When I see someone in a suit I don't automatically think "power" or "respect", nor do I see someone not in a suit and think "weak" or "disrespect". I give them both the same about of respect as I would any human being or intelligent species. The suit might mean more money, but then I also have the 'problem' that I don't equate money to power. Just because someone has more money doesn't mean they should get more respect or whatever than any other human/etc.
So why is it that society equals "professionalism" to respect?
I think what it means to be respectful, and thus professional, has gotten mixed up with the suit and not the act. We put on a suit and all of a sudden we're respected, rather than by how we act. Someone in a suit can be just as disrepectful as someone out of the suit.
I also think this is how we end up with companies going downhill, sexual harrassment issues in the workplace, and so on. Not just because they're higher in the command chain than you, but because we somehow think the suit makes them right so we are unsure if we're right anymore.
On another note, things have been so busy lately, and you all have been so responsive, that I've gotten behind on responses. That's something I'm going to tackle this weekend so expect to get a flurry of responses starting tomorrow.