Friday, December 18, 2015

Should Men Work at Victoria’s Secret?

My stepdaughter loves Victoria's Secret--mostly the Pink line that is designed for teens and college-age girls:



Earlier this year, as I stood outside the fitting room, waiting for her, I saw something that took me aback. A man was creeping around the underwear display. My first thought was, "How creepy." Then I noticed the name tag. He was an employee.



I know it's wrong to feel this way. Women have fought hard to be included in all-male institutions like military schools and country clubs. Victoria's Secret was founded by this man...



Roy Raymond's goal was to create a store where men could feel comfortable shopping for lingerie for their girlfriends and wives. Men are supposed to be able to shop in Victoria's Secret without being viewed as this:



Yet if you walk into a Victoria's Secret, chances are you'll see mostly women.



The men are waiting patiently outside the store.



One former male employee confirmed he just joined the staff to learn more about women. He found that people questioned his choice of profession (selling women's lingerie). He also said he believes men shouldn't feel bad shopping in or working at Victoria's Secret.



Yet there's something ultimately creepy about a straight man who works at Victoria's Secret. I think perhaps because of this?



What do you think when you see a man working in Victoria's Secret?

64 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever seen a man working at that store. I have gone in shopping both for my wife and with my wife. (When I'm by myself, I'm a fast shopper though.)
    Sure a man could work there. Not this guy though. Something would be on my mind all day long...

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    1. That was a first! It made me realize you rarely see a man working there.

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  2. My brother in law years ago did inventory for Victoria's Secret at night after the store closed. He was very uncomfortable with it but needed the money. There may be some things men shouldn't do, like work at Victoria's Secret and performing pelvic exams.

    betty

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    1. Best gynos I have ever had in my life were men.

      What if a man said women doctors shouldn't treat male patients (which often involves putting their hands in sensitive areas)?

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    2. I personally prefer female doctors, but I know there are women who do prefer male. The only reason is in my experience, female ob/gyns are more compassionate about the pain the exam causes. I didn't find male doctors came close to understanding that part of it!

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  3. Hmmmmm. Tough one. What would I do? I'd probably creep around the store, ducking behind displays if he looked my way, until I found a saleswoman to help me.

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    1. The guy I saw didn't appear to be interested in helping anyone. He was more interested in making sure everything was straightened and folded.

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  4. Long as he's not doing bra fittings and there is at least one woman there for certain duties, I don't see a problem. I don't view all men as creepy predators, though.

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  5. He does wear those lacy thongs rather well, you gotta admit :)
    I don't think many men would venture inside the shop! I don't like to get near the make up racks in the beauty shops, let alone the lingerie ones :)

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    1. I do see men in there...especially at Christmastime. Gotta get those last-minute gifts! I find it interesting that the male founder's primary goal was to make men feel comfortable, yet we still see few male employees.

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  6. This is a good one Stephanie... I've never seen a man in Victoria's Secret store but then I've only shopped there a few times for PJs for Christmas gifts.
    I'm sure I'd be very uncomfortable shopping in a lingerie store with a man sales person. It's like a piece of puzzle that doesn't fit...

    Hugs,
    JB


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    1. Maybe over time we'd get used to it? VS has some nice sweatshirts...just way, way, way too expensive.

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  7. I've never seen a man working in VS, but if I did, I wouldn't care. I shop online so it makes no difference to me anyway. Some men are especially good at working with women. When my daughter took some theater classes at her prep school, the dance master was a gay man. When she needed to wear a low cut dress for a scene and she had no cleavage, he taped her boobs up. She felt completely comfortable with him. I was fine with it. But it doesn't have to be a gay man who can work with women. Some men are more in tune with women than others. And I don't care if men want to wear so-called women's clothes. Plenty of women dress like men.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Good point. The man I saw working at VS may not have been straight. He wasn't what people would stereotype as gay, but if he had been acting flamboyant, I'm guessing it would have been one of those, "Oh, okay. Hey, can you help me find a good bra?" type of moments! Wouldn't have been awkward at all, then. I think it's a subconscious thing. A straight man being in there makes us feel more self-conscious about looking at those sorts of things, even if the man is in there shopping or with his wife. That part of it is on us, though.

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  8. I've seen mostly gay guys working in the Victoria's Secrets around here. But gay or straight, if you want an honest opinion about which set of sexy lingerie to purchase, I think you're more likely to get it from a guy....

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    1. You're probably right about that! And VS has gotten so far away from the sexy lingerie--that's only a small part of what they sell now.

