"When you interrupt a girl's school day because her shorts are too short, or her clothing is immodest, you are telling her that hiding her body is more important than her education. You are telling her that making sure the boys have a distraction-free learning environment is more important than her education. In a way, you're telling her that the boys are more entitled to an education than she is, and that isn't acceptable."
Signs like this are cropping up around the country. There are a bunch of them and ones like them in my daughters Pinterest feed. And now there is one here.
I added the last line. I am sick of having to deal with this crap. I am tired of meetings with principals. I am tired of writing complaints to HR departments. If you pull my daughters out of class because of someone else's actions, you are denying them an education. You are in violation of Title IX. Talk to the lawyers.
So what is the deal with dress codes?
They are arbitrary.
They are sexist.
They demean women and by deffinition, men.
They feed rape culture.
Of course they ara arbitrary. Anyone in a middle or high school hallway for an hour would see that some students get called on their clothing and some do not. Some teachers spend most of their day estimated short length. Some don't. Some schools use phrases like, "Create a classroom disturbance." Most teachers don't wait for an outfit to actually cause a disturbance, to declare it one.
Even schools that have removed gender terms from their dress codes, enforce dress codes differently for male and female students. For the moment we will not discuss transgender students. The number of schools that can adequately handle a transgender student is too shockingly small to talk about today. I challenged a school to produce the numbers on male students sited for dress code violations. The number, zero. That same school was telling two and three girls a day, "Not to wear that again."
I hate to break this to you. Teens, boys and girls, think about sex. A lot. They think about dating and who is cute. A lot. "Suzy" does not even have to be in the building for three guys to get distracted by how pretty she is.
Sadder, is that this is the 21st century. Odds are really, really good these young men will one day work with women. Some of their co-workers will be pretty. Some of their co-workers might wear skirts and sleeveless tops. I hate to overburden teachers, but toss, "learn to work with pretty women without drooling or losing your mind." into the things middle schoolers need to learn.
Yes, you are promoting rape culture. You are saying, "You are asking for it." or "You want it." You are saying, we cannot protect you if you dress like that. Well guess what? It really wasn't acceptable 'back in the day' and it isn't now. If you have a rapist, would be rapist, or a "boy with a problem" deal with him. I can.