School Dress Codes Analysis

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The editorial School dress codes reinforce the message that woman’s bodies are dangerous written by Laura Bates, brings to our attention, the sexism that surrounds the application of dress codes. In the article Bates discusses how, although there are rules for male and female students, it is mainly girls who are punished for dress code violations, and the same dress code rules do not apply for both sexes. Boys are allowed to wear athletic shorts but girls are not, in some cases girls are not allowed to show their legs at all. Alongside the sexism in dress codes is the sexual objectifying and public shaming of young girls, who are told that showing their legs while wearing skirts is distracting to the male faculty; and being publically shamed by being pulled out of class, put into isolated rooms to continue their work, or being sent home altogether. Bates points out…show more content…
Boys are learning from their social experience at school that it is normal to view woman as sexual objects. Sexist dress codes are teaching the susceptible young boys that it is the woman’s job to cover up as to not promote a sexual environment because men cannot be expected to control themselves around females who choose to show skin. Allowing this environment within schools enroots rape culture further into our society as Laura Bates pointed out. This notion also relates to Mead’s fourth point in his theory, “seeking meaning leads us to imagine the intention of others”, the belief that we know what someone’s intentions are based on their actions. When dress codes are created because male students and faculty are distracted by a female’s clothing choice, we are assuming that girls are exposing their backs, shoulders or other body parts, with the hope of receiving sexual attention. Schools are making negative assumptions about why females are dressing a certain way, and punishing them for

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