4 Reasons School Dress Codes Are Sexist | Decoded

4 Reasons School Dress Codes Are Sexist | Decoded


– Think a world without school
dress codes would be chaos? This week on Decoded, oh
no, not this dream again. A few years back student
rebellions against sexist dress codes were all over the news, with campaigns like
#iammorethanadistraction. It’s been pretty cool watching
kids get in on the action and fighting for the
change they believe in. Now, I know what you’re
thinking, if dress codes are sexist what should we do,
just not have dress codes? But, that would lead to a
world of unstructured madness, mass hysteria, and no one would ever know spaghetti strap tops were appropriate. Someone think of the children. Okay, stop. Before you get your dress code
compliant undies in a bunch, let me just say that, no I don’t believe the answer is to just abolish dress codes. But, let’s strap in and take a look at how dress codes can get things wrong. Really, really, wrong. Number one, unfair enforcement. Let’s get one thing straight, it’s reasonable for
schools to have guidelines on what not to wear, just
like a normal workplace. Or a convenience store with a no shirt, no shoes, no service sign. Also, the thought of being barefoot in a convenience store makes me, ugh. The problem is that a lot
of the items schools ban take pretty specific aim at girls. Remember the story about
the 15 year old Florida girl forced to wear a shamesuit
for wearing a skirt just slightly too short to meet the school’s knee-length dress code. Or, how about the 15 year old girl recovering from cancer
treatment who got sent to the principal’s
office for wearing a hat. Or, earlier this year,
when a 17 year old girl was forced to put bandaids on her nipples because her sunburn made it too
uncomfortable to wear a bra. And, yes, for those who don’t know, black people can get sunburns. Wait, really? Hm. And, while many of these
rules are technically evenly applied across genders, like rules about how
long shorts have to be, whether tank tops are acceptable, or if it’s ever okay to show midriff. They don’t affect boys nearly as much. Probably because we haven’t
progressed as a society enough where 15 year old
boys feel comfortable wearing crop tops to school. Plus, girls fashion has a
lot more variety than boys, and many of these rules send a message that girls bodies are a distraction that they’re at fault for. Which brings me to our next point. Number two, dress codes
sexualize young girls. Distraction is a word that comes up a lot when people talk about dress codes. Can clothes be distracting? Absolutely. I imagine that if someone
showed up to school wearing one of those one-man-band
outfits from Mary Poppins, a full astronaut suit, or a
hard core Black Panther cosplay, you might have a few questions. But, distracting is often a coded way of saying that an outfit is too sexy, which is incredibly subjective. The rules that often get laid out, bans on leggings, restrictions
on shorts and skirts, or rules about cleavage, are more about policing girls bodies than they are about banning certain clothes. One Kentucky girl got sent
home for violating a dress code because a teacher could
see her collarbone. Sexy, forbidden, collarbone. The lesson here is that girls bodies are a distraction and
boys aren’t responsible for staying focused on their own work. It’s a very backwards message, and it doesn’t give enough
credit to girls or to boys. We should be teaching
boys to be responsible for their own actions,
instead of blaming girls for what they’re wearing. Otherwise, we’re just
reinforcing the heteronormative idea that teenage boys are
uncontrollable sex monsters. Whatever you do, don’t
show them your collarbone. (screaming) Even worse, the way students sometimes get punished for breaking dress code, by being given suspensions,
or being forced to wear intentionally hideous
school supplied cover-ups, feels like it’s more
about shaming the students as opposed to keeping
order in the school itself. So, that whole thing about distractions, sorry, not buying it. Number three, racial
prejudice can be built in. Yes, dress codes can, and frequently are racist as well as sexist. Earlier this year, the
National Women’s Law Center put out a report alleging that black girls are significantly more likely to be hit with dress code violations
than their white counterparts. There are a number of reasons why, but one of the biggest
issues seems to be hair. Oh, if only there were some show with a charming and fashionable host, that already did a quick, funny explainer about black hair stereotypes. The NWLC report found that 70% of schools in Washington D.C. banned students from wearing scarves or headwraps. Other schools have banned
locks, braids, extensions, or even just black girls being able to wear their naturally textured hair. A 12 year old Florida girl
was threatened with expulsion if she wouldn’t cut or style her hair. A Toronto eighth grader was told that her hair was too poofy for school. And, what constitutes natural
hairstyles for black girls is very different than
girls with non-kinky hair. And, those differences need to
be understood and respected. Oh, a video on black hair stereotypes would be so useful right now. Can someone make that video? Number four, they reinforce
gender stereotypes. Did you know that public schools in the US aren’t actually legally aloud to have separate dress codes for boys and girls? Thanks Title IX. Apparently, neither do a
whole bunch of schools. In 2013, one school
punished a 14 year old boy for wearing eye shadow
and eye liner to class. Something plenty of girls
do every day without issue. Guy liner, if Khal Drogo
can do it, so can you. In 2016, students in one California school decided they were fed up with the rules that required boys to
keep their hair short, banned them from wearing earrings, and required girls shoulder straps to be wider than two inches. They protested against the policies by swapping clothes for a day. Boys wore skirts and dresses,
girls wore jeans and sweaters. One of the students said,
our district’s dress code should not favor or
discriminate any gender. We believe everyone should be able to express themselves equally. A boy with long hair is
no less of a hard worker than a girl with long hair. I’m not crying, you’re crying. The best part about all of
this was just two months later the school changed it’s dress code to get rid of gender differences. This is good news not just
for cisgender boys and girls, but also for trans and
non-binary students. All students should have the same options to express themselves,
regardless of gender. So, what should we do about all of this? Look, school can be
stressful enough as it is, without having to worry about a teacher body checking you in the hallway. And, tossing you into a shamesuit, to tell you that your shoulder straps are a few centimeters too narrow, or your fingers reach just
past the tip of your shorts. But, there is a way to do this right. For example, Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois,
created a dress code that explicitly tries to
avoid reinforcing stereotypes on the basis of race, sex,
gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household
income, or body type. And, they got the idea
from the Oregon National Organization for Women’s model dress code. The basic rule is simple,
students need to make sure that the butt, boobs,
nipples, and genitals, also known as BBNG, are covered. Okay, that acronym isn’t
great, but you get it. Other than that, students
can pretty much wear whatever they want, as
long as the outfit includes a shirt, pants, and
shoes, and doesn’t promote violence, drug use, or hate speech. Evanston Township’s experiment
seems to be going well. And now, other schools in the area, and around the country, are considering changing their dress codes too. So, shout out to all the student activists who are pushing to change
sexist and racist dress codes, and looking good while doing it. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time,
right here on Decoded.

