August 18, 2015

The message your tank top is sending

School's back in session around here. (Awfully early!!!) And dress codes are back in the news.
Most schools establish dress codes to prevent harassment. They decree that girls need to cover their knees and collarbones, shoulders and cleavage to keep randy young boys from oggling them. Because of course, if the girls are revealing some thigh, it must mean she wants to be leered at and stared at and have rude suggestions thrown at her. (You surely weren't wearing those shorts because it's hot outside.) Those skirts are tempting the boys.
The only dress code that I support is no visible undergarments. That can be applied equally to boys and girls. If a school is getting complaints from female students that some boys are making rude and offensive suggestions, they should address it with the BOYS. Yes, even if it's easier to make the girls wear burkas, the solution to sexual harassment isn't a dress code; it's establishing immediately that tank tops are NEVER an invitation to objectify a female.

The message restrictive dress codes send is: if a girl is exposing cleavage or buttcheeks or (heaven forbid) collarbones, she ought to be harassed. She's asking for it.
It's 2015. I'm pretty sure that's the wrong message.

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