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  1. #1
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    Dress Codes: paymaster's right, or employers once again just gettin' stabbity?

    This thread occasioned by Charles P. Pierce's Grantland piece today (well worth reading,
    funny and strident) regarding a recently enacted dress code for reporters of Major League Baseball.

    This 'graf, about ten paragraphs into the essay, sums up much:
    You know who dressed really well? I mean, they dressed sharp and fine and in as professional a manner as it was possible to dress? All those people who stole the entire world economy between 2000 and 2008, that's who. Anyone who presumes to judge sportswriters' character or professionalism based on whatever Vietnamese-sweatshop-produced clothing their shrinking salaries allow them to be wearing that day is a half-wit. Anybody who codifies that thinking into policy really needs a cold shower.
    And then....
    Then there's the woman thing, which I suspect is what this is really all about.
    Which of course makes the rest of the thing a must-read, at

    The Stupidity (and Sexism) of Baseball's Media Dress Codes (grantland.com)
    It's not about looking nice. It's about control.

    Dress codes: yea or nay?

  2. #2
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    From the article:

    Second reaction: Major League Baseball firmly believes that no reporter should show up to cover a game dressed the way it requires its waitresses to dress for their job serving overpriced beer to the fat cats in the club seats.

    ******
    Who would have a problem with this? I've never seen a male sports reporter inappropriately dressed (probably for the simple reason that they don't have as many options, when it comes to dressing...pants, shirt...shoes.), but I have seen PLENTY of women who look like they just came from working a corner of the street.

  3. #3
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    Interesting point, but one wonders why the employers of the women serving in the club seats impose no similar dress code there, yet seek to employ one on women in the media, who are not their employees. Some might find that hypocritical.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Interesting point, but one wonders why the employers of the women serving in the club seats impose no similar dress code there, yet seek to employ one on women in the media, who are not their employees. Some might find that hypocritical.
    I guess there's an implied level of professionalism, I don't know.

  5. #5
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    Wow. I can't believe someone who crammed that many religious, ethnic, sexist, stereotypes into one short article (including slams on both the readers and a few professional sports teams) is allowed to keep their "liberal" card.

    What an ass.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelmom View Post
    Wow. I can't believe someone who crammed that many religious, ethnic, sexist, stereotypes into one short article (including slams on both the readers and a few professional sports teams) is allowed to keep their "liberal" card.

    What an ass.
    Not quite sure to what you refer. Pierce is defending individual rights and citing personal experiences. The tone of his piece in no way is a slam upon the general reader. He does reference a few professional sports teams, but the article as a whole is meant to damn them all, at least in MLB, at least viz a viz the issue at hand. If, by "keeping (his) 'liberal' card," you mean that he should act according to some undefined, and perhaps undefinable, set of values, please state the ones to which you refer.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    This thread occasioned by Charles P. Pierce's Grantland piece today (well worth reading,
    funny and strident) regarding a recently enacted dress code for reporters of Major League Baseball.

    This 'graf, about ten paragraphs into the essay, sums up much:

    And then....

    Which of course makes the rest of the thing a must-read, at

    The Stupidity (and Sexism) of Baseball's Media Dress Codes (grantland.com)
    It's not about looking nice. It's about control.

    Dress codes: yea or nay?
    I have never read this man's work before...wow....love it!

    Nay to dress codes at least in this context.
    Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy jewelry and lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion, Every Day Is Special.

    In My Humble Opinion and I Reserve
    The Right To Change It As Often As Neccessary.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Not quite sure to what you refer. Pierce is defending individual rights and citing personal experiences. The tone of his piece in no way is a slam upon the general reader. He does reference a few professional sports teams, but the article as a whole is meant to damn them all, at least in MLB, at least viz a viz the issue at hand. If, by "keeping (his) 'liberal' card," you mean that he should act according to some undefined, and perhaps undefinable, set of values, please state the ones to which you refer.
    I can't list all of his statements that come across as rude, arrogant, condescending and offensive because of the copyright rule that only allows us to post 10% of an article. Here are my top five.

    Slams his readers (personally, I refuse to take advice from someone who insults me in the first paragraph):

    First, I am probably the only one in this conversation who's worked for GQ...So I'm not going to take any lip from the rest of you.

    Equating professional dress to "tyranny"...must be comforting to those who truly live under tyrants and despots. Also, I believe many studies show that, in this case, he is also wrong.

    The petty tyranny of dress codes contributed not at all to my abilities as a student...

    Ethnic stereotypes...Luckily it appears that German tourists are fair game. Good thing he didn't mention Muslim tourists.

    in spring training, I mean, where everyone dresses like a German tourist at Disneyland


    just plain rude (to both the Marlins players and the reporters - yes, this man's colleagues - who cover them)

    People show up to cover the Marlins?

    another religious reference (this guy really needs some therapy to deal with his Catholic school experience!) that has NOTHING to do with the topic:

    Are we all now supposed to "make room for the Holy Ghost" when we sit together at dinner?
    Um, what?


    This guy needs to get over himself. There are many professions (and restaurants) where there is a standard of dress. No one is telling him he needs to go buy a $9000 suit to cover every game. But in our current media environment, when you can no longer call the editor of the paper and kindly request that their reporter put on some shoes, they probably needed to express some basic minimum expectations for the independents and the bloggers.

    Schools, even public schools, have dress codes. And they should. No one thinks teenagers should be able to wear a bikini top to Algebra. And, yes, it would affect learning if someone did!

    Every employer I've ever had explained what I was to wear, whether it was black pants and an apron or business casual. And no, my dress code was not the same for every job. (I find it interesting that he compares the waitress to the female reporter and thinks the waitress is the one who should be offended. )

    Since many reporters now don't have an employer, it is well within the BBWAA - who gives them the access they need to do their jobs - to ask for a modicum of decency.

