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Dress Code Causes Controversy

Do Exposed Bra Straps Make Boys Go Crazy in School?

Dress codes are meant to prevent distractions in the classroom, but students in Canada believe their school's rules may promote some negative stereotypes. Last week, 30 females from Menihek High School were reprimanded for wearing sleeveless shirts and tops that exposed their bra straps. The students were given the option to cover their shoulders or change their tops, and those who refused to do so were sent home. It is not the rule, however, that has students upset, but rather the reasoning behind it. According to several students, females are not allowed to wear clothes that could distract their male peers.

"We were actually given a presentation at the beginning of every school year, and they were telling us, 'Well, you can't wear certain types of shirts,' because they're afraid that male students will take it the wrong way," Menihek student Danielle Matias told a local news station. The girls are not the only ones offended by the school's logic. According to Maddie Plynn, another student, boys believe this rule portrays them in a bad light.

"I was talking to a few boys, and they even said they are offended because the school is making them out to be uncontrolled horny monsters," Plynn says.


To see what school officials have to say about the dress-code controversy, read the full story on Huffington Post.

Source: Flickr user malingering

Join The Conversation
edouardedouard edouardedouard 3 years

I agree with you, but our culture is rapidly evolving to a point where your sensible thinking will be dismissed as victim blaming and body shaming. If men are wholly responsible for bad behaviour towards women, no matter how the women are dressed, then on hot days some younger women will wear flipflops, a smile... and nothing else. Women are tired of letting male lewdness rudeness and violence limit their options,.

edouardedouard edouardedouard 3 years

Here in New Zealand, all K12 schools have uniforms. So no revealed bra straps. But too many moms let their daughters wear very short uniform skirts, so too much thigh.

The logic of the above post is a slippery slope. If women reject letting male immaturity affect their conduct and dress, and if traditional modesty is slammed as shaming the natural female body, then the logical outcome will be nude in public in hot weather, which is where I think we will be by the end of this century, at least at beach and pool and city parks. We are headed for a culture where the only indecency is a male's erection.

Don't believe me? Then read the slogans on signs carried at Slutwalk demonstrations.

I agree that boys and girls should dress on school grounds in ways that desexualise them. This encourages learning and encourages to think about aspirations, ideals, a better society, instead of how good people look when they are naked. But then I am a tory...

KirstenLandon15092 KirstenLandon15092 3 years

Another excuse for men to use: they're visual creatures. Maybe so, but how does that have anything to do with their ability to control themselves?? I'd prefer to think that men are better than that. We need to let boys know that they are capable of more!

And your comparison to letting a 2yo run naked isn't really logical.

KirstenLandon15092 KirstenLandon15092 3 years

I know exactly what area you're talking about. I've lived in the Bay Area all my life. There is a big difference between being mugged and being raped. Who says tank tops "barely cover"anything? You're also not going far enough back to remember that girls are being programmed to dress that way. Think about all the moms who talk about how their daughters LOOK. Why do they do that? Because they grew up with someone talking about *they* look. It goes back years and years and years--and that's the problem! Somehow, it's always been about a WOMAN being responsible. SHE has to look a certain way in order to convey a message. SHE is the one who's supposed to be concerned with her appearance all the time. SHE is told that she won't get a man if she does this that or the other thing. Who cares if she "gets a man!" Girls should be allowed to make foolish choices--they're LEARNING!! But drinking or dressing poorly is NO EXCUSE! That is my point! I'm tired of everyone (even other women) putting the blame for assault upon a girl's shoulders. What happens when a boy drinks too much? They say, "Aw, they're just being kids." What happens when a boy goes home with a strange girl? They say, "Boys will be boys." It's BS! It's a double standard. Instead of people getting defensive and trying to say, "Well yes, but..." they need to THINK! As soon as someone tries to give a "but" statement--or any other statement that justifies a position that would place blame on a young woman--then it proves they've not opened their minds and given it sincere thought. Hey, I'll admit, I was the same way. I used to think, "Well, she should know that if she dresses like that or acts that way, she could get in trouble." Then I began to think about why I thought that way. It's because I was taught to think that way. I remember being young and stupid. Everyone is entitled to a few years of young and stupid; but, somehow, when our young women are young and stupid, they get blamed when there are horrific consequences. No one says, "Girls will be girls." The girls get in trouble and the boys get defended. Look at what happened in Ohio!! The community tried to protect the boys because they were athletes. They tried to say the girl "shouldn't" have been drinking. So why didn't anyone say the boys shouldn't have been drinking??? Why didn't anyone hold the boys accountable and punish them severely for ruining a girl's life? That young woman will never be the same; but those boys are still hometown heroes! How is that not disgusting?!! And don't even begin to say that that was just one situation! It happens ALL THE TIME! Again, this is why so many don't even report it! They are treated like the criminals, they are questioned, they are doubted, they are harassed, they are threatened. How in the world is any of this right? Knowing how often this happens, how can anyone still discuss wardrobe?!!

