The problem is that there is a double standard in dress codes and punishments within schools. Dress codes are often solely targeted towards girls, or female presenting students, and unnecessarily sexualize bodies in an educational setting. As punishment, girls are unfairly asked to leave the classroom, sent to the principal’s office, or given lost and found items to wear in order to “cover up”. However, in many schools male students are rarely subjected to these punishments, proving the double standard. These standards objectify women since others are dictating what they can wear, often leading to low self-esteem as a result.
Actions: For the “Dress-Coded” and the allies
Girls are often given shirts from the lost and found, or instructed to call their parents to bring a change of clothing to school before being allowed to return to class.
To solve this, host a session where people make dress code appropriate shirts with the hashtag “#IamMoreThanADistraction”, for the female students who are dress-coded in order to show that girls are more than a distraction in the classroom. Write the message “I should have been #dresscoded” for male students, who are less likely to be dress-coded.
If asked to leave the classroom change into the denim shirt and rock the strong message.
Amplify your story by posting a picture of you wearing the painted “dress code appropriate” shirt on social media with the #Iammorethanadistraction to raise awareness and help an ongoing campaign for dress code changes.
Post on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
When a female is asked to change clothing, the males in the class put on the shirts “I should have been #dresscoded” in solidarity and in recognition of the double standard of the rules. Post these images on social media with the #dresscoded, and #Iammorethanadistraction to spread the word.
The visibility of the campaign will create direct accountability for the school and the school district. Engage in conversations with your administration on the double standards that you’ve observed and the effects on mental health, education, and sense of self.