(COURTESY / RJUHSD)
From what I have experienced in my (almost) twelve years in academia, the dress code has always been an integral part of school policy—Roseville High School is no exception, considering the dress code remains a recurring issue between students and faculty. However, this year, RHS is experiencing a new type of controversy—a student run protest. This protest will take place on September 18th, in which participants will be intentionally breaking the dress code.
This protest seems bizarre and inappropriate to me due to the fact that it doesn’t clearly present any evidence of why the participants are protesting. The main leaders of this protest seem to be endorsing the idea that the dress code is a misogynistic system, in which their male counterparts grow uncomfortable at girls’ clothing. That is a bold statement, especially made by someone who fails to cite any evidence besides their own opinion, with the sole intent of stirring up controversy.
While I do not agree with their purpose, I acknowledge that the school’s dress code is biased to a point. There have been instances in which I have seen girls get dress coded for simply wearing a tank top, whereas their male colleagues, sagging their pants liberally, simply continued on without the same citation. This, to me, emphasizes the question of what the protest should really be standing for.
I believe that people should really be fighting the bias behind the dress code, not this ridiculous concept of misogyny. This, to me, is where the immaturity of this protest really comes to light. The students at RHS, comprised of impressionable youths spanning 14 to 18 years old are all too young mentally to be throwing around words like “misogynistic” and bombastic phrases gleaned from various media.
School shouldn’t be a place where students can just show up in “comfortable” clothing without consideration of basic social etiquette and appropriateness. There is a time and place for school, and what we wear is a manifestation of that idea. The moment we walk through Roseville High School’s gates we must acknowledge that we bind ourselves to an academic code of conduct—regarding demeanor, clothing, or otherwise. The argument the protesters are putting forth is how the girls of RHS are unable to be comfortable because of the male eye, but in reality, the issues stems from an inability of wearing what is appropriate for a school setting for the sake of etiquette.
The real battle will be won when teachers acknowledge their general biases and double standards between the two sexes while still understanding what is appropriate and what isn’t. The staff needs to notice the dress code violations of both guys and girls and issues dress code citations evenly.