Cover up means your nose not my bra straps

Dress codes perpetrate rape culture by valuing a male education over a womans comfort.

Ella R

Dress codes perpetrate rape culture by valuing a male education over a woman’s comfort.

Dear Mr. Dress Code,

Future once said “Mask on, f*** it, mask off.” He was wrong, put the mask back on. If I have to cover my bra straps to help aid the concentration of the male students, everyone can put their straps over their ears, and wear a mask.

How is it that boys at school can wear their masks on their chins but I, a female, cannot wear a shirt that shows my collar bones? Everyday I walk through the halls and see so many people with their masks on their chins, their noses sticking out the top, or their masks not even on at all, and nobody gives them a second glance. 

I sat behind a boy in a class and guess what? HE DIDN’T HAVE A MASK. He was even approached by a teacher during the class, yet not once was he asked to put a mask on. And yet, I can’t wear a tank top in 103-degree weather. Does COVID simply not apply to males, or are people just that ignorant? How do a woman’s shoulders affect your learning more than a life-threatening pandemic?

I am not his mother, therefore I should not be responsible for his learning. It shouldn’t matter if I am wearing nothing but a bikini or full head-to-toe scuba gear. A male should be able to focus on his learning while I focus on mine, without me being objectified.

Seeing a mask below a chin, however, is a valid distraction from learning because incorrect mask use is a pressing danger to my health and life and is therefore the only thing I can think about in class.

Do rules not apply to the entire population? A dress code is used to maintain a professional work environment, it is supposed to pertain to all genders, not just females. Why say students when they are clearly only talking about one gender?

Section eight of the Montgomery County Public School dress code states that, “Shirts and blouses exposing the midriff, and any clothing over-exposing the body, including razor back shirts, thin-strapped tank tops, off the shoulder tops/blouses/t-shirts, and thin-strapped blouses are not allowed.” If female students are responsible for dressing appropriately, why aren’t male students held to the same standard? So he can sag his pants, but she can’t show her shoulders?

Male students constantly run around shirtless with no consequences, yet I cannot practice in a sports bra. So he can be shirtless, but she can’t show her bra straps?

Dress codes perpetrate rape culture by valuing a male education over a woman’s comfort. (Ella Rishell)

So, Mr. Dress Code, section 10 of the MCPS dress code states that tops and sleeveless shirts must be three fingers wide for just female students, not everyone. 

Mr. Dress Code, section six of the MCPS dress code also states that rips in jeans above the fingertips that expose skin are not allowed and any skin shown through said rips or holes must be covered. My fingertips land at my knees, am I supposed to find jeans with rips in the shins? 

The dress code also states that shorts, skirts, and dresses must land four inches above the knees all the way around the body. What about those of us with long legs? Many of us cannot help the way we were born, the female anatomy playing a large part in that. Females should not have to be told to cover up or be objectified in a school or work setting. A woman should not be told she cannot wear something simply because it shows too much skin. So, I ask you one last time Mr. Dress Code, why can he get away with it, but she can’t?

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