Dress Code: It’s Just Clothes

“It’s Just Clothes” Article 1

Picture this, you’re on your way to your 4th period class, and you get called over by a dean. Bam! There goes your class time, because now you’re on your way to the attendance office to call your parents, to bring you a pair of “Professional” pants. Now as you’re calling, you’re thinking, “Why didn’t they see that guy next to you with his pants sagging to his knees?” Now you’re questioning one of the most heated topics, to the dress code; which is, “Is dress code sexist?” Did you know that 4 out 5 girls are more likely to get called out of dress code then 1 out of every 5 guys?

Out of the past few years I have been at Westside, I have noticed repetitive dress code violations to girls then to guys. We as Girls have been hounded down to the wire on what “exactly” is allowed to be worn by girls, then by guys. A student at Westside High school, was reported how she got called out once for a minor tear underneath the knee on a pair of jeans, by our principle, Ms. Stewart. I mean, “It’s not our responsibility to make sure boys aren’t distracted. Boys develop at a slower rate mentally then girls do, which is a known fact.” At Westside, some students dislike the fact that there has been a thought of Westside dress code changing. The fact is they don’t want uniforms to change, for the fact they like having the opportunity to express their personalities. Westside recently put out a student and teacher survey, in which they gathered input from the Westside Community. Some of the statements included, “School uniforms would help instill a climate of academic excellence at Westside High School and School uniforms would help reduce social anxiety for some students, because they would decrease the focus on brand-name clothing as it relates to social status.” Which most students responded by saying that they strongly disagreed or disagreed.

However, we did interview some upper Westside staff, such as Dean Disch and Ms. Julianne Kasper, about dress code. Both of them believe that there are good and bad benefit to having uniform. For one it can be seen as “gender neutral” because no one will stand out. So we went on to asking the question, “Do you think it would be easier if we were to wear uniforms or to stay how it is without uniforms?” Well Ms.Kasper believes that the good part of having uniforms would be that it would be easier to control. While the other part of having uniforms would be, that it might harder for those students less fortunate dealing with money issues. On the hand Dean Disch views uniform as a “Benefit.” Another question that was asked of Ms. Kasper was, “Why do you think guy don’t get called out on their sagging pants?” Her response was, “We live in a sexist world” she also responded with the same answer when we asked her “What do you feel towards how broad the guy’s dress code is to how detailed the girl’s dress code is listed?” Ms. Kasper replied, “I believe there is much more attention to the girls dress code, it goes back to being sexist.” To wrap up the detailed interview, we asked her this last question which was, “What can ripped jeans as a style cause to the learning of the environment, if they are rarely going to be seen?” Ms.Kasper responded by saying, “For me it depends on where the holes are. I feel a lot of teachers have the same thought when it comes to, allowing it only through certain conditions.”

Our conclusion would be that dress code is sexist, but it doesn’t have to be. Uniforms are an option, but they’re not the only option, to making the school “less sexist and more equal.” Not just for Westside, and todays’ generation, but for future generations. I mean; why should young girls have to grow up, being told that the shirt they wear is “too tight” or that their shorts are “too short.” Next thing you know, they’re going to be told that their eyes are “Too distracting.” Why, is a question that should never come out of anyone’s mouth when dealing with something as childish as, “Dress Code.” I mean “It’s just clothes, don’t forget that.”