I don’t believe in dress code because it encourages slut shaming. Short skirts, booty shorts and low cut shirts should be acceptable to wear in public, but they are not because of the way society perpetuates girls who wear these articles of clothing. They classify these girls are ‘sluts’. But what is wrong with being a slut? It does not affect you in any way how many people a girl has slept with. It is completely and entirely her own decision. Almost everyone has sex eventually, so why should it concern us that some people have it earlier than others? “Slut” is a word created to keep women in our place, to keep us quiet and turned against each other. But women are not made of labels and we are not sluts. The girl at your school who is rumored to have slept with all those guys is not a slut, only a girl who likes to be sexually active and enjoys having sex. This is not a problem to you - why do you make it your business? Stay the hell out of it.
Girls are constantly being called sluts because they like to be sexually active. There should be no shame in being sexually active. If a girl has slept with a lot of boys, that does not affect you in any way whatsoever. It is their choice to make and not your own. Of course we should educate girls on the risks of being sexually active, such as pregnancy and STDs, but we should not stop them from doing what they are, as long as they are being safe. Destroy the myth that being sexually active makes a girl a slut.
Girls are also constantly being called prudes because they haven’t kissed anyone yet. This, although completely opposite of slut shaming, is equally as harmful. There are people who are not sexually active and have no desire to be sexually active. There are people who identify as asexual (no sexual attraction), or demisexual (only sexually attracted to those who they have a deep emotional bond with). These people may or may not ever have sexual experiences but that is not something for you to comment on. There is nothing wrong with these people — they are not broken and do not need to be fixed.
Dress code is only perpetuating rape culture. By setting guidelines for what girls can wear, you are imposing on their rights. If you are going to sexualize body parts of females that are not meant to be sexualized, you are the problem and not dress code. It teaches students that if a girl is harassed, it is her own fault. This carries over to rape culture. It is 2014 and people are still asking what the rape victim was wearing at the time of her rape. If someone is murdered, the victim is not blamed. If someone is bullied, the victim is not blamed. Why is it that the victim in a rape is blamed? Society teaches us that if a girl is showing skin, they are “asking for it”. They ignore the fact that a girl might be wearing the clothes she is for other reasons. What if she wears what she does because she is insecure about her parts of her body and it makes her feel confident to show off the parts of herself that she does like? Or what if she is constantly working to do her best in school and dresses the way she does to let loose and have fun? While it is true some girls dress the way they do for male attention, that does not give men the right to have sex with them without their consent because no matter what a girl wears, she is not “asking for it”.
When a school system sends a girl home for wearing shorts too short or a shirt too low cut with the words “you’ll distract the boys”, you teach her that her education is less important than that of the young men who she will allegedly ‘distract’. This is harmful conditioning. At a school in Richmon, VA, a girl was actually ejected from prom because a group of chaperones (all white males in their 40s-50s) ogled her and then told the headmaster that her dress was “too short” and “distracting”. The headmaster immediately complied with the chaperones’ wishes and ejected the girl from the dance, completely skating over the fact that a group of 40-50 year old men were attentively watching a seventeen year old girl in a short skirt. The skirt, if I may add, was regulation length (longer than her fingertips).
If you make girls change the way we dress because of boys, or in the case above, men, who cannot control themselves, you are allowing them to believe that they are superior. This perpetuates the idea that uncontrollable sexual desire is not something to be ashamed of, but something to be coddled and coaxed out of a boy. It assumes that the natural state of man is rapist, assaulter, assailant, but that is not true. Most men are respectful of the way women are, but those that are disrespectful need to be stopped. This is not to say men should not be sexually active. They have every right to be! They can desire sex all they want, but it is when they have it without a girl’s consent that it becomes a problem. Some men justify rape by saying a girl must have wanted it because of the way she was dressed. It is a wriggling, writhing, slithering worm of insidious insecurity. A young woman should be allowed to wear shorts if she wants, or if it’s hot, or if she likes how she looks in them. A young woman should be allowed to wear shirts that show our bra straps without fear of being pulled behind the equipment shed and sexually assaulted because we were “asking for it”. We live in a society where murderers and rapists are humanized because they are teenage boys, where alcohol excuses a boy’s actions but condemns a girl’s, where the phrase “boys will be boys” and the remembrance of a short skirt or revealing clothes are used to excuse actions that are inexcusable.
