I was chatting with Dave this morning, and he mentioned he had an important meeting at work.
So you’ll be putting on a tie? I typed. Morning humor. Everyone knows geeks don’t wear ties.
That got me thinking. Ties don’t make a lot of sense, but like makeup and pantyhose, they’re firmly ingrained into our concept of “appropriate apparel.” The more I thought about it, the more absurd it seemed. I did a little investigating and have come up with ten good reasons for men not to wear ties. Pull this out next time someone says “dress code.”
- Ties are obviously phallic. It’s a big arrow pointing down at your crotch, saying “LOOK AT ME! I’M A GUY!” I think by this time in human evolution we can get beyond this.
- Ties advertise submission. You’re saying “sure, boss, I’ll do whatever you want, wear whatever you want, you’re the boss, I just want to fit in, please don’t fire me.” Think about it! You’re offering your neck to anyone who wants to grab hold and pull you around. Take a stand. Don’t be a human lemming.
- Ties are foppish and 16th century. You think we would have evolved in menswear since Louis XIV decided that his Croatian mercenaries looked hot in their neck scarves. At least those served some discernible purpose (cleaning out a gun? wiping off sweat?) — Commit to progress. Live in the 21st century.
- The kind of tie you wear labels you. Holiday and theme ties are like those fancy fingernail treatments. Please. I don’t even want to get into bow ties. And what did George W. Bush have to say about Tony Blair’s retirement? “Sure gonna miss those red ties.” If you can be summed up by your tie, it has done you a disservice. Solve the problem by not wearing one at all. A little mystery goes a long way.
- Ties are sexist. As are pantyhose. Anything that can be mandated to one half of the human race but not the other should be outlawed. A 2003 court case in Britain, reported in the Daily Telegraph, backs me up.
- Ties are a choking hazard. It takes a lot longer to get that first button undone if you have a tie on than if you don’t. Every second counts. Irreversible brain damage can occur after only 5 minutes without oxygen.
- The argument that ties cover up mismatched buttons is lame. It costs a lot less to buy a set of buttons and needle and thread than to buy a decent tie. Mismatched buttons at least serve a purpose. And how many people actually have mismatched buttons on their shirts? Really.
- Ties are a health hazard. Crowded elevator, closing doors. And then there are the germs. How often do ties get washed? I’m surprised OSHA hasn’t legislated on this already.
- The argument that ties say “I respect you” is lame. Hint: have you ever seen an insurance salesman, a car salesman, or a lawyer working without a tie? Au contraire, ties say “watch out, honey, I’m about to pull a fast one on you.”
- Ties, which are made of silk, are the product of child slave labor. Human Rights Watch estimates that there are at least 350,000 bonded children working in the Indian silk industry. Do you want to be part of that? I didn’t think so.
There are the most compelling reasons, ones that can be applied to anyone with a Y chromosome. If that’s not enough to convince you, here are a few more special cases:
- If you’re a geek, you will get laughed at if you wear a tie and lose all credibility with your peers. (Aside: It’s a complete mystery to me why the Best Buy Geek Squad has to wear skinny black ties – male or female. Does the management truly know nothing about geeks?)
- If you don’t normally wear a tie, people will know you have a job interview somewhere else if you come in wearing one.
- If you think women will think you’re hot if you wear a tie, think again. It’s a highly unreliable hotness marker. It’s more likely they think you’re a corporate climber or a lawyer and they’re more interested in your money than tearing off your tie. It could be a trap. Stepford wives, anyone? If that’s what you’re after, then by all means…
On a personal note: my own husband, as he’s climbed the ranks in the world, tells me he must on occasion wear ties because “it’s what is expected.” I still love my lemming, but I can’t say I’m surprised that he gets sick more often than I do, or that he has no cred with the geeks in his faculty (he’s just a bureaucrat…). We all make our choices.
Image: from thinkgeek.com If you must wear a tie, consider one like this. It says “ties suck” in binary.