One Viral Sign Sums up the Sexist Hypocrisy of Dress Codes

October 27th 2015

Laura Donovan

School dress codes have been criticized for often sending the unfair message to young girls that they need to dress modestly so as not to distract their male peers in class.

RELATED: Teens Are Fighting Sexist Dress Codes With This Brilliant Hashtag

This logic is misguided and puts the blame on young women for the behavior of men, and many people aren't tolerating it anymore.

This sign below echoes the sentiment of those who fight against dress codes. The image on Tumblr explains that we should tell men not to over-sexualize women's bodies rather than create dress codes on the foundation that men cannot help themselves.

Dress code sexism

As this points out, instead of blaming girls, we should set higher expectations for boys.

RELATED: The Real Problem With Sexist School Dress Codes

Dress code controversies

In another recent case, the Charleston County School of the Arts (CCSOA) made news after students used the symbolic "A" from "The Scarlet Letter" to protest what they saw as dress code shaming on campus. Other schools have also come under fire for similar dress code controversies.

In 2014, ATTN: contributor Sarah Burris wrote that it's misguided and wrong to enforce dress codes merely because boys might be too distracted by a female peer's clothing to pay attention in class. Burris likened this argument to the logic people use when they say rape victims were "asking for it" by wearing certain clothes.

"The whole thing is outdated and sexist, and not just for women," she wrote. "If we use 'boys will be boys' as an excuse for bad behavior, we are saying that we expect bad behavior out of men and boys."

As ATTN: previously put it, "men and boys shouldn't be reduced to cavemen. They deserve more credit, and should be held to higher standards, regardless of a dress code."

People are now fighting sexist dress code standards on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with #IAmMoreThanaDistraction and #IAmNotADistraction. It's made the rounds on social media the past two years during back-to-school season.



Today the White House announced the launch of the #ItsOnUs campaign to stop sexual assault. In light of the fact that 1 in 5 women are assaulted while in college, we recorded a video with our friend Taryn Southern to highlight some stats on the frequency of sexual assault on college campuses. Please watch and encourage your friends to watch too. We believe all students deserve to know if their school is maintaining a safe environment. There's a bill that would require colleges to publish their sexual assault statistics online so that parents and students can make an informed choice when comparing universities. If you support this bipartisan legislation, you can add your name here: http://wefb.it/55F7C5

Posted by ATTN: on Friday, September 19, 2014


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