No shirt. No shoes. No service. It's a time-honored and generally accepted rule that's accepted as a fact of life. You cannot walk inside a 7-11 barefoot to buy a Diet Dr. Pepper, nor can you waltz around showing off your hard-earned impressive physique (or not-so-impressive) to get that 99 cent bag of gummy bears you've been dreaming of all day.
However, who's to say what an "appropriate" pair of shoes or acceptable shirt is in a situation like that? Depending on where you go in the world, those definitions could vary. A blouse that's considered perfectly acceptable to don in social situations in America is probably vastly different than what would be considered halal by Kuwaiti standards.
And while it's understood that when you're traveling overseas you should probably acquaint yourself with local customs before traveling there so you not only don't stand out like a sore thumb but offend folks unintentionally, should you have to do the same in your own native country? Like before going into a restaurant or let's say, a bar, like TikTok user Mollie Wood did, should you read up on the dress code?
According to her tale about a run-in with a "sexist" bar manager, she was kicked out of the establishment because he felt that her shirt was "inappropriate."
Mollie and her friend Amy Lee went to visit Back of Beyond bar in Reading, England, and posted about her experience on TikTok.
When Mollie and Amy asked for service, the man said that he would not do so because her outfit was tantamount to "a man being shirtless." Mollie stated that she and Amy were each wearing black halter tops, ankle-length skirts and sneakers. Plus it was a whopping 82-degrees outside on the day they decided to walk into the Back of Beyond bar.
Mollie said that her and Amy were initially let into the bar by a female bouncer and they didn't encounter any trouble until the male Bar Manager approached them. He said that he had been turning away "shirtless men" all day for their lack of clothing.
"He said, 'You can't come in here, you're dressed really inappropriately, and it isn't suitable. You can't be wearing a top like that." Mollie and Amy wanted to know what was it about their clothes that made them unacceptable to wear in the bar, but the manager kept insisting their outfits were tantamount to a man being topless.
Mollie said that she later researched The Back of Beyond's dress code online and came up with...nothing. What's more is that she avers she wore the exact same top to the bar the previous week and didn't encounter any issues.
"I was just really embarrassed. I told him how sexist it was to compare me to a topless man. I was wearing a top I wasn't topless," Mollie said.
Mollie's TikTok about her experience quickly went viral, with tons of other people castigating the restaurant for the treatment of the young ladies.
Others called out the idea that a halter top would be considered "topless" is ridiculous.
There have been more than a few controversial incidents involving women's clothing that have been caused by e-uproars. Like when Bailey Breedlove was detained at a Six Flags because a cop didn't approve of the length of her shorts. Or when a New Orleans restaurant and bar reportedly called the police on a black teen because they didn't like her graduation outfit.
Many folks agreed with Mollie's assessment of the situation, stating that it was sexist to compare a halter top to a dude just walking around with no shirt whatsoever.
Much has been written about the sexist undertones and discriminatory nature of many dress codes. The stipulations for women's clothing are generally seen as more restrictive than men's whether in a workplace or education setting.
Some jobs even require that women wear makeup, high heels, and skirts. Other dress codes will outright prohibit women from wearing certain clothing items: mid-riff shirts, particular kinds of jewelry; many argue that these are double standards deeply rooted in patriarchal-influenced traditions.
While there were some people who seemed to side with the bar manager, it appears that an overwhelming number of people were agreeing with Molly and Amy. What do you think? Was the bar manager wrong for kicking her out wearing the halter top? Or do you think that her clothing wasn't appropriate for dining indoors?