Ah, high school dress codes, remember those?
Ostensibly meant to ensure a safe and distraction-free school environment, high school dress codes have proven themselves time and again to be anachronistic, offensive methods of perpetuating sexism.
Now, this is not to say they aren't entirely unnecessary. No one wants to see crowds of teenagers sauntering to school in their PJs (and you know they would if they could), and perish the thought of ultra low-rise jeans (both male and female) hanging off the edge of myriad and varied teenage buttocks.
The point is, high school dress codes do actually have a point.
They’re meant to ensure that the sartorial choices of teenagers do not descend into a hedonistic free-for-all, rife with unfortunate and eye-searing fashion choices that even their wearers will regret in later years.
The problem is, however, that many dress codes vilify and punish girls, like this one, seen below:
Instead of teaching boys (and indeed, grown men) that they should learn to control their lusts and treat girls and women like equal human beings, dress codes teach girls that it’s their responsibility to account for male lust.
Most times, it's not – "Hey, Timmy, Rachel is a human being, and you should treat her like she is one."
Instead, it’s “Hey, Rachel, you should put some more clothes on so you don’t tempt Timmy with your sinful body.”
In the high school environment, both girls and boys are supposed to feel safe enough to both learn and navigate young adulthood.
Unfortunately, many dress codes reinforce the narrative that girls’ bodies are seductive in nature and boys and grown men need to be protected from them.
In this way, boys are valued more than girls, and their physical and mental wellbeing is put above that of their female peers.
And this dynamic more apparent than ever at a California high school recently…