Hey school, keep your traditions and criticism to yourself, no one wants to hear it. Schools are the most prominent example of separation of church and state in today’s society, and for some that’s a good thing, but for others it’s a “costume party.” Young adults and adolescents alike are constantly having to cover up who they are and their ideals to please the academic hierarchy, putting on a costume hiding who they really are from society.Demonstrating feminism in schools is a beneficial thing because students can express themselves freely and their own thoughts in an equal manner. Sexist dress codes, racial and sexual violence, and limited privileges are just some examples of how students are being deprived of the first amendment.
Dress codes, a set of rules specifying the type of clothing to be worn by a group or by people under specific circumstances, are dominating social norms in school today. These codes are not only sexist but limiting American citizens to the right of expression. One school in Illinois is changing its outlook on dress codes. In the article Illinois High School Introduces Inclusive Dress Code aliciaswiz describes how dress codes should be a thing of the past in an Illinois High school by stating , “ETHS is creating a space where students’ education is paramount to sexist, racist and other oppressive clothing norms”(3). This school looked at the gendered and cultural stereotypes embedded in the former code and changed them to fit the kids they are teaching today. I think this is an excellent example of what needs to happen in schools so they become more inclusive. Allowing students to learn but also be themselves is incredibly important, not only for the student but for the school as a whole.
Feminism takes many forms in a school, individuality, and activism. Schools are becoming a place where activism is present, with social and political events. Now politics may not be allowed in most public school systems, but they are in college. Barbara Sostaita explained that in college, she found a group of women that advocated for themselves and demonstrated that college isn’t all about “sitting in lectures and cramming for exams” (Sostaita 2). She goes on to say that Anti -Racism , Sexual violence, Sanctuary campuses, and Workers Rights are all very controversial and important topics in schools right now. Being a college student I agree I myself have already been in a protest on campus. Not only was it beneficial, it was inspiring and invigorating, marching with my fellow student body and chanting, I am glad to be a part of a social and politically dynamic community.
In India, women apart of one of the most conservative schools are fighting the gender norms and protesting for justice. Women staged a protest, shutting down the dormitories after three men on motorcycles”groped a woman” and no justice was served (Gattuso 3). Banaras Hindu University refused to let girls eat meat, stay out after 8pm, and aren’t allowed talk on their cellphones after 10pm. This is a prime example of why women need to be equal to men- not just to have the same opportunities but to have half of society’s respect. Hiding your feelings and not having any rights is a thing of our past. It is now time for the 21st century women to stand up and fight for what we can do and to show society that we are not going to sit in the house sewing, cooking, or cleaning we will go into society and thrive.
On the other hand some people think that having a dress code promotes safety and promotes a positive learning environment. Daniel Stephans quotes Don Woodard, “the students’ “demeanor is better and there are fewer disruptions because of teasing, or students being uncomfortable because of the apparel that others are wearing.” (6) He goes on to say how having something such as a dress code to reduce incidents, intimidation, and violence is not only necessary it’s essential as school violence becomes more prominent. In another article, Peggy Orenstein states “Girls, particularly those with ample hips or breasts, are almost exclusively singled out, typically told their outfits will “distract boys.” As if young men cannot control themselves in the presence of a spaghetti strap.” proving my point that girls are singled out with dress codes and they should disappear because they are sexist and demeaning to students.
This movement is not just here, it is everywhere.Feminism is a global movement of united women all fighting for the same thing, equality. To be equal is to be current and, to be current you must remember the past not repeat it. Whether we are in school or in the work force, we all want the same things, so let’s go out and get them. I stand with aliciaswiz because I believe we should reexamine former dress codes and revise them for future generations because whether we like it or not students and clothes are changing and so should the dress codes.