How many times have you been dress coded? I remember being dress coded as young as 11 years old. Yes. You heard that right. All because my fingertips barely passed my shorts. This always confused me because the ONLY time one of my male peers were dress coded was because of the color of their clothing, not from showing their shoulders.
I’m not alone on this. I asked a fellow student at Chavez, “Do you think schools are more lenient towards males when it comes to school dress code?”
“Yea. Most of the stuff we wear never has foul language or anything inappropriate yet we get Dress Coded all the time, but guys can get away with wearing basically anything,” Monique Hrenko, Sophomore.
Do you think the school dress code sexualizes young girls? “Yes I do, because why does it bother a grown man that a young girl is wearing something revealing? Even if she is, that says more about the way he thinks,” Monique Hrenko, Sophomore.
The school’s defense often shows up as the following: “We don’t want any DISTRACTIONS.”
Distractions. In other words, “We don’t want the girls to dress ‘slutty’ because it will distract their male peers and school staff.” Is how people look at us really OUR problem? Let me rephrase that. How about instead of controlling the way young ladies dress, you teach these “distracted” individuals to not look at us as objects.
I am genuinely sorry that my shoulders are causing my peers to fail in school. I now know that it’s definitely not because they never study, do their classwork or homework, or take school seriously. No. Let’s just blame the small portion of my stomach that shows in my crop top as the reason that half the school are putting up Ds and Fs.
By taking away our right to dress the way we want, you’re taking away our individuality. Most importantly, you are teaching young men and women at a young age that if we show just the slightest of skin, we should be punished, shamed, or “dress coded.” I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve been harassed, insulted, followed, or catcalled because of the way I dress, do my makeup, or the way my hair is done. That is NOT okay. It all stems from us being taught early on that, that behavior is acceptable.
If I’m being honest, the creepy perverted one sided views of the idea of dress coding don’t intimidate me. I wear what I want, when I want, where I want. No amount of ‘dress codes’ or pink slips has or ever will stop me. Don’t put the blame on the young ladies, put it on the schools for sexualizing every single thing that a female wears.