BuzzFeed recently uploaded a video called "I Dressed According To High School Dress Codes For A Week." In the video, a woman chose dress codes from 8 various public high schools in the U.S. to abide by to see if they are really as ridiculous as they seem. Spoiler alert: they were. Although a few were fairly reasonable, as the week went on the dress codes became more and more irrational and unclear.
The woman in this video makes a very good point: that boys often don't have unreasonable dress codes, and more importantly, that no one would take a female student seriously if she said what a male student was wearing was distracting herself from her education. If a female student were to go to a faculty member at one of these schools and say that a male student's clothes were distracting, you can bet that no action will be taken. Women and girls are so sexualized that they have to wear long pants in extreme heat, while boys can wear their "normal" clothes like shorts in hot weather.
I was lucky enough to go to a high school that didn't have any unrealistic dress codes, so it is not to say that every school treats their students like this. However; not only are some codes over the top, the video also said they take away dignity. Not being able to look put-together because of the dress code will have a huge impact on students' self-esteem. Sure, students could buy clothes they feel good in, but it is increasingly difficult when stores mostly carry clothes that follow trends that don't adhere to a specific school's dress code. Also, it's important to remember that many students do not have the resources to buy new clothes to fit a dress code.
A common criticism of dress codes that prohibit girls' shoulders being exposed is that why are shoulders so distracting? This is a rule that is way past not being allowed to show too much cleavage; it is degrading to girls that they are valued so little that they are not even allowed to wear tank tops to be comfortable.
What is the most bothersome about this controversial issue is that girls are being treated poorly for something they cannot control, which shows how much more males' educations are valued. No one acknowledges that being uncomfortable due to dress codes can be distracting to girls, which again goes to show how little females' educations are valued.
If males were being taught to respect their female peers, there would be no problem. But instead, girls are forced to cover up because people refuse to teach boys not to view girls as sexual objects. Our society puts women at fault for so many actions of men, are girls are taught that they don't matter as much as boys at an extremely young age when this shouldn't be a lesson at all.