Dressin’ without Oppression

Maxwell Ntalamu, Freelancer

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Sexist, gender inequality, offensive. These are a few ways that many would describe the dress code at Jefferson City High School. In schools all across America, dress codes are embedded in school constitutions and rule books.

Dress codes tend to favor male students over their female counterparts. Many think that females shouldn’t show their shoulders and upper arms; they also can’t wear shorts that don’t go past their fingertips when their arms are to their side.These rules are caused by the idea that males cannot “control themselves” when females wear these things.

Schools are blaming males not being able to “control themselves” on females clothing choices. Saying things like, “If a girl gets raped, it’s her fault because she wore that outfit.”

Or “If she doesn’t want to be sexually assaulted, then why is she showing her shoulders?”

Male students shouldn’t dictate what females can wear to school. It is not the female’s fault for wearing clothes that she feels most comfortable in. A lot of males wear tank tops and short shorts and they don’t get dress coded. If females can “control themselves” when their male peers wear that type of clothing, then males should be able to be as mature. In addition, if JCHS is going to oppress girls for wearing clothing that shows a little more skin than is deemed “acceptable,” male students should have the same rules.

Rani Patel, a female sophomore, believes that men should be held accountable, rather than shaming women’s bodies.

“Our shoulders are not distracting, all animals have them and there is no reason for them to be covered up at all times. If males can’t control their actions then they should be the ones who need to make a change not females,” Patel stated.

Rani, like many other female students at JCHS, feel attacked by this rule and find it offensive. Rani went on to say this,

“There is the fingertip length rule. I along with every single female I know disagree with this rule. Almost all athletic shorts made for girls that aren’t for basketball aren’t fingertip length.”

As the times change, school rules should change with them. Societal norms are becoming freedom based, and the school board should too. Female students should be seen as equal as male students.. Either the school rules should start changing for male students or they should change the rules for female students. I am not saying that there shouldn’t be a dress code. I am saying that the dress code needs to be changed and it needs to be changed now.