After a CBC Marketplace investigation revealed sexist dress codes still persist at bars and restaurants, an Ottawa pub is responding by revealing some skin.
Some lads at Union Local 613 came to work Wednesday night in their finest dresses and heels, including co-owner Ivan Gedz.
"I’ve worked 17 plus years in the restaurant industry and have heard various horror stories, including some from our staff here right now," said Gedz.
"If you’re going to have a dress code, make it equal between the sexes," said Gedz. "What’s the point of forcing someone into a mini skirt other than to sexualize them?"
"When we started our restaurant it was part of our ethos that we challenge these bullshit and frankly illegal things that for some reason are still going on."
Union Local 613's "Working Women's Wednesday" event was completely voluntary, and four men ended up dressing up, much to the delight of customers.
Gedz himself wore a little black dress and matching jewelry. It was also his first time in heels and he only made it an hour before having to take them off.
He also felt self-conscious in a way he hasn't before. "I’m usually pretty comfortable with my body, but i probably would have felt more comfortable naked than in that dress," he said.
And catcalls from regulars — meant in a humorous way — added to the discomfort.
"It was pretty eye-opening to be honest," said Gedz. "I couldn’t imagine what it’s like to be somebody who deals with that from strangers everyday."
Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
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