School dress codes have always been designed in a way that sexualizes young girls, yet the girls are the ones that are punished for the supposed dress code violations that result from someone objectifying them.
Lizzy Martinez, a student at Braden River High School, was forced to cover her nipples with Bandaids when she was pulled out of class for not wearing a bra under her shirt. It was seen as a distraction to the other students for her to be in class without a bra on because a boy was laughing at her and a teacher was uncomfortable. Last time I checked, it is nobody’s business whether Martinez or any other woman wears a bra or not, so why were they staring at her for so long? She did not ask the boy or the teacher to oogle at her breasts. All she did was decide to go to school without a bra on because she probably wanted to feel more comfortable. Yes, shocking I know, not all women see bras as the most enjoyable thing to wear.
It is ridiculous that the boy that was staring at Martinez’ nipples was not punished or spoken to for sexualizing her. Why does it matter if you could see her nipples when most of the time everyone can see a man’s nipples through the shirt they are wearing. It is only an issue because a woman’s nipples and breasts are associated with sex despite just being body parts that everyone has. Allowing Martinez’ classmate to get away with objectifying and embarrassing her in front of their classmates further teaches boys that that kind of behavior is acceptable. It is especially pathetic that Martinez’ teacher was incapable of keeping his eyes off of her breasts because teachers are supposed to model for their students how they should act as adults.
One of the most outrageous parts of the entire story is that school officials had Martinez put on a second shirt and then jump around to see how much her breasts moved to prove that it was distracting for her to not be wearing a bra. Having a group of adults stand around a young girl and watch her chest to see if her breasts jiggle is sexual harassment. There is no reason for Martinez to have been targeted by her school for not wearing a bra because if a boy had worn the same shirt as her and had his nipples showing, everyone would have continued on with their day. Seeing a woman’s nipples is only an “issue” because of how our society sexualizes women.
Martinez was the victim in this situation. She did nothing wrong by going to school without a bra on because it is ridiculous that girls are expected to wear bras in the first place because boys have never had that same rule applied to them. Her teacher and school officials believed that shaming her over her nipples was more important than her education, and I hope that they are punished for their actions. They are the ones with the problem if all they can think about when seeing a young girl’s nipples is that it will be hard for students and teachers to focus because of the sex appeal.
Sexualizing young girls is disgusting and I am glad to hear that Martinez has been receiving support from her classmates. She is currently planning a protest to fight back against the school’s sexist dress code policy.