilence13610 Wed 07-Sep-16 19:41:02

Check the dress code. I used to work somewhere like that and heavy make-up was not allowed. We had a woman like that, eventually she lost her job (they did try asking her nicely, but she had a similar attitude to the woman you mentioned).
Carry on as you are.

FruitCider Wed 07-Sep-16 19:42:55

She's been there for 2 years so can't imagine she will be going any time soon. It's ridiculous but I actually feel pressurised to look "better". Even wore a pair of sodding earrings to work yesterday!

Pestilence13610 Wed 07-Sep-16 19:46:25

Never be coerced into doing what you don't want to or shouldn't do. That includes lipstick and earrings.

Muddlingthroughtoo Wed 07-Sep-16 19:48:39

Surely if you dress the way you do, she has the right to dress the way she does? Neither of you is right or wrong, it's just personal choice.

Pestilence13610 Wed 07-Sep-16 19:49:40

If you put in a SIR saying what you have said here, she will be.

FruitCider Wed 07-Sep-16 19:51:15

Muddling that's what part of me thinks, but the other side is confused as to why women would want to dress that way in front of men that have no seen women other than pridessionals for possibly many years, most of whom are vulnerable.

Maybe I'm just being a judgemental git.

I'm definitely not wearing earrings again, I haven't for 5 years as I'm allergic to most and now my ears are really sore!

FruitCider Wed 07-Sep-16 19:51:49

*professional sorry I'm tired!

FruitCider Wed 07-Sep-16 19:53:41

Pestilence that tells me you genuinely understand. Do you think it's worth an SIR? Like a CP one? It's so hard because I only just started my job 3 weeks ago and I'm only a guest in the establishment, if you see what I mean?

Blerg Wed 07-Sep-16 19:55:00

Sorry and not intending to pry OP, but is it along the lines of male prisoners or people in some sort of care setting? Hence no female contact? If so that seems inappropriate and I imagine would surely be covered by a dress code?

ClaudiaApfelstrudel Wed 07-Sep-16 19:57:09

I think I'd feel uncomfortable too in that situation

FruitCider Wed 07-Sep-16 19:57:26

Blerg you may be on the right lines. However the clothing/make up complies with the generalised policy. There is no specific one. Obviously the comment about vaginas isn't hat appropriate but it was in a staff area.

Pestilence13610 Wed 07-Sep-16 20:00:32

Have a word with your supervisor, or pop into security for a casual word. These things can go seriously pear shaped.
The reference to bright pink lipstick reminding men of vaginas is OTT, professional misconduct and more to the point dangerous.

Scarydinosaurs Wed 07-Sep-16 20:01:46

I would feel deeply uncomfortable about that. I worked in a similar situation (but with teenage boys instead of men) and a member of staff expressed similarly worrying intentions in her dress and her ideas about how what she wore should make the boys react. I had a word with my supervisor and let her sort it out.

ladamanera Wed 07-Sep-16 20:02:38

Sounds like the sort of thing someone would say flippantly, possibly in reply to someone judgy or to accusatory question, rather than as a serious and sole statement of intent. To complain that someone wearing makeup is therefore doing it to show men her figurative vagina is maybe a step too far? I think you need yo consider the root cause of why you are uncomfortable. It may turn out that this unfortunate phrasing confirmed your wider prejudices/worries rather than was proof of anythhing in itself. So, what are those worries? .

Pestilence13610 Wed 07-Sep-16 20:03:31

Make-up and perfume are covered in the dress code.
You are also not allowed lipstick on site (in the small print and no often raised).

You have reminded me that I am happy to have changed job.

FruitCider Wed 07-Sep-16 20:04:34

So actually I'm NOT being unreasonable or confused because I don't like the way they present, I don't like it because it's wrong? I've been so worried. I make a concerted effort not to judge people on how they look and I've felt all judgy pants since I started my job. My gut is obviously telling me something for a reason. Thank you so much!

Maudlinmaud Wed 07-Sep-16 20:05:17

I have stumbled in here by mistake. How the hell does pink lippy represent a vagina? And why would any woman consciously make that choice? I wear lipstick for me not men. Please dont flame me. Tiptoes back out.

FruitCider Wed 07-Sep-16 20:10:03

Pestilence I'm not directly employed, I work there through another organisation. Is lipstick really not allowed? I never knew that!

To the other poster: it made me feel uncomfortable as the majority of the men are vulnerable and may get the wrong impression about the team. My whole day is full of innuendos, which I largely brush off, but is why I choose to wear minimal make up and not look sexualised for work. Imagine if one of the men took the heavy make up/dresses the wrong way and attacked one of the team?

Pestilence13610 Wed 07-Sep-16 20:16:40

Lipstick and lip balm are conveniently shaped lube. grin
However as balm can be bought on canteen and many women consider lipstick essential it is not enforced, until you get a daft twat like you have.

ladamanera Wed 07-Sep-16 20:17:27

Then the attack would still would not be her fault. Says the human rights lawyer, firmly. Are you saying you are in fact concerned for her welfare? Because that really does not come across. If you suspect she is trying to actively seduce one or more of the prisoners, that would make most feel uncomfortable- because that could "break the fourth wall" as it were for the othrt staff and is inappropriate in a safeguarding capacity- but just say that. Don't make it about "makeup choices".

IBelieveTheEarthIsFlat Wed 07-Sep-16 20:19:35

WTAF Fruit

With all your trans stuff and you are worrying how women 'present'?

IBelieveTheEarthIsFlat Wed 07-Sep-16 20:25:48

It's all pish. It's Cider throwing anti women stuff in again.

Maudlinmaud Wed 07-Sep-16 20:29:46

What do you mean I believe ?

IBelieveTheEarthIsFlat Wed 07-Sep-16 20:39:54

Just read her threads. Totally anti women on the trans threads and now, slutty women ahoy

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