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  9. You always write interesting posts!
    I think it's fine. I love seeing diversity in stores. I see men working in Sephora, Forever 21, VS and I'm like cool. What I don't like tho is men who come into VS with their spouse or gf and STARE at me as I look at panties. Quit it perv. Or the ones who are trying to pick you up in there. Um no thank you. Even if I wasn't married, no. Can you imagine that backstory? Oh right...we met over by the dental floss thongs at VS..he was just standing there leering at me and it was like love at first sight!
    We found love in a hopeless place, indeed.

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    1. Interesting! Yes, if a man is hitting on you as you shop for lingerie, definitely icky! I can imagine some man coming up with that "brilliant" idea, though.

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  10. I will certainly feel uncomfortable and shy with lingerie salesmen. Over here, most men will avoid walking through the lingerie sections in the shopping mall. Most of them feel awkward. Come to think of it, if we are comfortable with girlfriends or wives buying underwear for their boyfriends and hubby, I wonder why we are not comfortable with men buying underwear for their girlfriends or wives???

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    1. I don't know! I did, however, see a very fiery comment stream on Facebook when a woman asked why women try to "emasculate" their men by having them buy tampons or hold our purses. And the overwhelming opinion was that women do this intentionally as some sort of game. Which I thought was odd because...why? So maybe it's part of that? Men feel emasculated when they're forced to do things like that? Seems to me it would just be easier for the men to pick it out online and have it shipped to them rather than go through all the drama.

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  11. I have the same question about men working at Lane Bryant, and not just in the lingerie department. Of the times I've done into the store, I don't recall even seeing a man with his wife or GF, let alone one working at the store.

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    1. In general when I'm out shopping, I see very few men in clothing stores--male or female clothing stores. Seems most of the time women are the ones out shopping for clothes for the whole family. I think that has something to do with the fact that men will find one pair of pants/shoes/shirts and buy that same item for the rest of time...but only when the old ones they had start getting holes in them!

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  12. I know it shouldn't be an issue, but I know of too many men who have real fetishes for looking at, touching, feeling, and wearing women's lingerie (like, they get a sexual thrill out of it). I guess as long as this is not the case, it's not a problem. But I don't know how comfortable I'd be discussing my bra size with a man in Vicky's.

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    1. "I know of too many men who have real fetishes for looking at, touching, feeling, and wearing women's lingerie."

      ^^^THAT! Just that. I think that's the problem with it. You see a man picking up those items and immediately that picture comes to mind, even if you've only seen it on TV as a depiction of that particular fetish.

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    2. "But I don't know how comfortable I'd be discussing my bra size with a man..." I feel the same way, when I get mine at Lane Bryant.

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  13. I would not buy from a dude. Very creepy.

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    1. Interestingly, some of these corporations are run by men...although today's VS CEO is a woman. It's still rare to see large corporations put women in charge, even when their products are geared toward women, so that's nice to see!

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  14. Well, I would be taken back too, but I worked in a mans world for years, so I get it. I would buy whatever from this guy and move on. I'd probably try to embarrass him a bit though just for fun.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. He wasn't at the cash register and he wasn't interacting with the customers, from what I saw. Just wandering around straightening things. When I got to the register area, it was all women.

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  15. Hey, we started it. Men can do any jobs us women can...with the exception of wet nurse, but does anyone have wet nurses any more?

    A man's opinion might be useful. I vote yes.

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    1. That's true...although the sad part is, often when you see men working at a place like VS or Hooter's or some other female-employee-geared corporate business, they're the ones running the place.

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  16. I don't think it's so much a question of should they. I think the better question is, why would they want to? First of all, you tend to get the 'perv' label attached to you. Second, it must make just about every female potential shopper wary to purchase anything, at least from that employee. I feel awkward enough walking past the store in the mall. I couldn't imagine shopping there or even working there. Nope, not for me.

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    1. I think that was my question. We're attracted to certain jobs for a reason. There was a guy who took the job to learn more about women, so it is possible there are other reasons. I was offered a job at VS in college. I can't remember why I didn't take it. I just remember being shocked that they actually wanted to hire me. It was the first time I'd applied for jobs at the mall since turning 18 and almost everywhere I applied offered to hire me--as opposed to 16 and 17, when they all tossed my applications in the trash!

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  17. I don't think it would bother me to see a man working at Victoria's Secret, but for a man to wear what that guy in the photo is wearing might be a little disturbing to me.

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    1. Oh yeah...I think that would be a bad sight no matter where you were!

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  18. Well, I guess it makes sense. Who better to tell you what's sexy than a guy. But assisting me in the changing room, no way. It would probably put more men at ease when they go shopping and find a male employee there, to help them out.

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    1. I can't remember the last time an employee bugged me in the fitting room. I always hated that back in the 80s/90s, though. "Are you doing okay in there? Can I bring you any different sizes?" No! It always felt like they were invading your privacy when they did that.

