Dress Codes and the Sexualization of Young Girls
What is more important? Taking the time to complete a homework assignment or to be
sure that the clothes you choose to wear to school are ‘appropriate’?
When a girl shows too much of her chest, legs, or even her shoulder, she could be pulled
out of class for being too distracting to the boys. It’s perfectly fine if a boy wears a sleeveless
shirt that shows his ribs, but a woman’s bra-strap is just too shocking!
She will get a lecture from the principal, instead of getting a lesson from her teacher as
part of her education. This is already a waste of her time, on top of having to make sure she
won’t go to school and draw the attention of her male school-mates. Boys wouldn’t think to
sexualize a knee or a shoulder, unless they were taught to. Why would they in the first place? It might have to do with the dress codes keeping girls covered. Be careful, ladies, your shirt has to cover your whole stomach and chest; skirts and shorts are ok as long as they reach down to the knees.
When blame is put on girls for being “over-exposed” that just shows it’s okay and normal
to sexualize the anatomy of the female form. So, clearly, the boys aren’t doing anything wrong here.
This mentality leads to the continuation of rape culture. The victim of a sexual assault is
blamed for not having acted as they “should” or for not having worn the “right” clothing. A
woman has had too much to worry for and change about herself to stay safe, starting as a
There is still so much we have to do to get closer to a world where gender equality is
something everyone can embrace. Allowing girls to express themselves comfortably in the
clothes they choose, is a great way to start.