Friday, August 21, 2015

Dress Code vs. Behavior Round 1; Lets Start a Discussion....

Some time ago, I made a huge statement about what I would and would not post on my blog, how I was going to avoid certain issues-now I am going to eat my hat, with salt, and preferably deep fried. There are some issues as a person I cannot ignore, so, I've decided at least once a week--to post something related to a social issue I find important--some things will be positive, others will be sad--and all I want is for people to talk--to think. 
So here is my first post: 
For the past few weeks there has been much ado about dress codes, locally and nationally. In Kentucky one girl was sent home, because her “clavicles” were showing, even Cosmopolitan picked it up: (read the Article here: School ). I’ve been voicing my own displeasure over how local schools are enforcing their dress codes.  (To make this clear, I am not against reasonable dress codes, but that’s not even my main concern. Personally I think this can easily be negotiated into a compromise)
My concern—is the thought and reasoning behind the dress codes.

For example, my daughter’s high school separated the boys and the girls; to go over the dress code. Which is ridiculous. 

From this talk, this is what the girls walked away with:  Girls were told  what they wore “distracted” the boys. Even within the dress code.  There was even a comment about how one’s curves should be for your husband.  The boys—on the other hand walked away with the understanding they shouldn’t ask for naked picture of girls. 

Basically; boys can’t control themselves and it’s the girls fault. 

Not a good message. 

If I were the parent of boys, I’d be furious to think I couldn’t raise them to behave appropriately.

And as a parent of girls, I’m furious to think my girls are at fault for unwanted behavior. 

I understand the intent was to enforce dress code—but the delivery was misguided and sent the wrong message and this needs to be addressed.  Why? Because appropriate behavior should be expected on both sides—and it’s a simple and easy to explain. 

My husband and I started to write people—the school, school board, and there is no response so I started talking about it in social media. 

But first—why am I doing this? 

Why is this the hill I want to die on? 

Because THIS thought process about dress codes is the tip of bigger iceberg; WHY are the schools so bent on enforcing the new stricter rules, and WHY are the girls to blame? And boys are felt they cannot control themselves?

This should bother you. 

We are not animals. None of us are. Part of growing up is learning to conduct ourselves appropriately. To behave in a courteous manner. If you don’t---well you end up in jail (at the worst) or socially ostracized (at the least).

No one deserves abuse; or harassment no MATTER what they wear.

No one has the RIGHT to hurt another because of what they wear. 

EVERYONE can control themselves. 

There are brutal societies at this very moment who embrace this very dangerous thought process condoning violence against someone because of what they wear, or who they are; people who are suffering because of this dysfunctional belief.

Are we going to let the assumption boys can’t control themselves take root in our schools? Teach our children clothing young ladies wear is at fault for boys not learning control? 


This isn’t just about dress code, it’s about behavior and about something dark and ugly that is trying to dig in deep. 

What do you think? Do you think this is something we need to address?

I took this conversation to Twitter, and addressed a local talk show host—to get his thoughts on this matter, and he came across as not supportive of my view of behavior vs. dress code. This is fine, because it’s his opinion, but this is a discussion we need to have and not ignore.

Next post I will transcribe our conversation---and make some points and observations about the conversation I did have with talk show host. It was a lively and engaging conversation.  So tune in for the next installment on Saturday.

House keeping rules:  I welcome discussion and diverse views; I don't welcome personal attacks, including profanity against each other. Please feel free to comment, but I will delete anyone who isn't being civil. Thank you!


  1. This has to stop. It's scary to think where this is going. WE cannot allow society to regress on female rights.

    1. I agree Jillian!
      I think if we talk about; and not ignore it, then it will be start!

  2. When people tell me that men cannot control their urges, I always say, "But somehow they manage to not poop their pants."

    1. Linda, that is probably the best response ever. :)

  3. As an educator, auntie, and advocate for students everywhere, I have to agree. I have been girl who had been made an object lesson of for a skirt right at my knee and a blouse that "showed too much cleavage" although it was buttoned up.

    I have also been the teacher to write up students (male and female) for inappropriate clothing (clearly outside the school dress code.)

    When we as a society blame one sex or the other, we excuse and dismiss rude and assaulting behavior. I want to say NO MORE! it shouldn't be a sex issue, but one which speaks to universal morals and ethics.

    Thank you for bringing this up.

    1. Lisa,
      You are on the front lines, and see it all and I don't envy you, and I agree about what you are saying. I am glad you see the same thing. This is important.

  4. Well stated! Thank you for your intelligent and reasonable perspective on this!

  5. I've been in KY for the last 21 years. There are strict dress codes in the schools here.
    I noticed a few years ago the middle school girls, schlepping into school in their khakis and polo shirts.Where girls should be taking pride in their appearance, most of them were just going through the motions of moving.I voiced to my husband just the other night that I wondered if the high teen-sex rate wasn't because the girls couldn't get attention any other way...but I may be waaaaay off course there.
    I will add something that struck me funny . When my grandson started preschool, the dress code stated that girls must wear shorts under skirts for modesty's sake.I got in touch with the few of my old grade school friends wit whom I had been in contact. I asked them if they remembered when we were in school, we had to wear skirts over shorts' for modesty's sake'. How times have changed.

    1. Tonette they have indeed changed, I keep hoping we can think a bit more --- and thank you for your perspective!

  6. I agree that it's a bad message to send to boys that they can't control themselves. Feeds into victim blaming with sexual assault to focus so much on girls' clothing. Girls might also feel pressure to wear revealing clothing in order to be accepted due to the sexualization of girls. Not that they should dress in revealing ways but they feel the pressure nonetheless. They're just trying to fit in.

    1. Jennifer-- I agree; I don't mind reasonable dress codes. A person on FB, mentioned how in her school; they issued t-shirts and sweatshirts to the kids to make it simple. Not a perfect solution; but it's an option.
      Still---like you said, peer pressure is extremely powerful.