Sexist School Dress Codes Get Even More Vindictive: Why Do Schools Slut-Shame Girls? (VIDEO)

The school year has begun in most districts across the country and, with them, the steady drumbeat of misogyny. As early as second grade, girls are being taught that their bodies distract the boys and it’s their fault. Punishments for transgressions are getting way out of hand, too. The dress codes mirror the religious right’s increasing stridency and claims to preferential treatment. Their influence is clearly evident in this resurgence of prudery.

Dress codes are getting stricter every year and the majority of the new rules apply only to female students. Yoga pants, shorts, spaghetti-strap tops, crop tops and skirts that fail the “fingertip test” are all obsessed over by schools. All, you’ll notice, are worn by girls. And almost all the students being kept for detention because of dress code violations are female. One Staten Island school sent 200 students to detention for violations last year, 90% of whom were girls.

The reason given for banning certain clothes is because they are “distracting.” Distracting to who? Oh, right. To the boys. Because boys’ educations are much more important than girls’ — at least, that’s the message that is being sent. A school Superintendent, speaking about the Staten Island school linked above, said that the banned clothing “creates a distraction” and “interferes with the learning process.” For the boys. Notice that they don’t give a damn about interfering with the girls’ learning process or distracting them with detention or having to leave school to change clothes. This only drives home the point that the boys matter more.

A Massachusetts school banned yoga pants in February, adding them to a leggings ban. More than 20 female students were sent home to change and written up for wearing them to school. A West Virginia student was sent home for wearing ripped jeans as one of the rips was above her knee, and threatened with suspension if she didn’t. A girl was sent home from a New Orleans school for daring to show her collarbones. Parents of girls have complained that these codes — some of which apply to children as young as five — cause girls to question their bodies. They also imply that boys can’t control themselves but it’s the girls who must take responsibility for this and cover themselves.

Punishments have become harsher, too. Those 200 students in Staten Island were sent to detention for their first violation. A Florida school made students wear “shame suits” — oversized red sweatpants and a neon yellow shirt with “Dress Code Violation” on it — if they violated the dress code. One student who was forced to undergo this treatment became ill from the stress. She was told if someone came to get her, she’d be suspended. In other words, if she didn’t acquiesce to being slut-shamed she’d draw a 2-day suspension. The only reason for such horrible treatment is to humiliate the student. Is that really appropriate for any school to do?

This has become such an issue, and such a concern for young women, that MTV’s Laci Green made a video about it, outlining the top 5 reasons this misogyny must stop. The number one reason:

“It tells her she’s not entitled to human decency and respect if her skin is showing, which is slut shaming, but also objectifying. It tells girls their bodies are more sexual than boys.”

This medieval dress code nonsense has one message for girls: you are responsible for the actions of the boys around you. If you dress like a slut, they will treat you like one. You are nothing but a sex object. This message is underlined by our culture, where women’s bodies are used to sell everything from hamburgers to liquor. Sadly, the seeds of the culture of rape are sown in grade school now.

Here is Laci Green’s video:

 

Photo Credit: Screen Capture from Laci Green video