High school students
High school studentsFlash 90

A dispute raging at the prestigious Boston Latin School, the oldest public high school in the US, regarding the enforcement of a dress code highlights prevailing notions about sexuality.

The dispute between school administrators and students started after the school announced that a dress code would be in effect as of November 1. According to a school notice, the dress code is to ban clothing denoting gang affiliation, or displaying profanity, drugs, or sexually suggestive material. In addition, the code places special guidelines on women’s dress, such as the requirement of a certain length for skirts and a prohibition against exposing undergarments.

In response, female students at the school blasted the code. In a petition posted on Change.org, the students cited the reasons for their opposition: “By allowing the school to dress code us, we are telling the school several things: ‘Yes, we still live in a patriarchal society where men can decide whether a female’s clothing is appropriate or inappropriate.’

‘Yes, a body should be covered in order to be attractive. Establishing a sense of shame towards girls bodies is okay and perfectly acceptable.

‘Yes, a girl’s body is a sinful temptation that needs to be covered up at all costs for others to focus on their education.

‘Yes, a female’s body is more tempting and sexual than a male’s body.

‘Yes, it is our fault when girls get raped because they should have covered up and avoided the situation by dressing in a way that does not attract another person.’”