Should I Tie One On? Help!
I met an awesome, youngish scholar today who's (sort of) in my academic field. We got to talking about the job interview process, and she mentioned that she has a bunch of butchy lesbian friends who were on the fence about wearing a tie to their interviews. And if no tie, whether to wear a suit jacket.
In the end, her friends didn't wear ties. They didn't want people to think they were male-identified (since they're not), nor did they want to be perceived as "too aggressive" (what?!). Sure, there's a whole "angry butch lesbian" stereotype out there, but do people really subscribe to it?
This person told me, "Men's suit jackets on women are perceived as aggressive." AND, because of increased trans-visibility--a wonderful thing, definitely--but in progressive circles, women with "male" fashion markers are increasingly assumed to want to be men. Not in the butch-lesbians-have-penis-envy sense, but in the I'm-taking-testosterone-and-have-a-double-masectomy-scheduled sense.
Wow. I'm fine with people who meet me thinking I'm trans, I guess (I'm not, but who cares?). But aggressive? Angry?
So what do I do in a couple years when I go on the job market? What have YOU, dear new readers, done? I'd love to get your advice.
Honestly, I have always worn a suit jacket to job interviews, but I have never worn a tie. It hadn't occurred to me that wearing a tie to a job interview might make the interviewer think I am trans-identified. I should ask my sweetie about their last job interview-- I know they wore a suit, but I don't know about the tie.
5/11/2011 03:56:10 pm
Very interesting, bee listy--thanks for the comment. Yeah, I think the fact that I go by my (rather feminine) first name makes a big difference.
Good question. I'd never considered someone reading tie wearing as trans particularly, as butch/dyke quite possibly.
5/16/2011 01:39:02 pm
Thanks, Kyle--the packing question is interesting. I've never had a desire to pack, so it's never come up as an issue for me. But I can imagine that if you felt a lot more confident while packing... well, that would be tough, since you want to be confident in an interview.
5/19/2011 08:00:35 am
Hi and welcome! You're off to a great start, and I really enjoyed what I've read so far! (I see some of the bois have found you already. If you haven't checked out Bee Listy's site yet--she really does rock the bow-tie)
5/19/2011 08:08:46 am
oops! I got interrupted like 10 times writing that last comment. I see that you didn't actually give advice. Well, that's my advice anyways. You could always research the company and your interveiwer first and find out more about them. Between liked in and Facebook, you might be able to get a feel for whether they are "tie friendly"
BW, I go by my female name most of the time and read as a butch dyke, again, most of the time. I'm working toward a job interview at a place where I've already visited for an informal interview, and I was packing at that time. I think it's gonna depend on what I'm wearing that day and how it feels.
11/1/2011 02:40:28 pm
I think you bring up some interesting questions that people face when entering interviews.
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