Celia Spink Michigan

There's A Problem With Dress Codes-Poem

I like to show my shoulders/ Weird enough, it's true/ And once or twice a week/ It's something many girls will do// Sometimes I show a slit of stomach/ Or most of my thighs/ I rarely see a need to hide/ My skin from prying eyes// You'll sometimes see my cellulite/ Or a bit of fat/ Although I know people can be quite/ Judgemental of that// When I’m told to cover my body,/ When my clothes are picked apart/ It’s never for my sake,/ But for my boy counterparts// When a girl is wearing shorts too short/ A teacher will not hesitate/ To dress code her - boys will be boys/ And girls will accommodate// My body is not something/ Taboo I need to hide/ I don’t take care of and love my person/Just to be objectified// Is it really that hard/ For teachers to say/ To boys:/ ‘Don’t look at girls that way”?// Is it really up to teenage girls/ To stick out their necks/ To ask that teachers teach their students/That girls deserve respect?// We’re taught self defense/ We’re taught modesty/ We’re taught to check our cups at parties/ For drugs we can’t taste or see// We’re taught to cross our legs/ And pray to the sky/ That we don’t catch the attention/ Of the wrong guy// Girls are taught how to not get raped/ I learned all the tricks myself,/ But all we learn is how to make sure/ He rapes someone else// ------------------------------------------------ Disclaimer: I know that rape can happen to anyone, regardless of gender or age. This poem is meant to address the hypersexualization of young girls, and how it can lead to rape as well as other unsafe environments. I wrote about a small part of a big problem, because I could never hope to write a poem that debunks all of rape culture. I personally wanted to focus on the problems in middle and high schools. Here are some articles for you to check out if you’d like to learn more: [Dress Codes http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/news/a63695/sexist-dress-codes/ http://www.teenvogue.com/story/sexist-dress-codes-hurt-all-genders http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/10/school-dress-codes-are-problematic/410962/ ] [Rape https://everydayfeminism.com/2014/03/examples-of-rape-culture/ http://www.wavaw.ca/what-is-rape-culture/ https://www.thenation.com/article/ten-things-end-rape-culture/ ] Thank you for reading -Celia

Okemos High School

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