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对高跟鞋说不,英国女性挑战职场着装性别歧视

更新时间:2017-1-28 11:12:34 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Sent Home for Not Wearing Heels, She Ignited a British Rebellion
对高跟鞋说不,英国女性挑战职场着装性别歧视

LONDON — When Nicola Thorp reported to work awhile back as a temporary receptionist in the financial center here, she was shocked when her temp supervisor said her flat shoes were unacceptable. She would need to get herself shoes with heels at least two inches high.

伦敦——不久前,当尼古拉·索普(Nicola Thorp)作为伦敦金融中心一名临时接待员去公司报到时,她的临时主管说她穿平底鞋是不可接受的,这让她感到震惊。她将需要穿鞋跟至少有2英寸(约合5厘米)高的鞋。

When she refused, she was sent home from the accounting firm PwC without pay. But that was not the end of it. Five months later, Ms. Thorp, an actress originally from the northern seaside city of Blackpool, started a petition calling for a law that would make sure no company could ever again demand that a woman wear heels to work.

当她表示拒绝时,会计事务所普华永道(PwC)在没有支付薪水的情况下将她打发回家了。但事情没有到此结束。五个月后,来自北方海滨城市布莱克浦尔的女演员索普发起了请愿,呼吁政府制定法律,以确保没有任何公司能再要求女性穿高跟鞋去上班。

The petition garnered more than 150,000 signatures, helped spur a popular backlash — dozens of professional women posted photographs of themselves on Twitter defiantly wearing flats — and prompted an inquiry overseen by two parliamentary committees.

这项请愿获得超过15万人签名,它激发了民众的激烈反应——几十名职业女性在Twitter上发布自己穿平底鞋以示抗议的照片——还促使两个议会委员会开始就此展开一项调查。

On Wednesday, more than two years after Ms. Thorp, now 28, strode into that office in her chic but sensible black flats, the committees released a report concluding that Portico, the outsourcing firm that had insisted she wear high heels, had broken the law. It added that existing law needed to be toughened to overcome outmoded and sexist workplace codes.

周三,在现年28岁的索普穿着她那时髦但实用的黑色平底鞋走进那间办公室两年多后,这两个委员会发布了一项报告,得出这样的结论,即坚持让她穿高跟鞋的外包公司Portico违反了法律。报告还称,现存的法律需要进一步加强,以打破陈旧和有性别歧视色彩的职场规则。

During the investigation, the committees received hundreds of complaints from women whose companies had demanded that they “dye their hair blonde,” “wear revealing outfits” or “constantly reapply makeup.”

在调查期间,两个委员会接到了诸多女性发来的数百封投诉,称她们所在的公司要求她们“将头发染成金黄色”,“穿暴露的服装”或“经常补妆”。

“Discriminatory dress codes remain widespread,” the report said.

“歧视性的着装要求依然十分普遍,”报告称。

Ms. Thorp lauded the inquiry’s conclusion, saying it was all the more imperative in the Trump era, when men around the world had a role model in the White House who had boasted about behaving badly toward women.

索普对这项调查的结论表示赞赏,称在特朗普时代,它显得尤为迫切,因为全世界的男性在白宫有了一位吹嘘自己如何恶劣对待女性的榜样。

“I refused to work for a company that expected women to wear makeup, heels and a skirt. This is unacceptable in 2017,” she said. “People say sexism is not an issue anymore. But when a man who has admitted publicly to sexually harassing women is the leader of the free world, it is more crucial than ever to have laws that protect women.”

“我拒绝为一家要求女性化妆、穿高跟鞋或裙子的公司工作。在2017年,这种要求是不可接受的,”她说。“人们说性别歧视不再是一个问题了。但当一名公开承认自己曾性骚扰女性的男性成为自由世界的领导人,制定保护女性的法律就显得比以往更加重要。”

Ms. Thorp said her heel revolt, while a protest against sexism and discrimination, was also a matter of public health given the toll that high heels take on women’s feet. “The company expected me to do a nine-hour shift on my feet escorting clients to meeting rooms,” she said. “I told them that I just wouldn’t be able to do that in heels.”

索普表示,她反抗穿高跟鞋的要求,是对性别歧视的抗议,但同时也是一个公共健康问题,因为穿高跟鞋会对女性的脚造成伤害。“公司期待我这样站立着上九个小时的班,送客户到会议厅,”她说。“我告诉他们,穿着高跟鞋我根本做不到。”

Portico on Wednesday said it had rewritten its code almost immediately after the issue was raised by Ms. Thorp, dropping the heel requirement, among others. Its old code had warned employees against such things as greasy or highly gelled hair or wearing flowers as accessories. It had also called for heel height to be two to four inches and for makeup to be “worn at all times” and “regularly reapplied,” with a minimum of lipstick, mascara and eye shadow.

Portico公司周三表示,在索普提出这个问题之后,它几乎立刻就更改了公司的规定,放弃了包括穿高跟鞋在内的多项要求。该公司的旧规定警告员工不要让头发看起来油腻腻的,或上太多发胶,也不要将花作为装饰物佩戴。它还曾要求高跟鞋的鞋跟高度在2英寸到4英寸之间,要求“所有时间里”都化妆,“经常补妆”,尽量少用口红、睫毛膏和眼影。

PwC stressed that the dress code required by Portico in December 2015 was Portico’s policy and had been enforced by a Portico supervisor. Nevertheless, it said it regretted that the inquiry was instigated by an incident at its offices, and it remained committed to equality at the workplace.