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  19. I don't really shop in malls, so I don't go to Victoria's Secret. I'd think guys would order online though to avoid the awkwardness. ;)

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    1. I would think so, too! We have a VS near where I live that isn't in a mall. It's in one of those fancy lifestyle centers where all the shops are outdoors. I haven't been in there, but it's handy that you don't have to go to a mall to get to one. Malls are kinda going away here, except for the big outlet mall and two malls that are in the rich areas of town.

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  20. If they are comfortable doing it - why not. Though I don't want a man coming to the fitting room to see how I am getting on.

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    1. No way! VS must be where clerks bug you while you're trying things on? I've never tried anything on there.

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  21. Honestly, I don't know how I feel about it. I guess it would depend on the vibe I got from the store clerk. I've had female clerks that made me uneasy so I don't necessarily think it's the gender of the clerk for me.

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  22. when you explain that it was founded by a man for men in a sense...hmm...maybe I am ok with it. I do tend to be a bit of a feminist, but maybe that makes me more fair the other way too.

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    1. True...although when that man sued Hooter's, saying he should be able to work there, that was a little too far across that line. I haven't seen a man walking around in Hooter's short-shorts, so that suit must not have helped.

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  23. I knew a few guys who wanted to be bra fitters but they told them to go away and never come back.

    Seriously though, I've seen one guy there I think. He was very feminine and most likely gay. I've never seen a straight guy work there. I don't see many ugly women work there either. Discrimination takes many forms.

    I've shopped for Daisy alone in there before. Never bras and panties, just lingerie. It's weird the first few times, but you get over it.

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    1. I think men who are in there shopping for their wives have a certain look that puts everyone at ease. They don't spend excessive amounts of time fondling the underwear, mostly. They get in there, grab the items they want to buy, pay, and rush out, bag in hand!

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  24. Oh, is that where that Pink line is? I see the Pink stuff all the time and never knew. I've never shopped in Victoria's Secret. They don't carry my bra size, so I don't bother.

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    1. Yep. Pink is the way they reach out to college women. College women live in those sweatshirts!

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  25. I don't normally shop in Victoria's Secret, but if I did and saw a man offering to help, I would look around wondering if he was from the Ellen Degeneres Show! (lol) Hugs...RO

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  26. I've actually never seen a man in Victoria's Secret, but I have a transgender friend who isn't fully out yet, and I've heard his heartbreaking stories when he hasn't been accepted in a woman's store or department.

    If I hear of a man shopping for women's clothes or wearing them, I have a different take on it, because of my dear friend. It's not a fetish for him - he's a woman in a man's body.

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  27. I don't shop at this store, but as long as the man who is working there is professional and helpful, why not? Women sometimes work in men's clothing stores, so why not a man in a lady's clothing store? Sometimes it is good to have the opinion of a man in some things, so as I mentioned, as long as he is professional, why not?

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  28. Thank God there is someone tall enough to reach those high things I at 5'2 barely, can't reach. Holy lucky me. Frankly I don't care. Employees are employees. He's a guy not an insane alien from outer space trying to steal the underwear I am wearing.

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  29. I have to agree with you that it is a little creepy. It shouldn't be, but it just is.

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  30. It would be a little strange. Well, mainly only if they're trying to help size you, I guess. Otherwise, maybe they'd provide some valuable insight?

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  31. It feels imbalanced and yuckky, kind of nasty.

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  32. I hate having a male wait on me when I'm buying underwear. It's embarrassing.

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  33. I hate clothes shopping so intensely. I can't imagine actually wanting the job.

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  34. I fully believe in equality, so I don't see a problem with it, as long as he's professional about it. Of course, that could be said about anyone working in, well, anywhere.

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  35. Hmm, well, guys work in lots of stores that sell "women's" stuff, in addition to other things - think any department store, or grocery store, or pharmacy, etc... so it shouldn't be an issue, yes? If a guy can ring up your purchase of underwear at Target, or restock the tampons in the grocery store, why not work at a VS? As long as you can be professional and do the job, sounds fine to me.

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  36. Well, it shouldn't be creepy, but it is kind of awkward. This from a woman who is embarrassed to put feminine hygiene products on the counter when the clerk is a teenage boy ...

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  37. I say no! I don't like the idea that he could be in the fitting room areas. NO. just no.

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  38. The most bored person in that picture outside the Victoria's Secrets is a young woman. Or perhaps she's waiting for a bus?

    I don't even like going into the romance section of a used bookstore, looking for the out-of-place urban fantasy.

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  39. It's strange that females want to do mechanics., work on building sites. Do what men do. But why oh why is it that men don't work in female lingerie shops I think it's sexism at its best. Men need to work does it matter were they work but do think that all people who work at Victoria Secrets. Ann summers should have a CRB background check male or female. I

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