Dresscode Double-Standards — OPINION

The school dress code perpetuates unfair standards, targeting young girls.


AHS Handbook

The section of the school handbook dedicated to the dress code says, “The dress code, along with code of conduct is solely to avoid having the center of attention diverted from the primary aim of the school–namely, education.”

Alexis Peterson, Staff Writer

Since the beginning of civilization, men have dominated the world in any and all industries. It had always been a man’s world, and in some ways, it still is. One issue that plagues our society to this day is the victim-blaming of women, forcing them to accommodate for their male counterparts. More specifically, school dress codes in schools that are one-sided against young girls. 

The dress code in most schools is simple. No “spaghetti straps,” no midriff, no cleavage, no short-shorts, no short skirts. To anyone, these clothes seem like normal parts of everyday dress, clothes you’d see any teenage girl wearing around town. But in a school setting, a minor is hypersexualized to the point where these normal clothes are considered too promiscuous and inappropriate. 

I personally was dress-coded and pulled out of class as an 11-year-old, a 6th grader, because of a little cleavage that I didn’t care to notice. It’s a serious issue to be sexualizing an 11-year-old girl like that. At the same time, I have also personally seen guys in gym class wearing cut-offs with their chests easily seen through the sides, and they were never taken out of class to change. If I, as a 6th grader, can be dress-coded for a shirt that goes a little low, but a high school boy can’t be for having his entire chest exposed, then there is something one-sided going on here.

The excuse that they often give is that guys will get distracted in class and would be unable to control themselves, keeping them from being able to work. The flaw in that is, as a girl who is also attracted to girls, I am never distracted and unable to work because of other girls wearing “revealing” clothes. I have also never known of a situation where a guy reports a girl because he is distracted by her shoulders or midriff; it has always only ever been teachers that report students for what they wear. So clearly, it’s not an issue with boys being distracted, and instead, an issue with what teachers deem inappropriate and provocative for a young girl to be wearing. This is once again an issue with the hypersexualization of minors.

What’s more important? Keeping a perfect learning environment accommodated to guys and throwing out any “distractions,” even if it would prevent young girls from having the opportunity to learn? Or just letting these young women learn without being pulled out of class for the sake of these young boys?