100 Replies to “4 Reasons School Dress Codes Are Sexist | Decoded”

  1. I haven't watched this but I'm glad Franny is finally addressing male issues.
    Like boys not being allowed to wear shorts despite the fact they could years ago and having to wear trousers yet oddly being allowed to wear skirts because there was never a rule against it whereas girls can wear skirts of trousers even though in hot temperatures and at that age when boys are going through puberty they need to be able to wear shorts for good reproductive health making this a male issues.

    Good on you Franny for finally growing as a person and being on the right side of history.
    She did cover that right?

  2. Boys are impacted by dress codes too. They can't have odd colored hair, chain wallets, wide open tank tops,etc. The reason it impacts girls slightly more is because there's just way, way WAY more choices girls have when it comes to clothing. It also just so happens to have way more INAPPROPRIATE options. The most obvious part is girls actually go out of their way to dress inappropriate to garner attention. Boys aren't attention seekers to the degree girls are.

    yawn more self-victimization. Interesting how all of these claims of sexism is so easily destroyed with just a tiny bit of logic and rational thought eh?

  3. In my elementary school, if you broke the dress code, you had to wear giant tee shirt with a cow on it. I’m sorry but that’s way more distracting than spaghetti straps!

  4. I don't really care how students dress, but people also shouldn't care if the teacher ogles the students who dress hot. Its the double standard that is the problem. If someone is eye candy they are eye candy, and if someone dresses themselves up to be eye candy than nobody should care if other people notice them. Simply put, human nature is human nature. People like to get attention, and people who look a certain way get attention.

    Dress codes are oppressive to students like behavioral codes are oppressive to adults. I don't like oppression.

  5. She supports Muslims, and made a video about hijabs. It's the same thing. Muslim women cover their whole body because MEN can get distracted. I grew up muslim and went to an islamic school. There's a reason you can't show up to school wearing a bra. And there's a reason why boys don't have that rule…….. How about you make a video on muslim kids who are confused to why their parents force them to conceal everything, and how they grow up to say "its my choice" "its for modesty" you cant escape it. Image what muslim parents would do if you wore shorts.

  6. During my senior year of high school, our principal forbade female students from showing their shoulders. He also opened our school's top 10% dinner with a prayer, which is illegal.

