A university in Belgium is under fire after female graduates were sent a message asking them to wear low-cut tops to their graduation ceremony. The university has publicly apologized.
The Free University of Brussels is receiving large amounts of criticism after the class of 2017 female graduates were sent an email asking them to wear low cut tops to the graduation ceremony.
“From an aesthetic point of view it is better for young women to wear a dress or skirt, and a nice revealing neckline,” the email said. “Of course, ladies, this advice is not obligatory.” The male graduates were told to wear suits. According to Marco Schetgen, the medical faculty dean, it was a woman wrote the email, since no employees at the secretariat were men.
Regardless or not of its obligatory nature or who wrote it, this sparked an outrage on social media.
The Outcry on Social Media
A screenshot of the email was posted on the Facebook page called “ULB Confessions,” a page that usually posts funny memes and jokes. Hundreds responded to the post in an outrage. One student wrote:
“No one has the right to tell you how you should feel in your skin. Nobody has the right to tell you how to dress. No one has the right to tell you how to play your role as a woman. No one has the right to take away this freedom that has been (and is still being) obtained with such difficulty.”
The University’s Apology
The university has since issued a Twitter and Facebook statement to apologize for the email. The email said that it apologized on the behalf of the medical faculty and to all students who received the email. It said the advice was inappropriate and was against all values the university stands for.