In terms of the legal profession as a whole, breasts are a topic we all know and love. Some breasts are so large that people have allegedly been fired and forced to sue over them. Some breasts are so large that people file motions over them because they’re too distracting to be seen in a courtroom. In fact, some lawyers’ breasts are so large that their cleavage alone is recognized as “empowering,” and can be seen as a “career enhancer.”
Wait… what? Why weren’t we told about this before looking down every few minutes to check to see if we were showing too much cleavage became an ingrained habit? Because it’s bullsh*t, that’s why….
In general, while breasts are nice to look at, they’re pretty annoying to have, especially larger ones. The bras cost more, and most of the time, they’re not even pretty — someone came up with the phrase “over-the-shoulder boulder holder” for a reason. But not to worry, ladies, because we’re being told that our breasts hold a mystical and magical power, and it’s called cleavage (you know, that thing our mothers once told us to avoid showing).
Apparently showing some cleavage in the workplace is something that will set us apart from all the rest of the women who dare to dress conservatively, especially if you’re working with men. Vivia Chen over at The Careerist consulted boobologist Elisabeth Squires Dale, author of bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls (affiliate link), to find out more about the phenomenon of baring cleavage in the workplace:
[S]hould female lawyers button up and totally avoid the slightest whiff of cleavage? Not at all. Dale says a bit of cleavage “might work well in a deposition, if you’re trying to take a witness off guard.” So, yes, she says, “it could be a career enhancer. . . . Not unlike a male attorney wearing a certain tie or suit. Yours is just a different cut.”
Fact: If you want to enhance your career, you need to wear your finest push-up bra to every deposition. If you need to pass the presumably male deponent a document, reach forward and slide it across the table in such a way that he’ll be able to see down your shirt. Smarts comes second when you’ve got two big brains to show off. We’re obviously all fools for not having realized this sooner.
Unfortunately, some of our female colleagues aren’t quite so neaderthalic in their thinking:
When it comes to lawyers and cleavage, Dale is fairly conservative. “Cleavage can sidetrack your legal career,” she says. “It’s not that the men in the room will see you as a sexual object—they might do that without any cleavage on display.” The risk, she explains, comes from your “fellow female lawyers and/or [female] clients who may find it annoying and distracting.” Plus, she adds, they might “assume you are playing the ‘cleavage card’ for advancement or favoritism.”
We don’t need to worry about the men — they’re going to objectify us anyway, which is apparently just fine. It’s the women we need to worry about, and these jealous bitches ought to be cunt-punted with immediacy. How dare they accuse us of playing the “cleavage card” for gain in the workplace?
But who’s to blame for this new cleavage craze? Behold, the power of Wall Street, a place where people think that tits are, well, the tits; a place where men say things like this and don’t expect to be given the side-eye: “Don’t you know cleavage is the power tie for women? If you’re at a meeting and you want to get people’s attention, you wear something that shows cleavage. It’s not tawdry; it’s empowering.”
It’s not empowering, it’s absurd. Cleavage can’t be compared to a power tie. No one is going to get all hot and bothered over a freaking tie. No one is fantasizing about Windsor knots. No one is going to be caught off guard by a tie during a deposition. No one wants to caress a tie during sexual romps.
Encouraging women to flaunt their cleavage in the workplace to get ahead is the equivalent of telling women that they should overtly sexualize themselves if they want any hope of doing business as well as their male colleagues. It’s advice of the most unfortunate type imaginable. Listen to Vivia Chen, because she speaks the truth when she says that “only bimbos show cleavage at work.”
P.S. We’ll wait for the men’s advice column on when it’s appropriate to flaunt power bulges at work.
Is Cleavage the New Power Tie? [The Careerist]