Why is the BCCHS Dress Code Targeted at Feminine-Identifying Students?)

Students are not distractions.

Students are not distractions.

Sara Gutierrez, Staff Writer

High school dress codes have been a big topic this new school year. Many feminine-identifying students are taking charge and protesting against these sexist dress codes. For years, dress codes have been targeted towards feminine students, and now they are finally doing something about it.

As females, we have grown up being taught that our bodies are”distractions.” We are taught that the way we dress is more important than our own education. Females typically get told to change or they will be sent home–all because their stomachs are showing!

They say our shoulders are a “distraction” to the boys and should be covered up. The BCCHS dress code states that we are not “allowed” to show our mid-drifts and shoulders. The dress code says that our mid-drifts and shoulders are a “disruption of education”. Some teachers have said, “if your fingertips pass your shorts you need to change.”

A small portion of our dress code is very obviously directed towards females/ feminine identifying students.  We can all agree that we should have our bottoms and chests covered, but what is so wrong with mid-drifts and shoulders? Why is it only feminine students being shamed for how clothes fit our bodies?

I’ve asked many male students if they had ever been dress-coded for anything other than a hat or something on their head, and all have said “no.” I have asked many male students I know that wear “tank tops”/”undershirts” if they have ever been dress-coded for their shoulders being exposed, and they all said “no.”

I then asked female students how many times they have been dress-coded for wearing a “tank top”/”spaghetti strap” shirt, and the majority said one or more times. The majority of the female students I asked about being dress-coded have a curvier, more mature body. Many females students I have spoken with said that they ask friends if they think they would be dress-coded for wearing a shirt, top, etc. before they go to school.  As students, that should not be something we have to think about almost every morning before going to school.

The dress code is a very “pick and choose” kind of thing, and what I mean by “pick and choose” is lots of people can be wearing similar shirts, but the females with more mature, developed bodies get called out for it. Two girls could be wearing the same dress, but just because one’s body is “curvier,”  they will be dress-coded.

School dress codes, such as Birmingham’s, are making female/ feminine-identifying students feel like we are the “problem.” Schools are teaching us that we need to be more “modest” for the sake of the boys.

Instead of making females change what we wear, they should teach boys that women aren’t objects and that not everything about women has to be sexualized.