Dress Code is Sexist

Some rules are so old that we never seem to notice just how absurd they really are. We have lived under an outdated clothing policy for too long, and I think we need to redress the dress code.

When reading the dress code in the agenda book, many of the guidelines are reasonable, such as, “Clothing or accessories bearing drawings or sayings which refer to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, obscenities, violence, Satanism, or sex will not be permitted.” But there are other rules mentioned in the handbook which do not sound right. The book states that “Rips, tears, or holes in clothing that are considered distracting or offensive, even though no skin is visible, may be a violation.” That rule is definitely up for interpretation.

The trouble with the dress code stems from two major problems. One faculty member may find a student’s clothing offensive when another faculty member may not, leaving students in an awkward position of knowing what they can and cannot wear. The second is that the dress code is slanted against girls. Most of the dress code talks about items like lingerie, shoulder straps, skirts and skin exposure, which are things girls have to consider way more than boys.

I know for certain that if a guy shows his shoulders, no one cares. Whereas for girls, showing too much shoulder or leg becomes sexualized when it just does not have to be. A common argument in favor of the dress code is that too much skin exposure is distracting. I think the perspective needs to be flipped. It should not be the girls’ obligation to cover more skin; it should be everyone’s responsibility not to get distracted.

The fact of the matter is that we do not have much freedom, so when it comes to dress codes, what is wrong with showing some shoulder when we want to. The goal of school is not to shelter us from what is inappropriate, but to prepare us for the wild world of adulthood.

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