Are You Kidding Me? It’s My Shoulder!
School dress codes are annoying, and they vary from teacher to teacher. In one class I can wear track shorts and a two-finger rule tank-top, but in the next class I have to present myself with a jacket and sweatpants, because the way I look in track shorts is inappropriate when compared to the girl that sits behind me or the boy to the left of me.
The girl behind me may weigh less than me and the shorts are loose on her figure, but for me they ride up when I walk and they grasp my legs a little bit when doing so. The boy to the left of me wears the same track shorts I do in a different color, and he has never once been called out in the middle of class for looking too appealing.
The way our dress code is created is to prevent male students from being off task or to prevent us from being seen as anything other than a girl in shorts and a tank-top. It is ridiculous to me, because I can’t even show my shoulders, it is simply just too much skin. What about when it is 98 degrees outside for gym class? If the boys in the weight room can wear “cut-off” tops with slits to their waste, I should be able to reveal my shoulders, but no, shame on me for wearing a top where around my collar you can see the neon color of a sports bra. “It is the temptation we want to prevent.” I started being told this at the age of 9 when I couldn’t even understand how likely I was to draw the attention of every boy in my classroom.
The system is in order to keep the male students in class and on focus so they can get a better education, but what about us? What about the girls that have to take a different route to all of their classes because they are tired of being called out by teachers in the hall? What about the six class periods I missed last Tuesday because I was sent home to change the top I had on? What about my education? What about the education of other girls? Why is it so important that we keep the boys on track? The system is unfair, and it ridicules our rights based on our gender. I will not stand for it. I will not sit back and follow the rules that are only in place for a handful of us. I will not sit here in my chair behind this computer screen and watch the boys in my class show every part of their body, but personally be in trouble for flaunting myself, for showing an extra inch of leg or the shoulders that carry around the textbooks you force us to carry that weigh twice as much as my being. These shoulders, they are strong. They are independent. They will not be hidden beneath my hoodie or a sleeve anymore. Not until it is equal for everyone.