Stop Sexualizing Our Bodies

Stop Sexualizing Our Bodies

Auden Yurman, Staff Writer

Dress codes have their place and they have their uses.

If a dress code is in place because the administrators want to keep clothes professional, that is perfectly reasonable. There are obvious outfits and articles that are inappropriate for school for no other reason than they are not professional and do not belong in a learning environment. It’s when students’ clothing is censored for “distracting others” that something might be wrong. Sometimes it’s true, clothing can be distracting even if it is not necessarily unprofessional. I would probably be distracted by a classmate who came in wearing a light up disco pantsuit, and I’d also probably be distracted by a classmate who came in wearing nothing at all.

The problem in dress codes occur when the dress code prohibits something that a high school boy should not be distracted by. An obvious and very important example in State High is the girls dress code for the swimming unit. There are a few rules for swimsuits in aquatics: boys can’t wear speedos, girls must wear one pieces, or if a girl does wear a bikini, she must wear a dark t-shirt over it.

The difference between a one piece swimsuit and a bikini is that in a bikini, the torso is uncovered. What is so bad about a girl’s torso? Boys don’t have to wear shirts or hide their bodies. According to the gym teacher I asked, this particular rule is in place so nothing is sexualized.

The problem? The very act of making girls cover their bodies is sexualizing them. We[girls] do not view our bodies as sexual. The boys in our class have no right to view our bodies as sexual. By making the girls cover up instead of teaching boys to behave themselves, the administration is encouraging girls to be ashamed of their bodies. High school is an extremely important and influential time in young people’s lives. What we as students are taught now will be implanted in our minds for the rest of our lives. This extends beyond the classes we take. The moral lessons, the way we are treated and the way we are taught to treat others. As long as this school encourages girls to hide themselves instead of teaching the boys to behave themselves, the students in this school are going to grow right into the societal gender norms in our country, the norms that allow rape culture, the wage gap, and the gender stereotypes that harm our human rights.

The dress code for girls in the swimming unit needs to be changed. It promotes rape culture, teaches boys that it is ok to sexualize women’s bodies, and encourages girls to hide their bodies. The students in State High will never grow up to change the world if we are not taught to love ourselves and to respect others.