  7. No, it's not. The reason is men's clothing tend to be longer while many girl shirts due tend to be shorter, which can raise up just moving. Shorts, skirts and dresses are often so short were usually boy's shorts are often a lot longer.. Blame the companies that make these clothing, not the dress code (there was a reason I shopped in the boy section when I was shopping for school clothing while saving other clothing outside of school as it meant less likely getting into trouble for breaking dress code). If boy clothing were short as well, they would also gotten into trouble.

    Also there is a reason why not wearing a bra can be a issue for us girls.

  8. She mention my high school! Our dress code is pretty nice (from a cis woman point of view). It’s a complete 180 from the dresscodes at the feeder middle schools.

  9. A woman’s body can be entirely distracting to a men, who’s sex drive is visually driven.

    It’s not about “blaming women”, but rather keeping everyone safe and focused on the task at hand.

    So take your “everything is sexist” attitude and shove it.

  10. I think a good dress code would be: shirts, pants, close toed shoes, and no shirts with curse words or inappropriate images

  11. In my school. The boys have to wear collared shirts, smart black trousers and polished black shoes. The girls have no such rule, and instead their rule is to basically not wear trainers. They can wear any shirt or bottoms they want.

  12. Ok I have several things to say. One. Why? This video makes no sense and is just…sickening…………and two, you wanna walk into school or a place in a lets say lingerie , pantie hose, bra, shirtless, etc.? Because then that'll be your own fault if a guy or girl wants to hook up. Three, this is not really related to the video but just so called "feminists" of today, not every guys epecially white are sexist. There is no real hard evidence. Sorry to burst your bubble but every race can be sexist if they wanted to. Stop being overly offended over everything and make non logical explanations to help your own cause. I want to point this out to all of you "feminists" so that HOPEFULLY you will be able to do better in life than making excuses. You guys are not helping society but instead breaking it. Sorry but #bringbacktheoriginalandrealfeminists (that hashtag doesn't exist I just put that there lol). So yea. Either way. This video made no sense neither do your other "complaint" videos. I tried to understand of what you guys are getting at but apparently your guys logic is out of the question to where I can't bear to watch or listen anymore…

  13. If a girl got sun burned on her boobs and she put bandages on her nips to go to school I mean come on. How TF will that accepted at school for not wearing a bra. Maybe she should have called the school about her issue. And she would have been just fine

  14. Female breasts shouldnt be forbiden when male ones are okay. They should have a niple/butt/genitals rule not including boobs

  15. British schools have a school uniform, which is required by law. Why not adopt a school uniform, patterned after police ones. Either that, or adopt business attire?

    Some of dress codes are for health and safety, such as forbidding hair extensions. They're a liability in shop class or playground fights and other situations.

  16. We arent even allowed to wear shorts/skirts above the knee lenght. Nor sleeveless/ low necklined shirts. EVEN OFF SHOULDERS ARENT ALLOWED WTF

  17. my dumbest dress code is:dont wear shoes that was above the ankle,idk if this was true but soem girl just told me and she was in the school sense she was in kindergartens
    also:no colored hats other than blue and black

  18. Not to be mean but dress codes are needed mostly because if they didn't exist certain people would wear things they really shouldn't. Ex when I was in my first year of high school there was a few girls that took a lot of their fashion since from ether daisy duke or MTV I swear some days they would come to school wearing things that bathing suits would be better coverage, this was before a dress code was made and teachers could really only role their eyes at this, I remember one day one of them came in wearing something like a skirt but it just barely covered their backside and when she sat down it wouldn't I knew this because I sat behind her in science and when she got up to leave I was presented with about a minute of her trying to pull the skirt like thing down over her bare ass. Sorry but there are limits to all things, she had a hell of a red face when she turned around and realized she had Moon most of the class.

  19. I understand the freedom part, that's fine. It's got nothing to do with me. But is a boy wearing a crop top to school really progression, seems a little shallow? Also, males in the classroom should check themselves before they check what a female is wearing, but don't you think clothes are being made to sexualise young girls – something more concerning in society as a whole?

  20. I'm glad my school has a reasonable dress code.
    Also if we break our dress code our school will buy us pants or give us school shirts wich are whit and blue and kinda lokey cute
    Im so greatful

  21. I agree with a lot of what she said, but the idea that the dress codes restrict a lot more clothing items worn my females MAKES SENSE because you like you said females have a lot more options so it would make sense that if they have more varieties of clothing than boys that the dress codes might statistically more strict about female clothing. Completely agree that if another student is too distracted, that is their fault not anyone else’s.

  22. At my school girls have to wear two pairs of leggings IF they want to even think about wearing leggings. 😞😞😞tf school?!

