To all of the ladies out there, we have a question for you: what would you do if you weren't "allowed" to wear pants to a formal work event? Would you protest?
That's exactly what some female Mounties -- from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) -- have done. After a decade of asking senior officials within the organization to wear boots and pants instead of a skirt and leather pumps to formal events, female officers have finally been given the right to wear the same clothing as their male colleagues. (Clothing, some say, women in North America have been allowed to wear for decades -- thanks to the revolutionary designs of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli.)
According to The Vancouver Sun, "It's been almost a decade since an unnamed female officer filed a grievance because she was denied boots and pants." The officer in question has been with the force for some 17 years.
The wardrobe change request was, as reported by The Canadian Press in Metro, denied twice on the grounds the officer was aware of formal uniform requirements upon her graduation. RCMP officials said, had she wanted to wear pants, she should have filed a grievance then. They also noted women have been allowed to wear pants and boots as part of their daily (read non-formal) work wardrobe since 1990.
You may be wondering why it took so long for women to be granted the right to wear a suit as formal wear: among problems facing female mounties, said Staff-Sgt. Maj. Sylvain L'heureux, is pants and boots are move expensive and are difficult to source in smaller/women's sizes.
The fashion-forward change comes amid several individual lawsuits from current and former female members of the force alleging sexual harassment. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens recently convened a task force of 100 officers to investigate cases of discrimination within the organization.
What's your take on the case?
Here's a historical look at the many fashions of the RCMP.