Lauren Michigan

School Dress codes are sexualizing and oppressing girls.

Schools have specific dress codes that are always directed to girls and it automatically sexualizes them.

Dear Future Mr./Mrs. President,

As you already know, becoming the President of the United States means that you have the power to solve problems and create new laws with of course the help of congress. A particular problem that I believe is an issue that needs to be addressed, is the school dress codes for females.Schools sexualize and oppress females, no matter what age with dress code regulations.

The problem with dress codes is it tells females at a young age, when they are the most vulnerable, that they should be ashamed of their bodies and should be very conscious about it.

Time Magazine, published an article written by Laura Bates the author of The Everyday Sexism Project, that supports this exact theory by writing,” It teaches our children that girls’ bodies are dangerous, powerful and sexualised, and that boys are biologically programmed to objectify and harass them. It prepares them for college life, where as many as one in five women is sexually assaulted but society will blame and question and silence them, while perpetrators are rarely disciplined.” The quote explains in further detail that girls are taught that being sexualized is a way of life and boys are taught it is okay to think of a girl as an object instead of as an equal. Dress codes that target,sexualize and oppress women not only affect them just at school, but it also follows them in their adult lives. The article mentions that “one and five women is sexually assaulted but society will blame and question and silence them, while perpetrators are rarely disciplined”. The term sexually assaulted is a very broad term and could mean a various amount of assaults such as being wolf whistled at, or someone hitting their butt, or even rape. Schools are responsible for these sexual assaults by not teaching both girls and boys at a young age that sexualizing a female by their clothing isn’t appropriate and should result in some punishment.

Schools sexualizing and oppressing females by dress codes can be solved in a number of different ways. An easy and effective way to solve the problem of sexualizing females through dress codes is not only telling boys that girls are their equal and that girls are not an object in any type of way is letting girls wear what they want. But that doesn’t mean girls can wear clothing that you would find in a strip club, an important way to teach girls about dress code would be telling girls that they need to appreciate their own bodies, and they have to respect themselves too, because there has to be a balance of respect between genders.

One of the biggest problems of schools sexualizing females through dress codes is not everyone recognizes the real problem. For example in an article on UK Independant website they interviewed a principal addressing the problem and Deputy principal Cherth Telford replied “-the rule was necessary to “keep our girls safe, stop boys from getting ideas and create a good work environment for the male staff.” The principal Telforth is justifying his actions by saying he’s trying to protect young girls, when he is in fact hurting them. The mentioning of male staff and the fact that it was implied that they would be distracted is absolutely infuriating, as well as uncomfortable for female students. Why should the female students be worried about their male teachers sexualizing them? Or anyone in that matter? Also Telforth never mentions he wants a good learning environment for his female students and faculty, his statement itself is a contradiction, and sounds like he is trying to convince himself more than the audience.

Schools sexualizing and oppressive females with dress codes is only a small seed that blossoms into a much bigger problem in result. Just because some don’t recognize the problem, doesn't mean it's there, and the solution will be much more simple than trying to explain boys or men for that matter who sexually assault women and its cause. Solving a serious problem like sexualizing, and oppressing girls in schools is one more step to real equal gender rights. 

Avondale High School

AP Lang

Rick Kreinbring's 2016-17 AP Language and Composition students

All letters from this group →