Dress Codes are humiliating objectifying, and sexualizing girls with the school dress code
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HEY! Do I have your attention? OR do I need to show my bra straps or midriff to get that? I am a 14 year old student in my 9th grade year. I want to send a wake up call to the school boards all over the United States. It is time for a change! #letsmovemountains
We are TIRED of missing out on valuable education because of the dress code! We are SICK of being objectified by unequally enforced dress codes! News alert, your dress code is perpetuating rape culture and oppressive objectification towards women. It’s time for change.
The black, white, and grey areas of the dress codes are not even equally enforced within the schools. Some girls can’t wear cool shorts and tank tops in extreme heat without facing immediate detention, yet cheerleaders can wear uniforms that violate the dress code. Boys are allowed to run around the track, or even the parking lot during school hours with NO shirt on, but girls can’t show a shoulder blade? Men are rarely told that their arms, legs, stomachs, backs, shoulders… (their whole body?!) are a problem… a distraction. They are most often seen as human beings and not objects. Yet, EVERY time a handbook with these dress codes is handed out, every assembly to talk about what we cannot wear that takes time away from our classroom, every single day in our schools we are teaching girls that their bodies are something to be ashamed of.
The dress codes girls face in our daily life are promoting an oppressive objectification towards women. Each time a girl is pulled away from her education because of the clothes they wear or the color of their hair, you are ROBBING her of education. You are HUMILIATING her in front of her peers. You are SHAMING her. You are SEXUALIZING a young woman and encouraging others to do so, too. This needs to stop now.
Instead, take the time to teach the BOYS that girls are not objects. And while you're at it, teach the girls that they are not objects and have nothing to be ashamed of in an effort to remove some of the pressure society has placed where it doesn't belong. A woman should never have to cover parts of her body based on a man not being able to control his thoughts, and more importantly, his actions.
According to a study by the American Association of University Women, in 2000, of the 2,064 students surveyed, 83% of girls said they had been sexually harassed at school and 38% said they were sexually harassed by teachers or employees (Hostile Hallways, 2001). Only 10% reported their harassment. Do you think this is because they were wearing tank tops? Maybe because their shorts were too short? No, it’s because all through growing up, boys get the excuse that boys will be boys and girls are faced with dress codes that teach them that if they are objectified, if they are harassed, and even if they are assaulted, it was because of something they did. Is this the world we want to create for the future?
We are collecting signatures to show you that we want to create a change that gives all students a better education experience. We want to CHANGE the way girls and women are viewed as distractions. We just want an equal opportunity for education.
“Hostile Hallways”. American Association of University Women. 2001. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
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