You’re Just A Tranny… And You Always Will Be
April 26, 2007
May Flowers and ENDA’s Showers
April 27, 2007

GenderPAC CIRCA 1959!

“Harrah’s Casino says it fired Jespersen, a bartender, in August 2000 because she did not conform to the company’s new ‘Personal Best’ program, which required female employees to wear make-up, style their hair, and dress in high heels and skirts. During Jesperson’s 21 years at the casino, her supervisors consistently rated her work ‘highly effective.’ –

The country has moved a long way from 1950’s stereotypes that all female employees must wear make-up, high heels, and dresses,’ said GenderPAC Executive Director Riki Wilchins. ‘We hope the court agrees with us that this is a clear case of gender discrimination.‘ – GenderPac press release 2003

Section 8(a)(4) DRESS AND GROOMING STANDARDS- Nothing in this Act shall prohibit an employer from requiring an employee, during the employee’s hours at work, to adhere to reasonable dress or grooming standards not prohibited by other provisions of Federal, State, or local law, provided that the employer permits any employee who has undergone gender transition prior to the time of employment, and any employee who has notified the employer that the employee has undergone or is undergoing gender transition after the time of employment, to adhere to the same dress or grooming standards for the gender to which the employee has transitioned or is transitioning.2007 Employment Non-Discrimination Act

“GenderPAC is proud to have been a part of drafting this legislation. This is an important step toward workplace equality for all employees. The federal government is beginning to catch up to the many state and local governments, and individual corporations that protect employees, regardless of whether they fit expectations for masculinity or femininity,” said Riki Wilchins, Executive Director of GenderPAC. “We urge Congress to take notes on the progress being made across the country and support this bill.” – Gender PAC press release April 25th, 2007.

Does 1+1=3? I’m confused.

  • The point is that GenderPAC railed against this in Jespersen (which was lost, btw), but now has written it into law? It boggles the mind… because this is actually worse for cigendered people.

    “Thus, while there has been real progress, at least at the margins, in cases involving transgender litigants challenging dress codes based on sex stereotypes, much less progress has been made challenging the central and well-established case law sustaining gender-based dress codes. Moreover, if
    Schroer is any indication, courts seem to be increasingly concerned about how to protect transgender persons in employment – which is good. However, such progress, if it serves to foster or exacerbate bad law for non-transgender men and women who are also hindered in employment opportunities, will have come at a high price indeed.” – Jennifer L. Levi – Associate Professor at Western New England College School of Law.

  • A lot of places have dress codes with things like “for men, no shorts, no jeans, no tee-shirts; for women, no tank tops, no jeans, skirts and shorts must come down to just above the knee or longer,” that kind of thing.

    Other places require uniforms, and these uniforms have a men’s style and a women’s style. A lot of places have different versions of the women’s uniform which allows for skirts or pants.

    Dress codes or uniforms like these, which broadly allow people to choose from among various styles of clothes, is a far cry from a dress code which requires women to wear make up, skirts, hose, high heels, and elaborate hairstyles.

    And the way i read the paragraph from ENDA, all i can see there is, transfolk cannot be discriminated against if they are dressing according to the dress code given for the gender they are transitioning, or have transitioned, to.

  • I guess it depends on whether Riki was complaining about ALL gender-specific dress codes, or just those which place onerous, expensive, and uncomfortable styles of dress on one gender.

  • Well, transgender folks will be held to a standard that Riki called discrimination. Is the fact that I have a penis, make it OK to force me into that 50’s stereotype? It just seems bizarre to me.

  • RachelPhilPa

    Hanh? Wha? What has Riki been smoking? So, if I was working at Harrah’s, and I was a cisgender female, forcing me to wear skirts and high heels is a bad thing, but if I transition m2f, then it’s alright to compel me to “adhere to the same dress or grooming standards for the gender to which the employee has transitioned or is transitioning” and therefore have to wear skirts and high heels? Exactly how is that not expecting me to fit expectations for femininity?

    I am indeed m2f, and rarely wear makeup, skirts, or heels (other than my punky Harley-Davidson boots). I’m not really sure what Riki expects of me. Not that I care.

    I sense total self-importance going on here…G-ddess, she used to be funny, and spot-on, back in the 1990’s…what happened?

  • RachelPhilPa

    Hanh? Wha? What has Riki been smoking? So, if I was working at Harrah’s, and I was a cisgender female, forcing me to wear skirts and high heels is a bad thing, but if I transition m2f, then it’s alright to compel me to “adhere to the same dress or grooming standards for the gender to which the employee has transitioned or is transitioning” and therefore have to wear skirts and high heels? Exactly how is that not expecting me to fit expectations for femininity?

    I am indeed m2f, and rarely wear makeup, skirts, or heels (other than my punky Harley-Davidson boots). I’m not really sure what Riki expects of me. Not that I care.

    I sense total self-importance going on here…G-ddess, she used to be funny, and spot-on, back in the 1990’s…what happened?

  • I don’t see a problem with this one. Basically i read this as saying, “for purposes of workplace dress code, treat transmen as men and gallae as women.”

    The issue of employers having gender-specific dress codes (which i’ve seen everyplace i’ve worked) is certainly worth discussing and debating, but perhaps this law is not the place to do it.

    But i can certainly see, without this paragraph included in ENDA, some smartass employer trying to otherwise get around the law by setting a special dress-code for transfolk, e.g. requiring transmale employees to dress as women and vice-versa.

  • I don’t see a problem with this one. Basically i read this as saying, “for purposes of workplace dress code, treat transmen as men and gallae as women.”

    The issue of employers having gender-specific dress codes (which i’ve seen everyplace i’ve worked) is certainly worth discussing and debating, but perhaps this law is not the place to do it.

    But i can certainly see, without this paragraph included in ENDA, some smartass employer trying to otherwise get around the law by setting a special dress-code for transfolk, e.g. requiring transmale employees to dress as women and vice-versa.