How Dress Codes Affect Female Students

Fiona Caywood

Imagine: You wake up to a sweltering day outside, around 90 degrees. As you are getting ready in the morning, you consider what you will wear. Despite the heat, your school forbids shorts below fingertip length or sleeveless shirts. Now, if you are a boy, this most likely won’t be an issue, because when do boys ever get dress coded? But, if you are a girl, choosing a comfortable outfit is going to be a much more challenging task.

In many schools today, students’ clothing is being more and more heavily regulated. As for my school, it is mostly the girls whose clothing is being regulated.

The official dress code for shorts is that they must be of fingertip length. Unfortunately for girls, this means they better get digging in their dad’s drawers if they want to find a pair of shorts within dress code. Those lucky enough to have unusually short arms, though, will never have to worry about being dress coded for their shorts! And of course, short shorts are becoming more and more popular among the male population, to the point where most of the male students at our school have shorts shorter than any pair a female owns. However, when a boy wears these to school, he is not dress coded because boys are not sexualized in schools the same way women are.

The same “finger-tip length” bologna rule applies to jeans. Jeans with holes are only allowed if there are no holes above where your fingertips meet your leg. So basically, they are advertising Rural King jeans, as that’s just about the only place to find non-ripped female jeans these days. It’s simply just the style. Boys, however, don’t ever have to worry about this rule, because it’s not typical “boy attire” to wear jeans with holes above the knee.

Overall, the dress code at our school is only to regulate what females wear, so that they are not distracting for male peers. The effects of this dress code only degrade young females, as they teach them that their comfortability is not a priority, and that it is their responsibility to maintain modesty for the benefit of the creeps that can’t focus with a pair of shoulders or thighs out in the open. This is not a request for free rein of clothing. It is understandable that administrators don’t want any genitals hanging out, but the reins definitely need to be loosened for the sake of the female students.