Brussels Ban on Bavarian Bosoms

A dirndl is a traditional costume worn by women in Bavaria and Austria. It is characterised by a generally rather revealing décolleté and consists of a dress and apron with a tight, low-cut top whose figure enhancing effect is accentuated by a short white blouse. Bavarian barmaids typically dress in dirndls. However, under the European Union’s Optical Radiation Directive, which is to be voted in the European Parliament next month, employers face heavy fines if they fail to protect their employees against the risk of sunburn.

When it dawned on the Bavarians earlier this week that the directive would entail that their dirndl-dressed barmaids cover up their bosoms when serving drinks outside, there were fierce protests against the EU. “This is European law-making at its most pedantic,” said Munich’s lord mayor, Christian Ude. The organisers of the world’s biggest beer festival, the Munich Oktoberfest, called the proposed ban “an attack on the traditions of [their] region.” The spokesman of the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Union said “the dirndl is a part of Bavarian culture and enjoyment of life. I have consulted many waitresses and none of them have told me that sunburn in the décolleté area has ever been a problem.”

Paul-Joachim Kubosch, the Bavarian EU representative in Brussels, declared yesterday that Bavarians need not worry.  In his opinion the EU directive will not ban revealing bosoms because it is only aimed at “hazardous professions” where employees are exposed to sunburn. “The waitresses in the Munich biergardens do not belong to this category,” he said. Construction workers, however, do.

Earlier, Britian opted out of signing the Optical Radiation Directive because it feared that the directive would outlaw bare-chested British builders. According to London it is up to employees and employers to use their common sense to guard against the sun. Germany, however, did not opt out. Kubosch’s explanation has alarmed Bavarian construction workers. Heinrich Traublinger, the president of the federation of Upper-Bavarian construction companies, called the proposed directive, “a new proof that the Brussels bureaucrats are totally out of touch with reality.” “Such a stupid idea can only originate in rain-drenched Brussels,” he said.  Traiblinger has written an urgent letter to the Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber asking him to try to stop the “ridiculous directive.”

The Lure of Sex Stories

This story is a test of intelligence, and if you believe it, you've just flunked the test.

If you look up the text of the proposed Directive, you'll see that it concerns worker safety. You can argue if décolleté sunburn is a problem for barmaids or not, but bare-chested builders get sunburned. But that's not the story.

Walk onto a building site and everyone wears - or should wear - a helmet and steel-toed shoes - paid for by the boss. When the Optical Radiation Directive comes into force the boss also has to pay for a solution for sunburn on sunny days. He can choose to keep his workers safe by giving them the day off (fat chance) or ... The logical solution to comply with the Directive seems to me : give everybody enough heavy duty sun tan lotion, and let the boss see to it that everybody lathers up - just as he is now responsible for helmets, shoes, ...

There is a nasty word hiding in the bushes - skin cancer.

So this story is really about who pays for the care of skin cancer patients. The aim of the Directive is to make bosses pay during employment of workers to prevent them getting skin cancer. The alternative is for everyone else to pay taxes for sick leave and care of workers or former workers who develop skin cancer.

Of course, the easiest way for the bosses to ensure that they don't pay is to get everyone to believe some silly story. And if they're lucky the story has sex in it, so it spreads like wildfire.

So, if the barmaid has a problem, the bartender has to pay for sun tan lotion. There will be no shortage of volunteers to help apply the lotion.


The bottom line is who pays, so what you are saying is that the consumer pays, as the extra costs - and in these lines of work most employees are casual - must be carried by the employer. Unless you are either willfully ignorant or stupid you are aware of the dangers of over exposure to sunlight (why cannot the EU use language people will understand - why optical radiation?) So?
Why do you not take responsibility for your own pomegranate shoulders or enbonpoint if you must. The idea of somebody going along to the ECHR or the ECJ and taking some construction firm to the cleaners because a few years earlier you let your arse crack get a bit heated. Madness.
Intelligence failure - don't make me laugh.


Is this to prepare us for the obligation of the scarf for all female employees?

Cover up

I have consulted many waitresses and none of them have told me that sunburn in the décolleté area has ever been a problem

I hope there is no institutional boobism which gives unfair advantages to barmaids with big ones. That would be something for the Eurocrats to get their teeth into.

Bob Doney


I thought they were only debating the price of Brussels sprouts in the European commission.