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Oppressed By Dress

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    While dress codes are made to make students feel more comfortable in their learning environment, it silently targets and distresses girls. Making them feel uncomfortable and objectified. A topic overlook by many has impacted schools worldwide. “Why are we teaching guys that it’s okay to blame girls for their lack of self control (HUFFPOST)” In 1969 high school students wore black armbands to school, planning to protest the Vietnam war. The court decided to establish the law that students were limited to their freedom of expression. Amendment 1- “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  The first amendment is supposed to guarantee our right to freedom of speech and expression which they dress code violates.  The dress code should be less strict because it takes the focus off of learning and wrongly targets girls bodies, also it advocates victim blaming, and treating girls like objects, despite the fact that girls can become a distraction to boys, and the learning environment.

    To begin with, the dress code wrongly targets girls, and their bodies. Most dress codes ban clothes, and garments that are specifically worn by girls; such as, shirts with bare backs, single strapped shirts, strapless tops, short skirts, and leggings. Therefore, dress code policies can be sexist and discriminatory, send a negative message about girls bodies to guys. Also, in dress codes there are more rules about how clothing should be worn for girls than guys. The dress code should code should focus on all “inappropriate clothing and not just girls, “A good policy applies to everyone; there are no gender-specific rules, no double standards (Ejin Jeong).”

    Another reason the dress code should be less strict is because the reason behind things clothes being banned. That being because they don’t want someone to “distract from the instructional procedures and/or safety of the school”. However a girl sitting in a classroom with a rip above her knees, will only distract unmannered people. Administrators then blame girls for misfortunes such as being sexually harassed. A phrase called ‘victim blaming’ means “when the victim of a wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them. By even stating “Your rips were above your knee” puts some amount of blame on the victim. Pattonville Heights Middle School student Matthew Kliethermes said it best, “Teach your horny little boys to not be horny.” In reality if students were taught to respect others and not see other people as objects; there would be less sexual harassment.

    Furthermore, some dress codes see girls as objects. Even a bare shoulder can be seen as a distraction that boys can’t be expected to endure. A school in Washington worried many parents, because they thought message the dress code sends to girls is: Your body is a problem. Don’t distract the boys. Many anaganist of strict dress codes think ‘You’re in charge of your body. You get to wear what’s comfortable. What’s comfortable doesn’t have to be connected to any sexual impact.’ And also, “Dress codes are a stand-in for all the ways girls feel objectified, sexualized, unheard, treated as second-class citizens by adults in authority.”

    Protagonist of strict dress code would say girls should watch what they wear because they will distract boys, and the learning environment. If a girl is wearing clothing violated by the dress code, people can get distracted. School should be a safe place to learn and not be distracted because of a girls provocative clothing. While that is true “we need to stop supporting rape culture by objectifying girls.” A girl getting pulled out of class because he jeans are ripped above the knee, and is distracting emphasizes that the guys education is more important than hers. Since school is a place to learn and prepare for the future, instead of teaching girls to cover there body because of males; schools should teach guys to respect girls and not ​make​ their bodies a distraction. The dress code teaches guys that if a girls is not covered up she is a slut, hoe, or easy target for sexual harassment.

    All things considered, the dress code should be less strict hence the fact that it takes the focus off of learning and wrongly targets girls bodies, also it advocates treating girls like objects. It is sexist and discriminatory, aiming to degender girls bodies. It also promotes treating girls like sex objects, or just distractions. And overall the dress code shames girls bodies sending a negative message to guys. “We shouldn’t be sexualizing girls at such a young age. We shouldn’t be shaming girls for having female bodies. We should be teaching boys to respect girls, Not teaching girls that their clothes make them targets.”

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    Oppressed By Dress. (2022, Jan 03). Retrieved from

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