AngelaGoudman1386968834 AngelaGoudman1386968834 3 years

From what I understand, the school has a gender-neutral dress code. Does a truly modest person publicly display their underwear - male OR female? Does a girl NEED to wear a tank top with her boobs barely covered and short shorts when it's warm out? I wear modest skirts and dresses (no pantyhose - can't stand them) and I don't have a problem with being too hot.

Moreover, I can see both sides of the rape issue. Yes, I agree that men need to learn not to rape. However, if somebody walked through the Tenderloin District (VERY dangerous area of San Francisco) at 3 a.m. wearing Armani and a million dollars' worth of bling, and carrying his life savings in his pocket, and got mugged, we'd say he had no business being there at that time. I'm NOT saying that being raped has to do with a girl's appearance. I AM saying that sometimes girls make foolish choices - such as drinking too much, allowing someone they don't know to buy them a drink, not looking after their drink, or going home with someone they just met.

AngelaGoudman1386968834 AngelaGoudman1386968834 3 years

Let's look at it another way: IS it so terribly uncomfortable to wear modest shorts and T-shirts? Actually, it's not. Personally, I don't wear pants (personal choice) but I wear modest skirts and dresses - and it's much cooler (and far easier to get out of) than wearing pants. Not only that, but I would question WHY a girl feels the need to have her boobs hanging out of her shirts and shorts so short they barely cover what needs to be covered.

The reality is that men are visual creatures. They ALWAYS will be. That's how their brains are designed. However, I do agree with you that it's inappropriate for ANY child to be wearing clothes that display a plumber's crack or their underwear hanging out.

Again, let's take another perspective. By saying "it's childhood" you could argue that it's appropriate for a parent to let a 2-year-old run naked through a public park. After all, "it's childhood". If the child doesn't want to wear any clothes in public, why should we make him?

KirstenLandon15092 KirstenLandon15092 3 years

Your reaction is part of the problem, Angela. Have you ever actually seen prostitutes? They don't look like teenage girls wearing tank tops and shorts. And why on earth is a parent teaching their daughter that wearing those clothes automatically means she's presenting herself as an object?? That's completely demeaning. You teach your daughter self-respect and integrity and she won't feel she has to make a statement with her clothes. She'll dress how she's comfortable and feel like a human being who deserves respect. Our society has enough of those negative messages and they're trying hard, every day, to drill this trash into our girls! My daughters do not tie their self respect or self worth to their clothes or makeup or weight. They exercise because THEY enjoy it and not because it makes them sexy to boys. They dress how they like because THEY enjoy it not because someone told them this is what's "in fashion." If more parents of sons would teach their boys that girls aren't objects, then the idea of that will stop being such a prevalent thought. This is reality and work is about professional attire. We're not expecting our children to work in corporate offices. If they choose that career, then they will need to learn to dress appropriately for that; but this is childhood! This is their chance to be free of adult worries and intolerances! Let them figure out life, find their individuality, and don't EVER make them feel that their self worth depends on someone else's opinion!! This is the worst thing we can do to our kids!

