Early Sunday morning I was scrolling through my Twitter and kept seeing a Twitter war being retweeted by my friends. At first I didn't click on it, then I eventually saw it 20 times and thought to myself, yep I better click on this. Shannon Watts, is a founder of Mom's Demand Action, and observed an airline agent not allowing two girls on board a 7:55am flight, because they were wearing yoga pants.
Apparently, United Airlines is allowed to enforce a dress code, and its up to the gate agents to decide whether the outfits are acceptable or not. However, they don't have a guideline into these rules. I n their rules it states the UA has, "the right to refuse to transport or shall have the right to remove from the aircraft at any point", and under point H.5 of Rule 12, it only says how "Passengers who are barefoot or not properly clothed". No where in these rules does it state what is truly meant by not properly clothed. United responding to Watts, stating that the girls were United pass travelers, flying under employee tickets and therefore were representing the airlines. So anyone under the tickets must adhere to a dress code. Under this dress code, it restricts "revealing outfits that show midriff, underwear or see through, shorts 3 inches above the knee, skirts, spandex, tight dresses or pants, tears and holes, dirty inappropriate graphics or phrases, flip-flops or bare feet." Its very clear that the majority of this code is aimed toward women.
Why is it that a majority of dress codes always focus towards women? How is it fair to call out women on how they should dress? For example, at my school last year, my principal came onto the announcements, and said "Attention all female students.. Go see an outlet over break and get appropriate attire." This as you can probably imagine, infuriated most of my school. I understand fully that there should be a dress code, and that no one should wear provocative attire, but these dress codes are usually highly sexist. Many people state the reason for this is because we become "distractions to the guys trying to learn or even teach.." Bottom line, is guys should control themselves. It is totally not okay to label it as 'biology' when you stare at a girl because you can see a shoulder, leg, etc. And its totally not okay for girls today, to be called out, whether in the halls, announcements, treats, or handbook. And its totally not okay for girls to be blamed for what a guy decides to do. When you make a list of appropriate clothing with 10 bullets for women and 2 for men, that is the initial issue. That is 8 more things sexualized about a women's body and not a mans, and you are telling her to be ashamed of her anatomy. Women are in 0 control of the curves they are given. This sort of thing happens everywhere, and its not fair or okay.
No more "boys will be boys". No more "not my problem". Girls being blamed for being raped or for being catcalled is not okay, and its all of our problems. We must team up to help put an end to this type of attitude. If you see it happen, speak up. If you see someone say that it is a girls fault, inform them of the respect that they need to gain for everyone. No more of the "not my problem" excuse, because it is your problem. These are your sisters, mothers, friends, cousins, aunts, or even yourselves, and its not right to just stand by and watch.
When you interrupt a girls school day, to force her to change clothes or to send her home because her shorts are too short for your standards, or her bra strap is showing, you are telling her that her body is more important than her education. You are telling her that making sure the boys have a "distraction-free" learning environment is more important than her education. You are telling her that boys are more entitled to and education than she is.
"You see us how you want to see us"
So ladies, pick up clothes that you feel confident and beautiful in, and don't worry whether they will make guys unable to control themselves. For if they can't control themselves around you, they need some sexual education and therapy. Be bold, be confident, be you.