Boys Are Protesting Sexism With Off-The-Shoulder Tops

Boys Are Protesting Sexism With Off-The-Shoulder Tops

Bare shoulders, bare truths.
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Whether it’s a plaid uniform or a ban on open-toed shoes, dress codes have always existed to ensure some abstractly defined “order” amongst students. Making sleeveless tops impermissible is not unpopular, albeit arguably most questionable. The controversy over shoulders is age-old; how did this particular body part become so taboo?

Researching the question in any phrasing proves futile. While complaints against shoulders being a “distraction” occur in the thousands, explanations as to why are sparse, if there at all. There are religious reasons that I have no right to contest, but those aside, most attest to what they know to be fact: sexism is manifested in dress codes.

From senators being banned from wearing sleeveless tops to female tennis players being banned from wearing leggings, the implications are endless. Recently revealed regulations at San Benito High School in Hollister, California seemingly add to the list. On their first day, dozens of girls wore off-the-shoulder tops, and at least 50 of them were sent to the office for doing so. Students were further banned from exposing their shoulders in photos on picture day. The restriction came as a surprise; according to students, the dress code had never been so harshly enforced before. Male students arriving in their own off-the-shoulder tops to protest were an unexpected, but more-than-appropriate response.

One student, Andrei Vladimirov, commented “Not being able to wear a certain type of shirt may seem like a minor problem to some people, but it is representative of something much larger in society — the fact that women are still, today, being subjected to the dominance of male ideology.”

While the boys are hailed for showing solidarity so openly and with such adamance, Andrei clarifies that “A lot of people want to emphasize the male students' part in this protest, which I respect, but the purpose of this whole thing was to protest sexism against female students."

Unsurprisingly, administration has denied claims of the outfit regulations arising from sexism. Principal Adrian Ramirez claims “Students are saying that they were hearing that the reason [strapless and off-the-shoulder shirts] are not allowed is that it distracted the boys and that’s definitely not it at all. And they felt offended by that, and I completely agree that, if that was our stance, I would be offended too. Part of my job is to clarify the why behind the dress code. Whether you are a male or female student, it’s your own responsibility not to be distracted, regardless of your gender.”

In defense of the dress codes, Ramirez further explained “Our first goal is to prevent the possibility of any student from being a victim of any incident where they could intentionally or unintentionally be humiliated. These are clearly rare incidents, and our goal is to ensure every student is responsible to conduct themselves appropriately...Our second goal is to ensure we set expectations within our dress code that begin to prepare our students to seek and maintain employment, interview for a scholarship or pursue their career goals after high school.”

His refrain from detailing the “humiliating” incidents that he thinks students are subject to allude to the very sexism he denies. How does clothing affect how responsibly students conduct themselves? Moreover, as stated, colleges generally do not enforce dress codes, and students still maintain the ability to attain employment, receive scholarships, and pursue their career goals.

Vladimirov puts it best: “Women deserve to be treated with the utmost respect, and this entails being able to dress as one pleases. Women should be able to wear what they want without being systemically objectified — treated as if they have no personal sovereignty."

Rights to respect should not lie in our shoulders.

Cover Image Credit: J / Twitter

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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3 Things i learned at pride in NYC

The people, the flags, and the glitter are even more magical in person.

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On Sunday, June 24th, my girlfriend, my best friend and I, all hopped on a train to the World Trade Center in New York City. After a short subway ride, we arrived at 16th Street, where the parade festivities began. Dressed in our decked out rainbow attire, we entered a vibrant crowd of flag wielding, self-loving having, beautiful people. Pride is something the LGBTQIA+ community knows how to celebrate well. Lesbihonest, I think its safe to say that the LGBTQ+ community essentially created loving yourself, along with embracing those around you, whether you know them or not. While at Pride, I learned a few things about myself, about how to love others, and what it means to be apart of a community.

1. Love thy neighbor

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Because pride is such an important event to the LGBTQIA+ community, the number of people that attend each year is increasing by the thousands. There were an expected 48,000 people this year and when you're amerced in such a large crowd keeping your cool is super important. I learned that in most cases, giving love will result in receiving it, especially in 84-degree weather. So when I was making my way through energetic crowds, I used my p's and q's and was met with the same energy from strangers.

2. At pride, the dress code is no dress code

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If you're in the mood to wear your birthday suit, glitter, or witty t-shirt and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community as a member or as an ally, pride is the place to be! The extravagant outfits and expression of self-pride through clothes and even lack of clothes made me feel extremely comfortable in my own outfit. I think we all have had our share of being uncomfortable in our skin or clothes, but being around thousands of people dressed in whatever made them most comfortable that day was a beautiful experience.

3. Pride is not solely about the LGBTIA+ community

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Heritage of Pride, the nonprofit organization that organizes New York City's LGBT pride events each year, strives to work towards creating a future that consists of equal rights for all under the law. The march is an annual civil rights demonstration that brings awareness to the fight against aids, the Black Lives Matter movement and memorializes those who have lost their lives to illness, violence and neglect. This year over 450 different organizations participated in the march and about 110 floats were shown, each float bringing awareness to different organizations.

As an Afro-Latina, lesbian, I felt very represented and extremely grateful to participate in a civil rights event such as pride. The opportunity to educate myself and even feel more comfortable in my own skin, and enjoy myself with the people I love most, is something I will truly cherish. Hopefully, my experiences and knowledge will expand next year at the 2019 NYC pride!

Cover Image Credit:

Em Goss

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