  23. As a middle school student, i can say this:
    Girls that don't dress moderately are a distraction
    Boys don't dress much more moderately because girls don't want a half dressed male in the class room most of the time.
    "to sexy" is exactly what we mean as a distraction. We are not "objectifying women" we are complementing them.

  24. if you think your dress codes are tough come to Nigeria…. we literally can't wait to graduate. we're made to wear uniforms that make the hot weather hotter. Hair cornrowed to the back, I mean for a country in Africa they should let us be proud of our hair and we're not allowed to wear makeup even worse public schools make girls cut their hair as in imagine being on low cut hair through out high school

  25. I don’t even know if my school has a dress code. Girls at my school wear really short skirts and shorts, crop tops, basically whatever they want. I think it’s just like, wear clothes and your good. Like I could probably go to school in a bikini and be fine.

  26. I like these videos and they are very educational.
    I laugh at the pathetic people who obviously have nothing better to do and feel priviledged enough to leave hate comments on all of your videos. Keep up the good work because you must be doing something right.
    If you don't like her videos then stop watching them. You are only giving her views and proving her point about ignorant people.

  27. I thought I was the only one that had naked dreams. Where I forgot to put on clothes before going to school

  28. As long as the provocative body parts are covered, and there are no violent/explicit markings on the clothes, students should be able to wear whatever they want. We’ve gotta stop teaching our youth that their bodies are “inappropriate,” excluding them showing private parts of course.

  29. Women have ten different things to choose from and one thing they can't wear = SEXISM! OPPRESSION!
    Men have one thing they can wear and ten things they can't wear = male privilege

  30. At my school it’s a body type thing all these skinny white girls are allowed to wear almost whatever they want but if ur thicker it’s a issue

  31. Sexual Distractions …not buying it.
    Says the talking sexual distraction.
    Eye enhancing makeup Lipstick styled hair long nails tattoos foofy dos in your hair jewelry.
    How many sexualized fashion accessories?
    Lol…you are hetero normative.
    And a hypocrite.

  32. okay not saying that girls don’t get dress coded, but to act as if males don’t is bullshit.
    girls at my school will wear half shirts, fishnets, and booty shorts and no one says a word but my beanie is “disrespectful.”
    that’s fine and all but i have literally walked with girl friends and been told to remove my ball cap but not have the girl asked to remove her beret.
    this channel is cancer and speaks nothing but bullshit.

  33. Well we had to wear dress shirts, slacks, dress shoes, ties, and a well fitting suit. Boys couldn’t have their hair longer than their neck. Girls had to wear jumpers, skirts, and stockings.
    – No arguments there

  34. My school just made new dress code rules 1.shirts must cover the butt 2. No leggings that show curves because our “body’s are changing “ and I’m so mad because my arms are rediculously long and I can’t wear a sweatshirt with my Nike shorts btw my favorite outfit

  35. I never understood the argument of the dress code for 'preparing them for the work/professional world'. I really don't think anyone needs 12 years of preparation to learn that if you don't follow the dresscode at work, you may jeopardize your job & therefore not have a job & therefore not get paid. I see plenty of teens at jobs that require hideous uniforms that I'd imagine they're not thrilled to wear, yet they wear them. And I don't think it's because they've been prepared by their school dress code, I think it's more because they like & need money as much as anyone else.

  36. in my school girls are allowed to wear sneakers, boys aren't. in my school girls are allowed to wear athletic socks, boys aren't. in my school girls are allowed to wear sneakers, boys aren't. in my school girls are don't need to wear belts, boys have to. they dont need to tuck in their shirts, but boys do. Girls in my school never get punished for violation of dresscode; so educate yourslef.

  37. Also….honestly……im a boy and your right, im not spoiled my parents beat me and they need to discipline these boys nowadays because they just stupid. Im with girls on that. Plus if i see a girl with a collarbone very exposed, but nothing else is really exposed i aint telling a soul because to me it looks good. Im not perverse either, just saying, itll give other boys a reson to say they look good and mean it.

  38. My school is probably the only school that hasnt changed their dressed code
    Too short: Office referral
    Tank tops: Office referral + Suspension 2 days
    Top Knots: Offica referral + Suspension 2 days + Parentel contact
    I only see girls wearing basketball short and oversized shirts and then there's me jeans and t-shirt

  39. They have girls cover up them selves more because it distracts the boys why don’t they just talk to the boys

  40. When I was in kindergarten I got dress coded because I was were a tank top with spaghetti straps…… LIKE WHATTTT!!!! boys that young don’t think like that

  41. My school had a simple one no swimwear, the drug,cuss words or racist stuff on tee shirts, no flip flops and that was it

  42. I love this video! I totally agree! Today, I got dress coded for wearing shorts that didn't go down to my arms. 3 problems with that. 1: I have long arms to it's not equal. 2: they weren't even booty shorts. 3: it was a super hot day and even with that I was overheating in my air coolerless school so imagine if I wore something else… I overheat really quickly so if I can't wear my shots then it's hard to work in class

  43. I want to dress whatever I want without begin judged, hated, killed, raped, or have creepies stare at me. It's a dream in paradise.

