I will never forget the day where I was pulled out of class by my dean because my male teacher had decided that my shorts were too short. He later told me, “I don’t know how your parents let you out of the house looking like that.”
In my own high school that promotes individuality, creativity, and self-reflection, I am not allowed to show my shoulders. Not only does my shirt need to be at least three fingers in width, but my shorts must reach my fingertips and my stomach must not show at all.
Teachers pretend to tell us that this is a way of practicing modesty and mimicking professionalism in the workplace. But what has been a common thread since girls starting wearing bras and wanting to look “cute” is the notion that boys are being distracted.
Meetings on dress code consist of teachers holding up clothes that girls cannot wear and ignoring the boys. Teachers defend this by claiming boys already know how to dress.
I have come to severely question why a girls a body and the way she chooses to express herself is her problem, rather than the boy who can’t keep his eyes on the board because the bra strap in front of him is simply too distracting.
Indystar notes some critics say, “it’s the girls’ fault when boys can’t pay attention in math. It’s the girls who are taken out of class to change their clothes.” This reality has played a role in not only my life but the lives of most of the women in my community. And it needs to stop.
The solution starts with educating our boys, rather than identifying our girls as the perpetrators. This includes allowing and enforcing girls to dress in what makes them feel comfortable, beautiful, and true to themselves, with no intention of sexualizing their body’s. Moreover, assuming male student’s, in reality, are truly distracted in math class by a girls shoulder, they are the ones who need to be taught how to control themselves, rather than adding to the list of ways women are giving up their rights in order to make the male community a little more comfortable.
I am tired of wearing shorts that are uncomfortable and wearing a sweater in Los Angeles’s scorching summer weather. A teenager in Oregon also is, reminding her school that 100% of those being dress coded, are female.
A dress code that demeans women’s body’s needs to end. A dress code that prohibits women from dressing comfortably needs to end. A dress Code that blames women for boys being distracted needs to end.
The year is 2018. Let’s start acting like it by letting and supporting women wearing what they want to wear.