School dress codes have always existed, but I’m finding the leash is getting shorter and shorter and the list of rules growing longer and longer. Hannah and I went shopping the other day and it was no small task to acquire things that would not find her flagged and calling me from the front office. I don’t recall giving the dress code much thought when I was a kid. But now. Now it’s a huge thing.
We’ve ventured on several shopping trips trying to find shorts that obey the rules. Skirts that aren’t miniature. Tops without cutouts. Shirts that aren’t sleeveless. But I had never thought about it much beyond the inconvenience.
Then one day I lose my head and hold up a sleeveless top in the middle of H&M. Hannah says, exasperated, “We can’t wear sleeveless because they say shoulders are distracting.”
I just stood there still looking at the “offensive” shirt. We live in Florida. It’s basically a jungle, but with palm trees. Sleeveless is a logical choice.
“I have a hard time understanding why it’s our job to manage the distractions and reactions of boys. Why do we have to dress in a certain way to accommodate them? There’s nothing wrong with having arms and legs and shoulders! It sends the wrong message,” she explained.
She was basically saying what I read on NPR:
In Quebec, the fliers Lindsey Stockton posted around her school were inspired by an online image that read: “Don’t humiliate her because she is wearing shorts. It’s hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects.”
“I know…it seems kind of dumb,” I replied. I searched for more commentary, but that’s all I could offer. No answers. But I liked that she was asking the question. Always getting closer to that sun.