Ladies – Calm Down About the United Airlines Leggings Story [OPINION]
This is becoming a big story about sexism, and it shouldn't be - here's why.
You've probably already heard about it - two teenage girls, traveling from Denver to Minneapolis on a United Airlines flight yesterday, were told that they could not board the flight because they were wearing leggings.
An activist who happened to be boarding the same flight started to tweet, insinuating that it was because they were females. In fact, that's not what it was at all.
The girls were flying via company benefit travel, better known as "buddy passes." The program allows United employees and their families to fly for free on a standby basis. And flying on a buddy pass comes with a dress code.
I flew on a buddy pass from Milwaukee to Kansas City back in 2006. The buddy pass is very clear about its dress code - you are a representative of the airline, and you must dress appropriately. I showed up in a suit jacket, button down shirt and dress shoes - and the gate attendant made me take out my earrings. I did so without arguing.
The fact of the matter is, you're flying for free, so you've gotta follow some rules. You wanna wear leggings, buy a full-price ticket. This has nothing to do with the gender of these women. The girls put a dress on over the leggings and they were allowed to board. Simple as that.
A lady on the Cars 108 Facebook last week called me a sexist. I couldn't be more far from it. I was raised by women. I support women's rights, and I'll call sexism when I see it. But this isn't that. This is a dress code. Maybe it needs to be updated to include leggings, instead of just saying "spandex." But either way, let's not get our leggings in a bunch over it.
Bigger things to worry about in the world other than two teenagers not getting to wear leggings on a free flight, right?