Men working at Union Local 613 will be decked out in high heels, mini skirts and low-cut tops on Wednesday night to highlight discrimination against women in the service industry.
Last week, a CBC Marketplace story delving into restaurant dress codes found that many women felt compelled to wear sexy outfits — including high heels, tight skirts and heavy makeup — to keep their jobs.
Union Local 613 co-owner Ivan Gedz said men at the Somerset St. W. restaurant will wear outfits "similar to some of the attire mentioned in the CBC Marketplace interview" during their shifts on Wednesday night.
Gedz said that the idea that sex sells is "unfairly" applied to women.
"We're hoping — in fact I'm pretty sure while I'm performing service Wednesday night — that people will be able to see the absurdity of walking around in high heels, and how cumbersome a mini-skirt can be," he said.
"I'm actually kind of horrified about the idea that when I bend over, people will be able to see my little bits and parts."
He added that there is no dress code at his restaurant, and that the spectacle of men wearing revealing clothing is against "the mandating of this dress code, not the actual attire itself."
In recognition of International Women's Day on Tuesday, the Ontario Human Rights Commission called for an end to skimpy dress codes.
"Employers must make sure their dress codes don't reinforce sexist stereotypes," OHRC Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane said in a statement on Tuesday. "They send the message that an employee's worth is tied to how they look. That's not right, and it could violate the Ontario Human Rights Code."