There is a belief among society that there are “different kinds” of women. There is the bitch, the slut, the virgin, the prude, the mother, the Fat Girl™, the girl who cares too much about how she looks, the Feminist, and the girl who doesn’t eat. These are all false labels. They are created by people to box us in, separate us into categories so they can more easily write us off. Many girls have bought into these poisonous tags, have turned against each other with hisses of “slut” and “bitch”, like these names can cut us, can draw blood. Girls should not turn on ourselves — we are a united force against society who would see us using these swords to hurt our own and will take them, sharpen the other side of them, use them against us, hurl them like knives and design them to cut deep. We cannot let this societal belief take words that are somehow synonymous to “woman” and use them to hurt us. A common phrase among boys’ sports leagues is “don’t throw/kick/run like a girl.” When I was young, I bought into this phrase, let it drip from my lips like some insidious venom. This sort of unwitting sexism, this creeping oppression, will slither into the brains of children — it already has. Young boys are told that they are indubitably superior to girls, and this sticks with them into their adult years.
On Friday, April 25 of 2014, a sixteen-year-old girl named Maren Sanchez went to school, attended her morning class, and then met a friend to walk to her next one. This friend stopped Maren in a crowded area and asked her to prom, knowing that she would refuse, as she had plans to go to prom with her boyfriend. When she said no, her “friend” took out a knife and stabbed her in the neck. Students who knew Maren (and her assailer, who has now been identified as Chris Plaskon) say that he was obsessed with her. This murder had been planned — Plaskon knew Maren would say no, as he knew she had a boyfriend, and so he knew he would be murdering his friend that day. This isn’t the only shocking incident that has taken place recently: in March, a 17-year-old boy confessed to killing his 15-year-old girlfriend during an argument. In February, a 15-year-old boy shot a 16-year-old girl who had broken up with him. Almost all media articles regarding Maren Sanchez’s murder reference how “normal” Chris Plaskon was, or how he was the class clown. One article mentioned how devastated Plaskon’s family was, and how they are a fine, upstanding family. 6,614 American troops were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the same time period, however, 11,766 women in the US were killed as a result of domestic violence. We need feminism because in a world where a teenage girl is murdered because she had the audacity to reject a boy, the media focuses on the boy more than it does on the girl who was killed. We need feminism because when two teenage boys were charged with the rape of a teenage girl, the media focused more on the fact that the boys cried in court than the fact that this girl would never be rid of that horror and shame.
And lastly, feminism has been perpetuated wrongly. Many people think feminists hate men but that is simply not true. Both us are feminists and we have no problem with men, when they’re respectful! Feminism is not about females dominating males, but equality among the genders. We don’t think women should have more privileges than men, we think they should have an equal amount. The commonly known phrase “all men are created equal” should be “all people are created equal”. Because in the end, it is not about our gender, our skin color or our sexuality but what we gave to the world.
I have been know to exacerbate situations
Because by lowering my expectations
It comparatively makes the situation improve
An effective way of dealing with people like you
People whose significance surpasses them all
Because their mere existence is causing me to fall
Fall in love with a fading memory of a boy
Who played with my heart as though it were a toy
It’s an inconvenient truth that I found out so soon
That abandonment occurs to those with everything to loose
And the girl who gave him everything she wanted to keep
Has given him her night because he won’t let her sleep
He preoccupies every corner of my intricate mind
And the one thing I’ve lost, I cannot see to find
I’ve been looking for a way back into your world
But if I can’t come in, don’t let another girl
"Ten and seventeen are spelled exactly the same if you take most of the letters out of seventeen except for the ten." -a deep and thought provoking quote from my father