A couple of weeks ago, my school, a private school, had a meeting for all the girls in the high school. We have a dress code at our school.
- No straps that are less than three fingers
- Nothing that is more than four inches above your knee
- No stomach showing
- No over-exposing your back
- No strapless
We have a running joke in our school, boys and girls. We say, “Omigod your shoulders are SOOO distracting!” ……because shoulders are not a target for sexual harassment.
So on one hand we have the sexual harassment and on the other we have the target of the sexual harassment. And let me be clear, the target is almost never the actual person….it is the body part. So, what do you think is the real problem…the target? or the actual harassment? To me, at least, the answer is obvious. We should be fixing the real problem…the harassment, which means talking to the harassers.
Now, back to the beginning when I mentioned my school had a meeting for all the high school girls. The teachers had a “fashion show” of acceptable and not acceptable things to wear to school. I will admit…the dress code is almost nonexistent because most people ignore it….and occasionaly I will. So I do think it is important that students obey the schools’ rules. However, the school does not enforce it AT ALL and then have this meeting with us.
It seemed like they were trying to have a serious discussion with us about dressing apropriatly while making us laugh….almost all of us were not laughing. As I looked around the auditorium, I saw people shaking their heads or grimacing. The teachers were actually telling us to dress better according to their standards in order to not attract the wrong attention. The wrong attention aka sexual harassment.
Now, where were the boys? They were in a seperate room also being talked to. About harassing girls? Of course not. About how they dress to chapel.
Now these teachers. I am sure they meant no harm. And in fact no harm was done, because that is the way things are today. They didn’t make anything worse. It was already this bad.
I onetime had a teacher come up to me. I was wearing a dress, on the shorter side I admit, but not because I wanted any type of attention from guys. I decided to wear that dress that day because …..well it was a cute dress. I should add I wore it with tights that were black and not transparent. It was my spanish teacher. She told me, “I think you are showing people more than you want them to see.” Well, I am sorry, but that is not your decision. And, as a woman, I will not let you take away my right to dress the way I want because you fear me getting harassed. How about you go talk to those boys that have been harassing me my whole life no matter what I wear.