Dress code unnecessary, people should control their minds

I have found that many people think it is their right to exhibit outrage in response to students’ clothing choices.  I find this ridiculous, as no one is really affected by what other people decide to wear. Furthermore, it is not anyone’s responsibility to dictate what is appropriate for students to wear.Last year, many cried out against the dressing habits of students, claiming girls’ shorts were getting too short, their necklines too low, and their tops too sheer. They even threw in some talk about sagging pants to make it seem like the dress code isn’t targeting girls only. They claimed that many students’ attire was “inappropriate” and “distracting.” They cautioned young women not to show too much skin, lest people get “the wrong idea.” And, eventually, they persuaded school officials to reform their methods of enforcing the dress code, becoming stricter.Much of the language used to describe issues people have with student attire is problematic. Those harboring conservative attitudes toward how students should dress criticize young women for showing what they consider to be too much skin. They claim that female students will distract other students by wearing revealing clothing, when, in reality, it is the responsibility of each student to control his or her mind and focus in class. Students need to learn how to live and function in a world where other people have bodies at varying degrees of exposure. It is not the student’s fault if someone is distracted by the appearance of her or his body. We teach students harmful lessons by placing the responsibility of how others view them on themselves.

It is intrusive to dictate what young adults and teenagers should wear to school. If students and their parents agree that clothing is acceptable, no one should feel it is her or his business to tell them otherwise. Clothing choice is personal and should not be eligible for public scrutiny. People have the ability to ignore the clothing choices of others, as they do not really affect them. Students are, however, negatively affected by harassment and judgment from their peers, teachers, and school administrators prompted by their attire.

People should mind their own business and leave decisions regarding clothing to the individuals wearing the clothing in question. If modest dress is important to people, they should cover themselves up, but refrain from pushing their values about clothing onto those who don’t share them. Teachers should teach their students not to worry about their clothing.

3 thoughts on “Dress code unnecessary, people should control their minds

  • May 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm
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    The same people who promote dress codes promoting modesty are usually the same who laugh at and sometimes try to ban the more conservative berka(sp.) sometimes worn by islamic women. Hypocrisy. Just say what you mean. You like to control others and in opinion that gives me a moral right if given the power to control you.

  • November 10, 2011 at 10:23 am
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    As a CVHS alumnus and former Editor-in-Chief of The Olympian, I thought it was hilarious that some things never change. Every year, without fail, there’s an opinion article around the dress code. My very first opinion article published was about inmodest dress (see page 3, “Hide Your Butt, Slut” – [i did not come up with that headline]).

    But I do think it’s pretty clear that what you wear does impact others, especially when you have to look at people to be social in this world. Let’s all be a little bit considerate of other people’s values as well. Even if modesty isn’t all that important to you, it’s disrespectful to flaunt what someone else believes to be wrong in front of their faces.

    If we held that kind of logic when speaking about race, it’d be like saying it’s okay for me to say racial slurs to others because I can say whatever I want. I’m not saying people should have the freedom to choose, because they obviously do, but let’s all be a little bit considerate of those around us as well when choosing our clothing.

    It’s not just all about you/us/ourselves, after all.

  • October 28, 2011 at 6:24 pm
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    “Clothing choice is personal and should not be eligible for scrutiny”? What if one’s “personal” “clothing choice” is harmful to others? Suppose a student were to wear a shirt promoting the genocide of an ethnic group, what then? The dress code, as it stands, prohibits students from wearing any article of clothing that promotes any type of hate; it does not just place restrictions on the length of clothes. Clothes with hateful messages are distracting. In fact, they do not contribute to a safe school environment. The same is to be said of immodest dress.

    It is not sound to just say “control your mind” when they are legitimate distractions before your eyes.
    This issue goes both ways. Students–regardless of gender–should not dress immodestly, and they even should not be even thinking lewd, lascivious, lustful thoughts in the first place–our school is not supposed to be a place of fornication.

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