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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

    Dress Code Sexism


    As most Lakewood High School students know, a new dress code has been implemented for junior high and high school students since the start of the 2016-2017 school year, something that pupils and even multiple teachers have been pushing for years.

    This new dress code allows shorter dress, skirt, and short length, as well as reduced sleeve length among other new, relaxed policies. One of the common goals of all dress codes (and a possible reason as to why it took so long for Lakewood’s to change) is to reduce the risk of an environment full of sexual harassment and sexism, mainly towards girls.

    However, depending on how the situation is looked at, dress codes may actually promote sexism in schools.

    In the Lakewood City School district, dress codes are more relaxed in elementary schools and become more strict and enforced in middle and high school, even with the revised code.

    For example, in elementary school, kids can wear thinner shirt straps, shorter tops with leggings, and shorter skirts, shorts, and dresses. Come high school, straps get thicker, tops get longer, and bottoms increase in length.

    According to the dress code policy for middle and high school, “excess cleavage” is also not permitted. What does this say about what boys and girls are being taught about their bodies? It shows that as girls get older and  their bodies develop, they are told to cover up and perhaps even feel ashamed of their body.

    In addition, since many aspects of the dress code are geared towards girls, it makes them more likely to have to miss class to wait for a change of clothes from their parent or to walk home and change.

    This basically teaches girls that their education is not as valuable as boys’, since their learning time is being wasted on changing their clothes to cover up their curves, legs, and shoulders.

    “It’s definitely directed towards females,” ninth grader Halle Breudigram says of Lakewood High’s dress code. Aside from the education lost by girls, the dress code also tells boys that it’s okay to sexualize girls, since girls are told to cover up so that boys aren’t “distracted” by their bodies.

    Boys should learn to control themselves as opposed to girls having to mask their features that they naturally grow. If a homosexual girl can control herself from other girls, a guy should be able to, as well.

    Overall, the changes made to the dress code are definitely improvements, but many aspects of it are still geared towards females, which is negatively affecting our community and the education of females in middle and high school.

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