PwC强调,Portico在2015年12月提出的着装要求是Portico的政策,一直被该公司一名主管强制执行。不过PwC也表示,它对调查是由自己办公室内发生的一个事件引起而感到遗憾,并表示会继续致力于推动职场平等。

In some spheres, Britain, a multicultural society, has been particularly sensitive about gender discrimination. Last summer the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, banned advertisements showing scantily clad women from the city’s public transportation system, saying they promoted unhealthy or unrealistic body images.

在某些领域,英国这个多元文化社会对性别歧视尤其敏感。去年夏天,伦敦市长萨迪克·汗(Sadiq Khan)禁止在公共交通系统中播放的广告中出现衣着暴露的女性,称它们宣传了不健康或不现实的身体形象。

But legal experts and women’s advocates say social and cultural conventions can be harder to change. When Prime Minister Theresa May was photographed recently wearing a $1,250 pair of “desert khaki” leather pants, she was criticized as being excessive and out of touch, even as her defenders argued that no one talked about Mr. Trump’s far more expensive Brioni suits.

但法律专家和女性权利倡导人士表示,社会和文化习俗更难改变。当英国首相特丽莎·梅(Theresa May)最近被拍到穿着一条价值1250美元的“深卡其色”皮裤时,她被指责奢侈和脱离民众。与此同时,维护她的人则辩称,怎么没人谈论特朗普那贵得多的布里奥尼(Brioni)西服。

Nevertheless, before she entered No. 10 Downing Street, Mrs. May herself may have played a role in reinforcing gender stereotypes. When she was the minister for women and equality in 2011, she said that “traditional gender-based workplace dress codes” had not held her back and argued that they encouraged “a sense of professionalism” in the workplace.

不过,在梅入主唐宁街10号之前,她本人可能帮助强化了性别成见。2011年,她担任妇女和平等部长时曾说,“传统的基于性别的工作场合着装标准”并未妨碍到她。她还说,它们鼓励的是工作场合的“职业感”。

In a sign of the challenges ahead, the British television host Piers Morgan inspired a Twitter storm on Wednesday when he insisted during an interview with Ms. Thorp that it was not unreasonable to expect a receptionist to wear stiletto heels. “Get Piers in Heels,” roared The Sun’s headline.

周三,英国电视主持人皮尔斯·摩根(Piers Morgan)在采访索普时坚持认为,期待一名接待员穿细高跟鞋并非毫无道理,这在Twitter上引起轩然大波。此事表明,未来还有很多挑战。《太阳报》(The Sun)的头条怒吼道:“让皮尔斯穿上高跟鞋!”

Britain’s 2010 Equality Act prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of gender, age or sexual orientation. But women’s advocates and legal experts said the law was unevenly applied.

英国2010年的《平等法》(Equality Act)禁止工作场合出现基于性别、年龄或性取向的歧视。但是,女性支持者和法律专家们称,该法律并未得到普遍执行。

Emma Birkett, who works in retail, told the inquiry that her company encouraged her and her female colleagues to wear shorter skirts and unbutton more buttons on their blouses during Christmastime, “when a higher proportion of male shoppers was anticipated.” Ruth Campion, a flight attendant, testified that she felt “prostituted” when ordered to wear heels, skirts and makeup.

零售业从业人员埃玛·伯基特(Emma Birkett)在调查中称,她所在的公司鼓励她和女同事们在圣诞节期间穿更短的裙子,把上衣的扣子解开得更多,因为“那时预计会有更高比例的男顾客”。空姐露丝·坎皮恩(Ruth Campion)表示,穿高跟鞋和裙子以及化妆这些要求让她有一种“卖身”之感。

Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, a leading women’s rights organization in London that traces its roots to 1866, said sexist dress codes that objectified women or men had no place in the modern workplace. She noted that it took until last January for British Airways to allow female cabin crew members to wear trousers. She also lamented that it cost about $1,500 in Britain for a person to bring a case before an employment tribunal, and that even without this financial constraint, “some women don’t want to be seen as troublemakers or risk losing their jobs.”

伦敦主要女权组织福西特协会(Fawcett Society)的主席萨姆·斯迈瑟(Sam Smethers)表示,物化女性或男性的性别主义着装要求在现代工作场合没有立足之地。该组织的历史可以追溯到1866年。斯迈瑟指出,直到去年1月份,英国航空公司(British Airways)才允许女乘务员穿裤子。她还抱怨说,在英国,要花费约1500美元才能把一个案件提交到就业仲裁庭,即使没有这项财务负担,“有些女性也不想被视为闹事者或承担失去工作的风险”。

“Employers need to focus on what drives productivity and enables their staff to feel part of a team,” she said, adding, “It isn’t a pair of high heels.”

“雇主们需要把注意力集中在能提高生产力的方面,让员工觉得自己是团队的一部分,”她说,“这不只是一双高跟鞋的问题。”

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