Why are dress codes sexist

Dress code in schools - how much skin can there be, how much clothing must? - Considerations of a schoolgirl somewhere between decency and sexism


REGION. As is so often the case in life, our existence consists of subordinating ourselves to norms and rules and tacitly nodding, obeying them and, ideally, not even being allowed to question them. That this is already the case at a young age can be seen in the reaction of some schools to scarce summer clothing - the dreaded dress code. The fact that the latter is sometimes decided over the heads of the student body is shown in their reaction.

The Facebook page “The dress code must go”, which has set itself the goal of withdrawing the dress code at the Deutschhausgymnasium Würzburg, has almost 600 likes. There is currently a lot of discussion - but how do students from other schools see this dress code? Is it justified or possibly a restriction on personal development?

In hot summer temperatures, I started looking for solutions, arguments for and against, and my own theses.

It is undisputed that schools have to teach according to the curriculum: pupils have to read certain lectures, master formulas by heart and ideally learn another foreign language. However, there are also information and values ​​that I believe should be conveyed outside of the curriculum in order to educate students to be responsible people.

It is of course the easiest way to forbid everything that falls outside of the norms in order to suppress any otherness in principle. Of course, I don't speak out against equality, because you definitely won't achieve that with such a dress code. By letting the students wear a wide T-shirt over their clothing, in the best case scenario, you actively promote the demarcation of the punished. That almost borders on public embarrassment, as if one were on the best way to lead someone to the executioner.

Does a school uniform help?

To ensure basic equality, a school uniform might be needed, which would certainly have its advantages. Not every family can afford expensive branded clothing. A uniform would ensure less superficiality, because at least nobody would be able to judge on the basis of external appearances. A dress code, on the other hand, promotes at most the point of view mentality à la “look what he's done again”.

Freedom only on weekends? Dress code or school uniform during the week?

In my opinion, the whole concept can be questioned in further respects. Something is banned because it irritates someone. However, one must note that these mood swings are very subjective. Just because I don't particularly like the color red does not mean that I have the right to forbid other people to follow a common thread in life. If something bothers me, I should appeal to myself in the first place and ask myself why I feel disturbed. After all, nobody forces me to see red, at most I force myself to see it. In addition, the question arises here how red something has to be so that I get angry about it. To make the transition - should pants and skirt lengths be neatly measured with a ruler in the morning ?!

A question of independence

I see another counter-argument clearly in the context of the independence of us students. From a certain age, you should be aware of the effect you convey through your clothes. If this is not the case, at least a little hint from the parents should follow that it is not the best idea to go to school in a bikini. Immediately afterwards the school follows, which could communicate information in a private context and should not make the student as such a public object of ridicule.

My biggest problem getting used to such a rule, however, is that you see skimpy girls as the real problem. It is believed that they would distract the male sex and therefore need to get dressed. The word “decency” is often used in this context. Now maybe you should just appeal to the decency of the male population and ask to keep your eyes to yourself.

No woman makes herself an object of her own free will

No woman voluntarily makes herself an object - she is made an object. Why should a woman hide herself just so as not to distract someone who is not completely under "control". The female body is not reprehensible. Of course, that doesn't mean we're all going to school naked. It just means that you shouldn't question why someone is doing something for themselves. After all, women and men, to put it bluntly, sometimes dress the way they do for very practical reasons. It is certainly not difficult to understand why one wears short instead of long trousers in 35 degrees in the shade. Clothing doesn't always have to be an act to please the opposite sex - you can just please yourself.

Often people also express themselves through their clothing. It is completely legitimate for someone to like it briefly and succinctly. You can try to see it as a kind of provocation against norms and rules - you can get angry about it. There are many ways of interpretation.

What is certain, however, is that adolescent boys should focus more on the lesson than on the section of their table neighbor - but if you only care about the section and not the one who is looking, the problem is still a long way off. So it is not surprising that girls are held responsible if they are victims of sexual over-conceptions. Everyone justifies this with the fact that they could have attracted something else - but that everyone can become a victim once, nobody sees that until he is the victim himself. Reversal of guilt is not a solution to a problem, but rather a problem shifting. Or has a school once talked about why some boys wear their pants so low that you can hear them scrubbing across the asphalt? Is that also an indication that the boy, if he is the victim of a crime, is to blame for it himself? He could have put on a belt after all.

Sexist Thought: Step in the Wrong Direction

For me it remains questionable why some schools sign and convey such sexist ideas wordlessly - at times when emancipation should actually already be internalized and part of our everyday life. Thus not only the last revolutionary spark is emitted, but a step is taken in the wrong direction: Back! Lateral thinkers are therefore not wanted at all. It is trimmed to be uniform. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether that should be the task of the school. I myself think that active demarcation, subliminal sexism and the education of the dumbly nodding citizen should not find a place in schools. A school uniform, on the other hand, can be said to favor equality. Dress code or not - someone will always be dissatisfied!

by Jessica Haak

The question on the topic: What about the dress code?

Benedict Christ, 17:
I don't think a dress code is good because it hinders every individual in his or her personal development or does not allow it at all. In this case, for me, such a ban even conflicts with the Basic Law. Interfering with the choice of clothing is almost comparable to interfering with human dignity. Germany is a free country. Here everyone should have the opportunity to decide what to wear - even to school. As long as the clothing moves within a certain framework, nothing reprehensible or negative can be found in it. I don't see a problem here. Nobody has the right to intervene in such a decision. Especially since a ban would be pointless anyway and would rather have the opposite effect.

Valentina Braun, 17:
I think everyone should wear what they want, as long as they are comfortable in them, that's okay. Above all, in such warm temperatures, it is okay to put on hot pants with a normal length to go to school. Still, I wouldn't wear crop tops to school. However, if someone feels good about it, I don't mind.

Isabel Raßner, 18:
I don't understand why there has to be such a regulation. The term “freedom of movement” is very subjective, so that in the end the teachers are probably more bothered by it than the students themselves. In principle, everyone should have enough decency to dress in such a way that nobody is irritated. Personally, I would be scared if someone misunderstood my style of dress. Otherwise everyone should be allowed to wear what they want. I understand, of course, when someone wears a bump in such warm temperatures. Nevertheless, there is a sense of personal shame somewhere about being so openly in public, which is why I tend to wear something like this at home. You also have to keep in mind that nobody can do anything for their physical stature. If someone has long legs, shorts generally look shorter. It would be stupid to forbid something that others are allowed to do. In addition, not everyone finds wide long trousers as beautiful as short ones. Everyone should be able to determine that for themselves.

Pascal Döll, 18:
Basically, I don't mind if someone wears hot pants, tank tops and the like, although some people overdo it a little. In England and the US, many schools have adopted uniforms a long time ago, which in my opinion is not necessarily a bad thing. Often children are bullied because their parents cannot afford branded clothes and therefore they do not always have the latest clothes. A school uniform would of course prevent this. In general, however, I am not entirely conclusive about a certain dress code, because everyone should be able to decide for themselves what he or she wears and what not. A ban on hot pants etc. is therefore nonsense.

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