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The Dress Code is Sexist

Lucy Minich

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Have you ever been dress coded at school? If you are female, you’re probably more likely to say yes than if you are male.

In my opinion, the school dress code is blatantly sexist. The only Gates dress code rules that apply to more than girls are not wearing a hat in the building, not wearing pajama bottoms or slippers, and clothing that references topics inappropriate for school.

Some might claim that the rules applying directly to girls are to keep boys from being “distracted”, but we are 12 to 14 years old. We should not have to worry about boys staring at us and not concentrating on their schoolwork because they can see our shoulders.

Another thing: why shoulders? So many dress code rules involve covering up shoulders, but why are they so distracting? I doubt anyone has ever said, “Wow, look at that girl’s shoulder, it’s extremely distracting.”

It must be hard for male teachers to address female students with the dress code for reasons other than wearing hats, pajamas, or clothes depicting inappropriate topics. If a male teacher cited a female student for any other reason written in the school handbook, it would seem like he is sexualizing her in a school environment, for example if she was showing her shoulders. I understand some standards must be held: no crop tops, nothing too low-cut, et cetera.

If you send a girl home to change her clothes because they could potentially “distract” boys, you are telling her that covering her body and making sure boys have a distraction-free learning environment are more important than her education. In short, you are saying that boys have more right to an education than she does.

 

3 Comments

3 Responses to “The Dress Code is Sexist”

  1. the dress code is rad on November 20th, 2016 11:07 pm

    This entire post is based off of the assumption that the dress code is here to prevent boys from being distracted, which isn’t entirely true. It took me about .5 seconds to figure out that the dress code is actually here because school is a professional environment meant for learning, and not showing off how short your shorts are. If you’re trying to show off and be flashy, go to a fashion show. You actually are distracting people, and to say that you aren’t is simply denying facts.

  2. Jack Sanchez on November 20th, 2016 11:09 pm

    I would like to point out, despite this being a very well written article putting across potentially controversial topic, that there are flaws. There have been studies about shoulders being a part of the body that attracts others despite them not knowing. If you jump back in time as well, during the 80s there was a phase where a main part of fashion was to show off the shoulders. I think it would be great to have to have a boy write an opposing article.

  3. Grace Dwyer on December 7th, 2016 2:07 pm

    I think this article is very well write. In my opinon it is so true. I love the idea the article is basted on. I hope you keep writing storys like this

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The student news site of Gates Intermediate School
The Dress Code is Sexist