    I think this guy possibly has a decent point - like who will decide if Susie Q's cleavage is overexposed? - but his tone is so snarky and condescending that I can't even get past that to consider his argument.

  9. #9
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    I would say you reject the tone of his piece then, which is a humorous one. As for comparing use of the "German tourists" to that of one speculatively involving Muslims, I would imagine there are far more German tourists dressed in a casual manner at Disneyland, so the point is lost; and, besides, that's apples and oranges: his intention is to poke a bit of discretionary-income fun, not to fan the flames of conflict in a troubled world. It's perfectly acceptable to be rude to the Miami Marlins, I would think, as, as the Florida Marlins, they have become most famous for dismantling pennant-winning ball clubs in order to enrich ownership's coffers and thus have deprived their fans of a legacy of competitive baseball for most of their existence - and are now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for perceived irregularities in stadium financing. And his opening GQ gambit only opens himself up as a figure of fun; it's not meant to challenge a reader's bona fides, I don't think.
    ---
    On dress codes (and many other things):
    "It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few... They... consequently are instruments of injustice."
    --Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    I would say you reject the tone of his piece then, which is a humorous one. As for comparing use of the "German tourists" to that of one speculatively involving Muslims, I would imagine there are far more German tourists dressed in a casual manner at Disneyland, so the point is lost; and, besides, that's apples and oranges: his intention is to poke a bit of discretionary-income fun, not to fan the flames of conflict in a troubled world. It's perfectly acceptable to be rude to the Miami Marlins, I would think, as, as the Florida Marlins, they have become most famous for dismantling pennant-winning ball clubs in order to enrich ownership's coffers and thus have deprived their fans of a legacy of competitive baseball for most of their existence - and are now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for perceived irregularities in stadium financing. And his opening GQ gambit only opens himself up as a figure of fun; it's not meant to challenge a reader's bona fides, I don't think.
    ---
    On dress codes (and many other things):
    BBM...You asked for opinions. I disagree.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelmom View Post
    BBM...You asked for opinions. I disagree.
    While anyone has the freedom to react in any way to published writing, my question (at the bottom of the first post) was "Dress codes - yea or nay?" To make Pierce into a liberal whipping-boy seems rather startling, yet I recognize in it a pattern prevalent among those who seek to demonize the messenger rather than respond to the message.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truthwillsetufree View Post
    I have never read this man's work before...wow....love it!

    Nay to dress codes at least in this context.
    Grantland is worth bookmarking; although it's primarily a sports-related site (with forays into popular culture) it features quality prose.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelmom View Post
    There are many professions (and restaurants) where there is a standard of dress. No one is telling him he needs to go buy a $9000 suit to cover every game. But in our current media environment, when you can no longer call the editor of the paper and kindly request that their reporter put on some shoes, they probably needed to express some basic minimum expectations for the independents and the bloggers.

    Schools, even public schools, have dress codes. And they should. No one thinks teenagers should be able to wear a bikini top to Algebra. And, yes, it would affect learning if someone did!

    Every employer I've ever had explained what I was to wear, whether it was black pants and an apron or business casual. And no, my dress code was not the same for every job. (I find it interesting that he compares the waitress to the female reporter and thinks the waitress is the one who should be offended. )

    Since many reporters now don't have an employer, it is well within the BBWAA - who gives them the access they need to do their jobs - to ask for a modicum of decency.

    I think this guy possibly has a decent point - like who will decide if Susie Q's cleavage is overexposed? - but his tone is so snarky and condescending that I can't even get past that to consider his argument.
    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    While anyone has the freedom to react in any way to published writing, my question (at the bottom of the first post) was "Dress codes - yea or nay?" To make Pierce into a liberal whipping-boy seems rather startling, yet I recognize in it a pattern prevalent among those who seek to demonize the messenger rather than respond to the message.
    Hate to quote myself, but I answered that question. I think that asking people to dress like professionals is perfectly within the rights of both the BBWAA and MLB (and my local steakhouse). I think it does contribute to productivity and the atmosphere, and I do think there are bloggers and independent reporters who would show up at a baseball game and demand press access while wearing cutoffs and a stained t-shirt.

    I also think that this guy is not a "liberal whipping boy" but he clearly has issues with the Catholic Church, anyone with money, and authority in general. His tone is offensive, dripping with sarcasm, and full of unresolved anger issues about his education.

    The messenger DOES matter. If you can't get past the surface to even hear the message, that IS part of the message.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by oh_gal View Post
    From the article:

    Second reaction: Major League Baseball firmly believes that no reporter should show up to cover a game dressed the way it requires its waitresses to dress for their job serving overpriced beer to the fat cats in the club seats.

    ******
    There's a 'tell' about the author IMO. They sell overpriced beer in the cheap seats as well, but lets slam the 'fat cats', it's the 'in' thing to do.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelmom View Post
    Hate to quote myself, but I answered that question. I think that asking people to dress like professionals is perfectly within the rights of both the BBWAA and MLB (and my local steakhouse). I think it does contribute to productivity and the atmosphere, and I do think there are bloggers and independent reporters who would show up at a baseball game and demand press access while wearing cutoffs and a stained t-shirt.

    I also think that this guy is not a "liberal whipping boy" but he clearly has issues with the Catholic Church, anyone with money, and authority in general. His tone is offensive, dripping with sarcasm, and full of unresolved anger issues about his education.

    The messenger DOES matter. If you can't get past the surface to even hear the message, that IS part of the message.
    I think that the dress code was the vehicle the author chose to use to express his issues with those you listed - so in this case the messenger is the message. Your analysis of the author is spot on.

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