JEFFERIES: Standing up against dress codes


The dress code has been an ongoing issue that has caused contention since middle school. Since then, the dress code has always been promoted as a way to make sure everyone is looking “appropriate”. In reality, this censorship predominantly towards girls is sexist— degrading girls to the basis of their body rather than their character.

From a young age, I have always enjoyed wearing shorter and more revealing clothing. Roseville, for a considerable part of the year, often reaches 100 degrees.I do not believe wearing conservative clothing when it’s that hot out is a plausible reality. It is simply the style I prefer. You will likely always see me in short shorts and a crop top or a dress. A lot of girls like to dress similarly, only to have been dress coded in ways that are increasingly disrespectful.

A particular person I knew got dress coded for “distracting everyone”. The “issue” boiled down to her bra straps showing, shorts that were deemed “too short”, and tank top straps that weren’t three fingers length.

The person who dress coded her apparently forcefully grabbed her and demonstrated how her clothing was distracting due to the infamous “three finger rule” and some variety of a shorts length check.

This girl was enraged, violated, and disgusted by their comments.

It boils down to one question—why are girls seen as a body and not a living human being?

If I wear a tank top and you can see my bra strap, no one is going to be distracted by it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this isn’t the 90’s and no one is snapping girls’ bra straps anymore. I should be able to wear my tank top in peace in this Californian weather without a teacher calling me out for supposedly dressing in a “seductive” manner.

If I wear shorts that go above my fingers or a tube top with my shoulders showing, I should not be immediately deemed as inappropriate.

I would argue that what is inappropriate is the mentality that boys are supposed to be looking at girls when we wear shorter shorts or a tube top, which no one has discouraged and is why the dress code was implemented in the first place— sexualizing young women.

There is a student protest planned on September 18th and not only am I completely for it, I plan to participate. This is a great opportunity to finally stand up for my right to show up to school and not have some adult I barley know check me out and worry about my shoulders.

I can tell you I don’t know one person that has ever been distracted by someone’s bra straps or shorts.

Everyday we come to this school for 6 hours and do our work. It is literally our job to be here. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to wear what we want, we have the common sense to know to not wear things that have our body exposed in places where they shouldn’t be, but showing my stomach or shoulders is not harming anyone.

My body is not an invitation.