Is office air conditioning sexist? No, say steaming hot men

From the desk of Archibald Abernathy-Alexander III

Since realizing the sexist nature of office air conditioning—which typically caters to and is controlled by men—it has come to the attention of the managers at OfficeTech Office Firm & Business Sons LLC that some of our employees have been rather uncomfortable in the office as of late. 

It seems that in response to our increase in thermostat temperature to accommodate all genders in the office, we failed to recognize the needs of our male employees. The suggestion box outside my office is overflowing with complaints about the apparently sexist nature of our dress code.

Men in our office suffer from chronic overheating, a very common ailment directly attributed to the requirement that they wear full-legged pants, shirt, socks, and shoes. According to columnist Jonathan Chait, “One of the unfortunate paradoxes of our culture is that the gender that generally gets colder is able to wear less in the summer, while the gender that generally gets warmer is expected to wear the same business attire year round.” It appears that our male employees were aware of this.

If the dress code remains as is, one employee pointed out, “men will die of heat exhaustion and dehydration and [women’s] plan to rule the world will be complete.” And that is just not in keeping with the OfficeTech mission.

Another man noted the glaring double standard present in our current dress code: “[Women] basically just wear whatever the hell they want. The guys? Yea shirt, tie, shoes, long pants, dress socks, etc. And I sweat. Big time. So I have to wear an undershirt just so I’m not sweating through.” 

The idea that our already heat exhausted male employees have to add an extra layer to hide their sweat is unacceptable. OfficeTech believes the body’s natural cooling system is nothing to be ashamed of. 

The double standard seems to be well-documented. “Men having to wear suits in fucking 100 degree weather with 100 degree humidity is sexist. Fuck off,” one critic reasonably commented. “For many of us the only option we have is to wear lighter fabrics in the summer, and that only helps so much,” said another. It’s clearly a systemic issue, and we would like to nip at the bud. We’re well aware of men’s lack of options in hot weather, so we want to make these important changes.

While we cannot adjust the thermostat to bitingly cold temperatures to regulate the temperature of our male employees, we are proud to announce that OfficeTech Office Firm & Business Sons LLC has instituted a new, cooler dress code, effective immediately.

Male employees must adhere to these guidelines at all times:

  • Shirts are to not have sleeves that extend beyond the elbows. Sleeveless shirts are preferable, but employees unable to remove sleeves from shirts are not subject to infraction.

  • Pant legs must not extend beyond knees. No exception.

  • Only rubber-soled athletic shoes, or sandals, are acceptable, but both must be worn without socks.

  • Clothing that covers the body must be 100% cotton, or composed of an even lighter fabric. Mesh is acceptable attire—in fact, it is encouraged, especially on Mesh Monday.

  • Headwear, such as baseball caps, must only be worn backwards, so as not to obstruct the employee’s vision.

  • Underwear of any sort is prohibited. Everyone goes Commando. No exceptions!

  • Puka shell necklaces must be at least twice the circumference of one’s neck in order to avoid chafing.  

Failure to adhere to the new standards of dress guidelines will result in infraction, and OfficeTech will quarantine workers to the boiler room for the duration of the business day.

We hope this new policy accommodates all of our male employees. Now let’s get back out there! These personal handheld fans aren’t going to sell themselves!

H/T Reddit / Photo via Dante Alighieri/Wikipedia (CC BY SA 3.0) 

Feliks Garcia

Feliks Garcia

Feliks Garcia was a reporter and essayist whose work for the Daily Dot focused on social justice issues, internet culture, and the Rock. He was a staff writer for the Independent when he passed away in February 2017 after suffering a heart attack. He was 33.