Email with suggested dress code from the Brussels Free University’s medicine faculty condemned as sexist
A university in Belgium has apologised after students were sent an email suggesting that women wear low-cut tops to their graduation ceremony.
The Brussels Free University posted the apology on Facebook after the offending email, sent out by the medical faculty, was circulated online.
The email advised that “from an aesthetic point of view, it is preferable if young women wear a dress or a skirt and a nice low neckline.” Male graduates, it said, could wear a suit.
The message came to light after it was posted on the ULB Confessions page on Facebook with the note “a little scandal”.
The post had more than 660 comments ranging from disbelief to anger, with several accusing the university of sexism.
One commenter wrote “Is this a joke? They are graduates of medicine and we’re asking them to show their chest?” one commenter wrote.
Another wrote: “The dress I can understand but the ‘nice cleavage’ you got a Phd, but who cares, shows your nipples.”
As the outrage grew, and the story appeared in the Parisien newspaper, the university posted its “sincerest apologies” to Facebook and Twitter.
“It goes without saying that the instructions related to the clothing of young graduates are contrary to the values of the ULB and this faculty,” it said.