  44. Go Ahead with your millennial androgyny bull crap. What a load of trash. The sexes are not the same, and thank goodness for that. Men and women do not think the same. Men and women do not respond the same. Men and women do not act the same. Nor should men and women be expected to do anything “the same”. Whether you believe that a sovereign God made the sexes or whether you believe that we evolved from some evolutionary sludge, we, as the human race, have two unique members, they’re called men and women.

    Your failure to recognize that boys ARE easily distracted by the beauty of girls is almost felonious. The most beautiful ones, by the way, are the modest ones, not the ones who try to “express themselves” by imitating street walkers, advertising for illegal services.

    Schools have a responsibility, legal and moral, to act in the best interest of children. Dress codes may in fact need modification, but they certainly don’t need modernization, equality, which makes them impotent. There’s a place for all kinds of dress, but beachwear is not appropriate for a classroom where taxpayer dollars are being spent to expose children to content and ideas, walking porn.

  45. I go to a catholic school…I'm not religious. They say God wants us to dress modestly. I'm pretty sure God is fine with 2 more centimeters of my shoulder showing

  46. Yea girls have more dress options guys have like 1 to 2 things you will say that oh wait no wow thanks you really helped and said both sides

  47. “Are technically evenly applied…” but then you’re saying it applies to woman more?

    Wouldn’t it be more sexist to have girls wear sexually aggrandizing clothing?

  48. In sweden theres no dress codes and u can pretty much wesr what u want, sooo why am i watching this….

  49. If a school says a black girl can't wear locks, braids, extension, and their natural hair then how are they suppose to wear it there's literally no other way 🤔🤔😕😕😒😒

  50. The thing I don’t understand is what is so bad about showing your shoulders when wearing a shoulder cut(since its usually like a normal shirt just showing shoulders)
    Also confused about the problem with sandals, like what kid in school is gonna look at my exposed feet and think “wow those toes are very sexy and distracting” like what!? 😆

  51. People who are black based on their race can get sunburn, but not if their are sufficiently melanated. My mother got sunburned when we went to Hawaii. She was very light skinned to the point people thought she was white or Hawaiian but she was definitely a black person by race. However, my father worked outside all the time in his garden and never, EVER got sunburn, just darker and darker and darker and handsome as hell.

  52. Things like having to cover your belly means that the board is sexualizing it! Why would a nine year old think about sex when seeing a peers stomach?

  53. You are such a cool person and seem like a great mom for the next generation! Thank you for speaking on this issue.

  54. Uh, excuse me bitch, but boys aren't immune to dress codes either. No muscle shirts or tank tops for boys are allowed at my school

  55. Schools: * Tries to teach about female empowerment*

    Aslo schools:* tells girls that their distraction*

    They need to make up their mind

  56. i went into a dollar tree barefoot with my older sister once ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) nobody noticed because i'm short tho ( my flip flops broke and i needed a temporary fix )

  57. Just take down this video and upload one of Hitler speeches, even that would fight racism better than this!

  58. Don't worry, I learned black people can sunburn years ago at summer camp when my friend Kenaya and I were both complaining about how bad we had been sunburned.
    I agree, dress codes are ridiculous. It's not like every single student is going into a job where they must cover their body to be appropriate. Some jobs, you just need a bright yellow vest.

  59. This is a summary of my dress code!

    Boys: ohh such hot knees 🤤 and those thighs are so.. hot… and that belly is so beautiful.. OH MY GOD DON’T GET ME STARTED WITH THOSE SHOULDERS

  60. I hate it when they target the more overweight and have alittle more fat on them. I wore shorts one day and a teacher told me I had to change them or I won’t enter her classroom. Okay fine right? My shorts were a little too short thats fine I’ll change. Last day of school, SAME teacher in that class, a girl was wearing like a romper with shorts. They were very short and the teacher just joked around with it and let her go easily. She was a skinny athletic girl. No shame to her it’s the teachers that are the problem.

  61. The dress code exists so that males don't get distracted by female bodies being really exposed. It's not sexist, it's just so that around half of the students can learn without having to worry about 1 thing that could distract them.

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