Don't Teach Girls How To Dress, Teach People How To Show Respect
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Don't Teach Girls How To Dress, Teach People How To Show Respect

Clothing is not a reason for judgement.

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Don't Teach Girls How To Dress, Teach People How To Show Respect
Coppola Studios

Growing up in a small community meant you knew everyone and everyone knew you. Everyone was assumed to have been raised to show a certain level of respect toward people, and it would be carried out throughout a lifetime. Sadly, things such as cat calling is a thing that has become normal in this day in age, and that is not okay. Slut shaming has also become all the rage when a girl has sex with someone she is not dating, and that is not okay either. We, as women, are taught to hide ourselves because the way we dress could give boys a reason to cat call us on the street, or the "decision" on whether or not we are a "slut". Society is so stuck on using stereotypes that it is starting to effect dress codes everywhere.

Growing up, girls were not allowed to wear shorts to school until a certain date in the spring. Our shorts had to go all the way to our knees. We weren't allowed to show our shoulders because it would distract the boys from their learning atmosphere. When in turn, the young girls are the ones who ultimately suffer. I'm sorry, but if a boy gets distracted by a shoulder, than there is something wrong. What could a boy be possibly thinking? "Oh my gosh look at her shoulder! It is sooo white."?

We were also not allowed to wear razor back shirts because it might show a bra strap, or a boy might get a glimpse at my shoulder bone. Instead of trying to teach girls how to cover their bodies, society needs to teach males how to respect woman. How is it okay for a guy to walk around shirtless, but the minute a girl wears a crop top, she's considered a slut, or she's showing too much skin? These excuses and underlying sexist ideologies about "proper" apparel are some of the main attributions toward victim-blaming rape victims. Not to mention, they also contribute toward our rape-prone society in general. Thoughts such as, "The way she was dressed...she was asking for it." are outlandish. No girl is asking to be raped, or sexually assaulted. No girl enjoys being whistled at while trying to get to and from work.

Here is a further look into the my old high school's dress code:

"While fashion changes, the reasons for being in school do not. Students are in school to learn. Any fashion (dress, accessory, or hairstyle) that disrupts the educational process or presents a safety risk will not be permitted. Personal expression is permitted within these general guidelines. Students should consider the following questions when dressing for school: Does my clothing meet the school dress code? (no) Does my clothing expose too much skin? (no) Is my underwear showing? (no) Does my clothing advertise something that is prohibited to minors? (no) Are there obscene, profane, drug-related, gang-related or inflammatory messages on my clothing? (no) Would I interview for a job in this outfit? (yes) Am I dressed appropriately for the weather? (yes) Do I feel comfortable with my appearance? (yes) If a student has selected a manner of appearance that is beyond mere freedom of expression and disrupts the educational process or presents a risk to themselves or others, they will be asked to change clothes, and may be removed from the educational setting.
The following styles or manners of dress are prohibited: Hats or head coverings, e.g. caps, hoods, bandannas, scarves, etc. Tank tops (defined as a shirt with shoulder width of less than three inches). This includes camisole tops or any narrow strapped top. Halter-tops or any top that shows the midriff, back, or parts below the armpits. This includes racer-back style tanks. Necklines of tops must be modest and not revealing cleavage. Shorts/skirts that do not reach an ID card length (3.5”) above the knee. Jackets, shirts, or tops worn over stretch pants or hose that do not extend beyond the ID card length (3.5”) above the knee. Stretch lycra, spandex or nylon tights, leotards, biker pants, or underwear worn as outer garments. No skin may be exposed if wearing pants with holes above the required ID card (3.5”) above the knee. Shirts that do not hang two inches below the waist."

It is sad to say, but finding a flattering pair of shorts that reach 3.5" above the knee, is nearly impossible. (And yes, I know this for a fact, because I am required to wear this for work and I have to wear pants because I could not find any.) Stretch pants (aka yoga pants) are not allowed because they're too tight. The volleyball team is also not allowed to wear spandex because it is "too distracting for the crowd." Your beliefs are your beliefs, and if you do not want your child to wear spandex in public, that is up to you as a parent, not the school.

The school should not have the right to set a rule on an entire group of people. Spandex is widely known as apparel for volleyball players, and no, none of those athletes are asking to be sexualized because of it. It seems as if every school has implemented an anti-bullying movement that advocates for students to "be who they are", "because everyone is unique", yet rules are put in place that deter young girls from being who they are, because boys may not be able to focus.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that girls should be allowed to wear shorts to school that let their ass hangout, but that does not mean should make ridiculous rules about dressing. There has to be a happy medium that appeases both genders. Girls are told to avoid tight clothing because it will distract a boy. Girls are told to never wear short skirts or crop tops, because you will get called a slut. Instead of teaching girls what to wear, start teaching kids how to show respect, and to not judge others. A crop top is not a form of "asking for" sexual assault or rape. A razor back shirt should not stop a boy from learning, as much as a crop top should not define a girl as a slut.

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