Thursday, May 3, 2018

Annual Spring Reminder


There, I said it.

I am getting to the point where I wish that we could all feel the same way about boobs as we do, say, elbows.

As my older daughter said to me once, “Come on! Everybody has boobs or knows someone who does.”

As the weather gets warmer and students want to wear more comfortable clothing, many will have run-ins with teachers and administrators. The majority of those students will be young women.

Now, not all of these moments of body shaming will be about breasts. Some will be about legs. Or shoulders. Or how much skin is exposed at the midsection.

Please, please, please can we stop for a minute and face the fact that what we deem as “too naughty for school” is purely a social construct which sexualizes young women’s bodies in a way that young men are never, ever targeted? The only thing that allows sexist dress codes to exist and persist is social agreement.

Young women’s legs, shoulders, necks, midriffs, backsides, and yes, even breasts are not innately sexual and “inappropriate.” 

Dress codes which operate with the assumption that young women’s bodies are somehow always on the verge of being inappropriate make schools unsafe places that are less conducive to learning and growth.

School clothing should be comfortable, safe for learning, and appropriate for the weather. Period.

Any dress code which targets one gender as consistently as it gives the other a free pass is, in essence, a violation of those students’ rights to get an education. And it teaches the other students that, when it comes to bodily autonomy, they get it. Girls don’t.

Boobs are boobs, folks. Get over it.

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