For a brief period of time, the air conditioning here at BHS was malfunctioning. To put this in perspective for those who don't go here, imagine going to school in a sauna while wearing a short sleeve shirt and bermuda-length jean shorts or capris. If high school wasn’t hell before, it definitely was that week.
So now you’re put into a difficult position. You can sweat yourself to death in class, or you can wear short-shorts. I don’t know about you, but I’m pro shorts.
Today, my friend asked the assistant principal why girls can’t wear sports bras at football games but boys can go without shirts entirely. This is a very fair question that definitely deserves an answer. The assistant principal withheld his response. Of course, I’m in no position as a student or as a journalist to read between the paltry lines he provided, but I do think that his response (or lack thereof) arouses justifiable cause for deliberation.
This leaves me questioning the difference between a girl wearing a sports bra and a boy going without a shirt at all. If anything, I’d think that wearing a sports bra would be considered less inappropriate than refusing to cover your upper body at all. What makes the female body more unbecoming than that of a man?
The arrows all point to sexism.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the fault of the school’s administration. Not completely, anyway. This is a problem that sweeps schools everywhere and it’s a problem that needs to be solved.
The question that needs to be asked is this: is it worse for minors to wear skimpy clothing or for (specifically male) adults to sexualize them and blame them for it? Girls tend to wear short-shorts out of necessity in order to keep cool. That’s necessary. Allowing yourself to get distracted by cleavage or legs is, for lack of a better adjective, pretty pervy.
The severe enforcement of arbitrary dress codes is very harmful not only to students in particular, but to the greater cause of the way women are treated. To tell a young girl that she is wrong for showing her skin has an impact that goes beyond aesthetics. Schools begin to stress the importance of concealing one's body in elementary schools, teaching young girls that it's wrong for them to show their skin. It tells girls of all ages that they are sexual beings rather than real, intellectual humans. Does that seem beneficial to you?
I propose that, before enforcing dress codes and restricting the amount of skin a girl can show at a football game, school authorities think about why they feel the need to do this at all. Is it because they view a woman's body as more sexual than a man's? Even when they're minors? Is it okay for them to do that?
No. It's not.