Social media is on fire after the J.C. Penney worker said she was dismissed from her job and sent home for wearing the clothes she purchased from her employer. The incident happened at a South Dakota store, when 17-year-old Sylva Stoel’s supervisor sent her home for wearing “inappropriate” shorts.
The irony is that the teen bought the shorts at the career department in J.C. Penney, which is specifically geared towards working professionals. The teen didn’t just follow orders to go home and change, she quit her job as a sales clerk.
Later on the former J.C. Penney worker — who uses the name Queen Feminist — posted a selfie to Twitter, wearing the shorts in question. The outspoken teen has received a lot of praise for her decision to quit her job and shame her former employer.
saw mom today! @queenfeminist pic.twitter.com/djzR6RXmD7
— ⠀ (@PEACHPIXY) July 28, 2015
@queenfeminist I just got off work and my sister started talking about your JCPenny story I was like YES SBJEDOXKSJSJ!!!!
— JESSi(e)ca (@im_sucha_lopez) July 29, 2015
so proud of @queenfeminist for the recognition she is getting for standing up against misogynistic dress codes
— taylor (@Tayrayray1) July 29, 2015
With all the notoriety, including interviews for print magazines such as People, the former J.C. Penney worker, who is a senior at Roosevelt High School, is staying grounded. Despite definite opinions about her, favorable and unfavorable, Sylva explains she is standing up for her beliefs and defends women’s rights to wear revealing clothes.
“It’s not like a me vs. J.C. Penney situation. I don’t have a public grudge or feel victimized by J.C. Penney. I think it’s about a larger issue of misogyny and dress codes.
If a girl’s more busty and wears a tank top she gets sent to the office. A girl more flat-chested does not get that treatment. It’s body shaming.”
Sylva said the incident happened last Friday when, 10-minutes after she arrived to start her shift, a supervisor by the name of Jeff approached her.
“He came up to me and asked if anyone had told me about the dress codes during orientation. I said, yes, I didn’t know I was violating it though. He told me I needed to go home and change, the shorts were too revealing.”
Sylva pointed out she had bought her shorts in the career section of J.C. Penney, but Jeff didn’t mind and asked her how long it would take her to go home and change. Her answer? “I don’t know, probably the entire day.” She left thereafter.
Sylva is the second of three “exceptional children,” according to father Scott Stoel, who — along with wife, Rita — is amused by all the attention his daughter’s predicament has garnered.
“I’m just surprised that an issue like this is sparking this kind of response. I guess it also points out that it is still a contentious issue. I would think that somebody not wanting to conform to a dress code they don’t agree with is a matter of personal choice, not an insult to an entire belief system.”
The former J.C. Penney worker believes the issue has to do with dress codes, which “shames women.”
“Certain aspects of dress codes, no gang symbols or explicit imagery, I understand. But saying you can’t have an exposed bra strap at school or keeping people from showing their knees is fueled by the idea women can’t show parts of their body and still be taken seriously.”
As to J.C. Penney, the retailer said its dress code is not sexist and insists their policy of not allowing shorts applies to employees of both genders.
“We do not comment on personnel matters, but J.C. Penney’s dress code policy for store associates does not allow the wearing of shorts of any length. This policy applies to both male and female associates.”
What do you think about the controversy created by the former J.C. Penney worker?
[Image via Twitter]