Nantes is a picturesque city in western France with vineyards and historic neighborhoods whose busses sometimes reach up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50° C) in the summertime. When overheated local bus drivers working for the company Semitan asked their bosses for permission to start wearing shorts instead of the usual uniform slacks, their bosses denied their request, saying that shorts weren’t approved by the company’s dress code.
So instead, six of the male bus drivers started wearing clothing that did meet the dress code — women’s shorts.
“Our bosses’ offices are air-conditioned, which isn’t the case with the majority of our vehicles,” said bus driver union representative Gabriel Magner. “To spend more than seven hours in a vehicle in 50° C temperatures is not easy. Above 30° C the management could put a heatwave plan into action and allow drivers to wear shorts. We’ve been asking for this since 2013.”
According to The Guardian, the company’s management approved lighter “summer trousers” for male bus drivers to wear a few years ago. But Semitan president Pascal Bolo isn’t budging on the no-shorts rule.
“It’s hard but it’s only a few days of the year,” Bolo said. “The new buses all have air conditioning even in the driver’s compartment … and my office doesn’t.”
Interestingly, the French bus drivers aren’t the only men rebelling against wearing trousers in the summer heat.
Joey Barge — a 20-year-old who works in a Buckinghamshire, England call center — showed up to work in a pink dress skirt after being told that he couldn’t wear shorts. In response, the company changed their dress code policy and announced that they’d allow men to wear black, navy blue or beige colored shorts on hot days from now on.
Afterwards, Barge shared the following LinkedIn social media post about how dress codes are transphobic because they dictate gender expression based on the idea that everyone is either male or female (when some people are non-binary, agender or genderfluid).
On corporate dress codes, etc. A LinkedIn rant from yours truly. pic.twitter.com/CZQTBT9PUn
— Will 🐝 (@WillMcHoebag) June 19, 2017
Male students at the Isca Academy in Exeter, England also started defiantly wearing skirts after being forbidding from wearing shorts during the summer.
While the academy has not approved shorts, it has promised to consult students and parents about a suitable compromise for male students.
(Featured image by FatCamera via iStock Photography)