School Dress Codes Promote Rape Culture

In middle school and high school, did you ever hear a teacher tell a boy that what they were wearing was inappropriate? Probably not. Only girls received those comments.

School officials thought that, for some reason, it was best to tell girls to cover up so they “wouldn’t distract the learning environment for boys.” But wouldn’t it be better to teach boys to treat girls with respect and not objectify them based on how they choose to dress?

When was the last time, or even the first time, a teenage boy was turned on by an exposed shoulder? And if a bare shoulder did distract them, they have deeper issues.

This also raises the argument that schools care more about the education of the male students than the female students. A lot of older schools do not have air conditioning, or even decent air circulation for that matter. But if girls are forced to wear shorts or skirts that go down to their knees and tops with sleeves, then they are going to be uncomfortable in the heat and not be able to focus on hot days. Some schools have even started regulating what girls can wear to after-school events such as prom and homecoming.

Sexist school dress codes contribute to the oversexualization of young girls. Boys learn to see them as objects instead of peers. This further develops the idea of when girls wear revealing clothing or even just a top with spaghetti straps that they are “asking for it.” No female is ever asking for it based on her choice of clothing.

Across the country, young women are protesting how their schools handle dress codes and dress code violations.

Consequences for dress code violations differ from school to school. Some make girls change into their gym uniform or find a different top in the lost and found. Other schools make girls wear “shame suits,” which is a big t-shirt that has some way of labeling that girl for violating the dress code written on it. Then there are schools that just send the girls home for the rest of the day, which hurts the girl’s education.

Dress codes promote rape culture. Period.