KirstenLandon15092 KirstenLandon15092 3 years

I am horrified to be hearing so many people making excuses for the behavior of the school!! I'm a mother of THREE girls (two grown and one still at home) and a grandmother of one boy. I have seen plenty of boys walking around school with tank tops, shorts, falling down pants, etc., and no one tells them to be careful or this might set a girl off into an uncontrollable frenzy! I don't know a single boy who has to tuck in a shirt at school or who can't wear tank tops. I am 110% on board with what the students at this school have said (boys & girls alike): we are treating these girls with disrespect & teaching them to hate their bodies, and assuming our boys have no self control! There is NO excuse for telling girls that their clothing could "distract boys!" A "boys will be boys" attitude is what potentially makes them monsters later in life! This mentality follows through to adulthood where more than half of all women who are assaulted are afraid to report it. Do you know why? Because they are victimized all over again! The police ask questions about what they were doing and what they were wearing. It doesn't matter in the least what they were wearing!!! Where I live, we can hit over 100 degrees on several days during the year and I see no issue with my girls wearing tank tops and shorts--IT'S BLOODY HOT!! DO NOT teach your boys that the look of a shoulder can send them off! What is this, the 1800s?? You teach your boys that all girls/women are to be respected. Their personal space is just as valid as a boy's/man's. You teach your boys that holding a hand or giving a kiss is something they don't do unless they ask first! This is how we teach our boys to not not not look down on the female of our species! That is how they become good men! Those who get defensive aren't even stopping to give real consideration to how things like this are simply the first ripple in an ever-growing ocean of trouble. This kind of talk has been so ingrained into our society that no one thinks twice about it anymore--as if it's a given! A girl's self-respect comes from within and should never be determined by her clothes. Think about what message you're sending your daughter! Her clothes are what make her???? Isn't this exactly what we (allegedly) fight against?? We don't teach children about how to dress for a job before they're in high school...and then we teach them the difference between free time and work time. Our kids are smarter than you people are giving them credit for! Stop this insanity! Be a thinking, responsible person.
To the dad making every excuse in the book about why girls should be covering up: have you seriously not taught your boys that a girl is more than her clothes? Have you not taught them that a girl should be respected for being a PERSON, despite what she may put on her body? Have you not taught your boys that there is enough pressure on girls to look a certain way ALL THE TIME that they don't need to add to it by judging them? Have you not taught your boys that women shouldn't have feel as thought they need to act any certain way just to get a man? Have you not taught your boys to look inward? My girls wear what is comfortable according to the weather. They don't believe they need a guy to lift themselves up. They have much more self-respect than most of the kids I know--I taught them to be good people. But you know what else I have to teach my girls because of generations of dads like you? I have to teach them to never walk alone. I have to teach them a hundred warning signs. I have to teach them the best defensive skills against guys who are trying to put their hands where they don't belong. I have to teach them how to hold their keys as a weapon...or that they constantly have to watch their surroundings. I have to teach them that if the worst were to happen, they never have to fear telling me because I will stand with them and defend them against police or a judge or an entire community. How does this not make you sick? I do all I can to teach my girls respect, integrity, empathy, and courage; but what are you teaching your boys that will help my daughters (and other girls like them) be safe out there in the world? You have a great responsibility as a parent and, from the way you're talking, I don't have confidence that my daughters would be safe around your sons.

AngelaGoudman1386968834 AngelaGoudman1386968834 3 years

Not necessarily. It's not just about being raped (which is about violence, not sex). However, it DOES have to do with how a woman presents herself. Let's look at it this way: if a woman is wearing skimpy clothing and is standing on a street corner in an area known to be frequented by prostitutes, should she be offended if someone comes up to her and asks how much she charges? She's presenting herself in a certain way. If you present yourself as an object, you're not asking to be raped, but you ARE inviting a certain kind of attention - such as flirtation and being catcalled. If you say this isn't true, I would ask why it's inappropriate to wear such clothing to work. Shouldn't it not matter how you present yourself?

toniculpepper toniculpepper 3 years

Boy/girls/men/women need to learn how to behave and dress properly. There is nothing wrong with covering up your undergarments. Seriously, no one wants ti see them!

Girls and women do not need to show everything, no matter if it is your bra strap or your thong... no one needs to see these items.

You want to be taken serious, then act like you have a brain, dress like you should. No one is saying the dress needs to be to the ground, or your pants have to be three sizes too big, and you need a high collar. People are requesting appropriate behavior.

Covering up is not harming you nor taking away your freedom. It is actually a matter of respect, for yourself and others...

And it is sad this is actually a discussion.... sad that mothers and fathers are not teaching their sons and daughters... What kind of parent does not teach children how to dress correctly?

My mother grew up in the lower socioeconomic levels, and their generation worked hard to not look lower class, now people think it is great to dress down.... icons dress like they are whores and strippers. This is not how girls and women should dress nor act.

Women and girls do not need to look like street walkers or strippers... lately, the girls at the college I attend, wear wife beater tank tops, and a bra.... when is this acceptable attire, it is not

Of course, the same people would never make it in the south centrals of the country..
Yet boys and men walk around with their pants below their butts and their underwear showing... baseball caps backwards.

If you want to dress in an unacceptable way, keep it at your home...

The public does not need to be exposed to this. There are dress codes in every job, and should be in every school....

If you can't teach your child appropriate behavior, then I guess there will be rules enacted....

TiffanyNewman1370464107 TiffanyNewman1370464107 3 years

This is absolutely ridiculous! This rule has nothing to do with horny boys or making girls feel ashamed of their bodies, it is to prepare them for the real world where working in the professional world means appropriate attire. No tank tops and bra straps or baggy pants allowed. This next generation is screwed if this is how they make their mark on the world, take the energy and passion and put it towards a worthy cause not just one that suits you.

JanetSalmon JanetSalmon 3 years

To me it has nothing to do with what the boys think or feels. You don't need to be showing off your underclothes. More and more people are running around with skimpy clothes on. For thousands of years it has been hot but just lately we feel the need to not dress respectively not showing off our butts or boobs. You can't dress that way in an office or at work so why should you do it at school. You can still wear a top with a descent size shoulder cover up on it and be cool And the same for the guys no muscle shirts and pull up your pants.

JillLeverett JillLeverett 3 years

We should be teaching whats acceptable behaviour in society. This smacks of the old fashioned rape opinion where women who dress in a certain way are asking for it.

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