who decided dress code was a good idea?
i pose this question not as someone who “expresses herself through clothing and fashion” but as a teenage girl, free of any dress code violations, who would rather study for my courses over worrying over the width of her tank top. i don’t fall into what most would call inappropriate (i’ve been made fun of for dressing like a teacher), so understand that this doesn’t just come from people who wear short skirts and high heels (which is great for them).
the main reasoning when this whole institution is questioned is that, in school, boys will get distracted with a hard on if they see a bra strap or -gasp- more than two inches between knee and skirt. and, to state the obvious, this is kind of sexist. why should i, an unsuspecting teenage girl, have to dress so the boy sitting behind me can concentrate? and what if i, someone who seems to have a new crush every week yet never does anything about it, am turned on by that sliver of boxer that sometimes peeks through or a boys calves in those shorts? i would say that’s a legitimate argument, as girls are more likely than you would suspect to be attracted to a guy’s back or abs.
and then, there’s also the rationalization that dress codes are somehow supposed to prepare teenagers for the real world. but, assuming that there happen to be occupations outside of offices and courtrooms and banks, this is quite possibly the worst explanation. yes, it’s possible to get discriminated against depending on what you wear, but no cop is going to stop you and hand you a ticket because your dress was four fifths of an inch too short.
i don’t want to see anyone’s underwear at school, girl or guys’, but i am completely over the stress and high-horse factor associated with dress code. it’s great if a girl covers herself up or wears short shorts in the summer, but stop acting like your opinion should matter so much. but now that i’m thinking about it, maybe they do prepare people for the real world- girls experience the discrimination that comes with being a woman and boys learn that it’s okay to blame an entire gender for their shortcomings.
“What in hell is a girl with hips like yours doing selling death?”*
this sounds like a drastic example from welcome to the monkey house, but it really doesn’t fall so far from what i’ve heard. of course, substitute selling death with other things, but that’s not the main idea.
i’m a fan of modesty**, but that’s only for myself. it’s important not to decide a woman’s value based on the shortness or length of their skirt.
*title and quote from one of my favorite short stories, welcome to the monkey house, from my favorite collection of short stories, also welcome to the monkey house.
**but what is modesty? isn’t it different for every person, based on height and weight, so entirely unobjective? call me when there’s a number attached to this.