This isn’t a post about why it’s okay to defy dress codes– after all, they’re often implemented for a reason- however surely we must question the rules in order to establish whether the logic behind them is fair or not. Because the guy that sang that song that was used in the Cadburys advert a few years ago which then got covered by Ella Eyre said ‘we don’t have to take our clothes off to have a good time’ which presents a nicely rounded smorgasbord of options. We can strip if we want to but we by no means have to. However at the moment, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Recently minimal clothing has become synonymous with forcing little girls in spaghetti straps to leave school to prevent their shoulders from being a distraction to the boys. In this situation, the child was five years old.
In the UK, the weather isn’t hot enough for shorts and even if it was most schools have uniforms which control what you wear, so although you can be disciplined for rolling your skirt too much, from what I’m aware, our system is nowhere near as critical as that in (for example) American schools where girls are actually sent home due to their outfits. Now when it comes to feminism there is probably no issue whiter than discussing how middle class American teens are being sent home for exposing too much St Tropez tan but the other day I saw this comment under one of Emily Ratajkowski’s Instagram posts and I was too shocked to function. So I think it’s worth talking about.There are just so many flaws in their argument (and note how I’ve kept their name in so you can go comment about how much of a wanker they are on all their pics) for example their emphasis on male attention. Now I’m neither a teacher or a sexuality-mind-reader however when people say girls’ bodies are ‘distracting boys’ they’re assuming that a) every boy in the class is heterosexual (considering I live in Brighton this is highly unlikely) b) this automatically means they fancy her and c) if she doesn’t leave the room right this second they’ll be distracted and… and then what? What are schools so afraid of that they’d rather ask the girl to leave the lesson than have a boy distracted for 30 seconds before turning around and focusing on the board again? Is this not equally patronising for the boys because we’re indicating they can’t hold their wanks in until their next lunch hour? Plus, what’s so distracting about shoulders? Unless these were genetically modified Avatar shoulders which play Coldplay’s greatest hits every time you raise your arm to answer a question, I remain unconvinced.
And speaking of sexualities, what about the lesbians? You never hear a girl being asked to leave because her V-neck was distracting another girl from doing algebra, so rather lesbians are really good at multitasking or- here’s a super novel idea that’ll blow your mind- they recognise it’s literally not an issue. It’s just some cloth and then the cloth stops and it’s skin. Magic. By asking someone to leave because they’re showing skin indicates that showing skin is wrong, but realistically what is inherently wrong about it?
When we look at reasons why someone would wear a t-shirt and no tights to school they seem pretty practical: hot weather, excessively sweaty (#relatable), comfort, easy to get in and out of during pit stops aka tampon changes, everything else is in the wash- basically a list that extends a lot further than cunchurch2’s (quick question: does that mean there’s a cunchurch1?) belief that outfit choices are driven solely by attention.Newsflash: what you wear isn’t synonymous with how you want to be treated otherwise the fact we don’t wear crash helmets all the time would imply we all want to be hit in the face. All the time.
And even if you do dress for attention, what’s the problemo? What’s the difference between wearing a backless dress and getting your tongue pierced- why should the latter be tolerated if not the former? I’ve honestly never taken great offense about anything anyone’s worn (except those grotesque MENINIST hoodies ew ew typing the word makes me want to vom) and can’t say I’ve been ‘distracted’ in any way so if it’s not hurting anybody then why is it an issue. Cunchurch2 favours brains over sexiness but how can we develop brains if we spend the whole time in the headteacher’s office because there’s period stains on everything except our denim shorts. (Plus, realistically by wearing a short skirt on a hot day you’re showcasing more brains than the kid in a jumper #JustSayin)
Before you say ‘this prepares you for work’ think about if it actually does, because I’m sceptical. When you go to work you are rather given a uniform or a strict dress code which is appropriate for the product you’re selling/service you’re providing/people you’re meeting, at school you’re thrown into a classroom and only told you can’t wear your £12 Zara crop top once you’re wearing it, for reasons that are never properly explained to you and in order to prioritise a boy’s needs over your own. If a boy isn’t mature enough to sit behind a girl with bare shoulders then should he really be sitting there without holding Mummy’s hand?
If we tell girls to leave a room every time they wear weather appropriate clothes that they feel comfortable in, we’re simultaneously discouraging them from feeling comfortable, purposely disciplining them so they cover up next time and reducing their body confidence by making them feel conscience that everyone’s looking at them. We’re instilling the idea that shoulders are rare, precious gems that shouldn’t be seen. We’re putting completely irrelevant pieces of fabric above the education of our future engineers, CEOs and MPs, all of which seems completely unfair. Soz cunchurch2, you’re a twat.