Dress Code Dilemma: Should Wearing Leggings in School Be Forbidden?
The new dress codes in some schools oblige the students to wear leggings or yoga pants only if their tops cover the entire buttocks.
These new school rules caused parents, students, and even some teachers (who thought that the leggings/yoga pants rule goes too far) to sign petition against it. Their revolt is directed towards sexualizing young girls, which results with an aftereffect that is not healthy for our society in any way.
Indeed the message is that girls should be responsible for protecting themselves from sexual predators, rather than emphasizing the importance of consent no matter how someone is dressed, especially if students have good grades and get to class on time.
It seem like girls have always been getting more infractions than boys. Dress codes in schools are often unfairly aimed at them and base on the assumption that girls can control themselves whereas boys must have extra help to control their raging hormones.
Boys can wear whatever they want as long as it doesn't promote drugs or alcohol, but girls are the ones who have to ensure their clothes aren't too tight or revealing, they don't stand out, basically telling them to hide themselves, which is so outdated and patriarchal.
But school dress code controversies are not something new in the cyber world. Hashtag movements such as #imnotadistraction are used by students to voice their opinions on their respective dress codes and weigh in on incidents somewhere else. Regardless of their gender, students must have the right to dress comfortably in a way to be able to engage in the educational environment without fear of unnecessary discipline or body shaming.
The simple fact that only female students receive dress code violations on the basis of what they wear and weather it is disturbing to boys or not, it taught boys that it is acceptable to misbehave with girls whose skin is showing, and it taught female students that it’s their responsibility with their own appearance to create a distraction-free learning environment for their classmates, instead of focusing to their own education.
Fortunately school officials, students and parents who were dissatisfied with codes they see as body shaming, sexist and sexualizing, and were advocating for change during the past few years, succeeded to move beyond the status quo and modernize the old patriarchal dress code with a non-discriminatory, gender-neutral one.
The new reinvented dress codes that work for everyone and consider shorts, leggings, and spaghetti straps fair game, do not reinforce stereotypes, and do not increase marginalization of any group based on gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or body type/size.
The main idea is the school-aged children to be able to dress as the gender they identify as, without fear of body-shaming and worry of causing a “distraction.” This is a positive direction for allowing student to reasonably express themselves. And that’s a win for everyone.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment section below.
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