Re: men get told every day to conform
I can't remember the last time I was told that the only acceptable wear came from Savile Row, but if it takes you more than a week to earn enough to pay for a few decent shirts, shoes and a baseline Hugo Boss, you should consider another career. Men's business clothes are actually rather better and cheaper than the ones available to women.
Let's summarise the truth about this. Depending on how good they are at their jobs and how essential those jobs are, people get told to conform. If you're a world class brain surgeon, the 6th former who is about to get a Cambridge scholarship, or a kick-ass database miner, nobody much cares what you do if it's legal. If you are a replaceable customer support drone, expect to be ordered about.
But within that spectrum, until very recently (and then only in some industries) women have had a much more raw deal than men. Anybody who has worked in companies for a number of years and kept their eyes open is well aware of it. Some of the worst sexism has come from the Trade Unions, and some more of it has come from women in supervisory positions themselves. And some of it comes from male managements. But it is additional to the pecking order. Put simply, women have to be significantly better than men to get the same status in their jobs, and this is unfair. Not as unfair as Apartheid South Africa where black Africans were simply not allowed to do higher status jobs, but unfair.
The numbers show this; in most jobs that do not prioritise strength, women earn less than men. Historically we could point to the failure of the Nobel committee to award a prize to Lise Meitner (I'm a bit proud that the Royal Society did their best to redress this injustice) and to Jo Bell-Burnell, just two very visible instances. We could ask why, as computer programming became a higher status job, the percentage of women involved in it shrank. We could also perhaps ask why, in relatively egalitarian Germany, someone like Frau Doktor Merkel can become Bundeskanzler, while in this country the only women who seem to reach the top in politics seem to be loud male substitutes lie Thatcher.
What we can't do, despite your effort, is to avoid the fact that this is a general social problem, not simply an individual one.