Dress Code Isn't Just About Dress Length
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Dress Code Isn't Just About Dress Length

How long will the American education system oppress women?

31
Dress Code Isn't Just About Dress Length

Two boys sit behind me in class, their chairs tilted back, laughing at something on the screens of their phones. Neither of them are paying attention to the teacher in front of the room telling us about the Gettysburg Address. I take notes, trying to ignore the outbursts of giggles behind me.

The phone rings, and the teacher tells me that I am being sent to the principal’s office. When I arrive, the male principal tells me that the straps of my tank top are a distraction to others’ (read: male) education. I am then dismissed to change into the sweaty t-shirt and shorts that I wore in gym class for the rest of the day. By taking me out of class, the principal was telling me that my education was less important than that of the boys behind me who weren’t paying attention. That the skin on my shoulders is more important than academics.

This is a situation that far too many young women have been put into in their high school years. For as long as dress codes have been implemented, male education has been prioritized over women’s. Dress codes often unfairly target women, listing rules such as no shorts shorter than your fingertips, no spaghetti straps, no shirts that reveal more than one credit card’s length of chest, no leggings or yoga pants, and the list goes on.

At that point, what can girls wear to school?

These dress codes enforce the idea that women’s bodies are inherently sexual and are objects for men to look at. Oftentimes, dress codes can also enforce gender norms. Many times when people wear clothes that are not typically associated with their assigned gender, those people get punished. This oppresses a person’s right to express themselves in any manner they choose to, a right every individual should be awarded.

High schools should be a place of learning, not a place where people feel scrutinized and judged. It is especially cruel to expect women to wear long sleeves and long pants in the warmer Spring and Summer months, while men are just not held to the same level of scrutiny.

This is a time in fashion where women are taught to embrace their bodies and be proud of who they are, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to buy clothing that fit the criteria of strict dress codes.

What does it say about the educational system that it teaches girls to avoid clothing that might incite sexual harassment and unwanted male attention instead of teaching people to respect each other? This educates males from a young age to object females, instead of teaching equality. Allowing misogyny to flourish in high schools only leads to rape culture in college, and further problems down the road.

Sexism is taught from a young age, it is not in our biology. Only by changing the rules that enforce prejudices will equality be obtained.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

74149
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

135012
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments