Society Magazine

Teen Girls Are Going To Keep Rebelling Against Sexist Dress Codes

Posted on the 13 May 2016 by Juliez
Teen Girls Are Going To Keep Rebelling Against Sexist Dress Codes

The dress code poster, via ABC.

When girls wear short skirts, we call them “inappropriate.” When girls make bold decisions about their lives, we call them “vain.” When girls call themselves feminists, we call them “ugly.” When girls ask for justice in an unfair educational system, we call them “unheard.” But teen girls are refusing to tolerate any of the above any longer — one need look no further than the protests surrounding sexist dress codes for proof.

Most recently, high school seniors at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Arizona took action when a sexist cartoon about the school’s dress code was posted in their library. The cartoon essentially relayed the idea that when girls show off their legs and wear clothes that are too “revealing,” boys can’t focus and ultimately drop out of school — which in turn forces girls to take care of boys and “support [them] forever.” The poster also claimed that girls “come to school looking cute,” that all “boys see is meat,” and depicted images of girls’ bare body parts and a wolf.

The poster was apparently an attempt to humorously relate to students and send a message about the importance of their dress code. Yet it did less to reiterate this message than to mock and undermine female students. What’s more, when a senior wrote the phrase, “It’s the girls’ fault right? #feminism” on the poster at Desert Ridge, the librarian immediately covered it.

This may just be one incident, but this poster exemplifies the strict, gender-based dress codes that are still prevalent at schools across the country. One 2016 study showed that 19 percent of students were prevented from wearing clothing deemed “inappropriate” based on their gender. In 2014 alone, more than 200 students on New York’s Staten Island — the majority of whom were female — were given detentions over dress code infractions. That same year, a student in Florida was forced to publicly wear a “shame suit” — a yellow shirt that read “Dress Code Violation” — after her outfit was deemed inappropriate.

Although dress codes have long been a topic of contention, protests against these attire-based rules have perhaps never been so visible as they have in recent years thanks to social-media based campaigns. For example, #IAmNotADistraction encouraged girls to share their own dress code discrimination experiences on Twitter last fall, as did #CropTopDay, which also encouraged students to protest their school’s dress codes by deliberately wearing clothing out of code and even writing #CropTopDay on their bodies.

The prevalence of these protests suggest that schools not only need to change their policies, which are themselves often quite hazy, but must also address the underlying gender stereotypes and biases those policies represent. Sexist dress codes, like the one at Desert Ridge, only fuel self-image issues and categorize women as alluring objects and men as uncontrollable animals. When young women’s bodies are framed as “distractions” to men, they are sent the message that male students are the default, the priority — and that female students are intruders. They not only strip girls of their sense of self-respect and free-expression, but demean boys as incapable of controlling their basic urges.

Girls who take issue with these rules aren’t blindly rebelling, but truly advocating for their right to be heard as sentient subjects rather than passive objects. They see that their protests are still being brushed to the side and discriminatory rules and regulations enforced because their voices still don’t hold the same weight as their male peers.

So, in response, young women will continue to advocate for their right to gender expression and self-respect in their schools and make their voices as loud as they possibly can. Is this not loud enough, administrators?

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Can You Install Spy Software on a Cell Phone Remotely?

    Install Software Cell Phone Remotely?

    Mobile monitoring remote installation question from folks asking again and again, but in different fashion: Many ask how to track a cell phone remotely without... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Ruby Mariah
  • Cessna A185F Skywagon

    Cessna A185F Skywagon

    @ Lake Hood, Anchorage, AK September 2017 Photographed this pretty Cessna while on my way to the Alaska Aviation Museum.  Lake Hood’s oldest and largest seaplan... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Htam
  • Top Three Tips For Future Women Leaders

    Three Tips Future Women Leaders

    My business, Remodista, is focused on disruptors in the retail industry through a collaborative lens. Implementing community as my business model has allowed fo... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Ncrimaldi
  • 8 Keys To Migration From A Consultant To A Freelancer

    Keys Migration From Consultant Freelancer

    Being a consultant is a role that works with big companies, but I have found that it doesn’t get much traction in small businesses and startups. Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
  • Eggplant Dip

    Eggplant at its yummiest. Slice, roast, and blend with olive oil, spices, and a touch of lemon. That's it! Try it as a low-carb dip for veggies or a topping... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Dietdoctor
  • In Love with Botswana: Walk in the Wild on Your Safari Tour

    Love with Botswana: Walk Wild Your Safari Tour

    Tucked away in the heart of Africa, the landlocked nation of Botswana is Southern Africa’s best-kept secret. For a luxury safari tour, there is no better... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Enchantingtravels
  • New Music Round-up Featuring The Districts, Wye Oak, Rosborough, Sleepovers and...

    Music Round-up Featuring Districts, Oak, Rosborough, Sleepovers Barely Civil

    The Districts – ‘Nighttime Girls’ In this “song about the allure of escapism and a character’s general preoccupation with shallowness and neon light”, The... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Spectralnights