Hey Think Progress – Enough With the Pathetic Attempts to Exploit Women’s Rights Advocacy!

school-dress-codeLet me go on record as saying that not all the stories over at Think Progress are complete trash, but recently I’ve noticed a disturbing trend with their over the top reporting of girls being sent home from school for violating dress codes.

They’ve tried to spin these stories as “society’s unfair attack against women” or “schools trying to shame women for showing off their bodies.”

It’s absolutely pathetic.  It’s teenage girls violating written policy on what is appropriate to be worn at school.  

One of their most recent articles covers girls in Canada who were sent home because their bra straps were showing.  But to read that article, they made it into some massive conspiracy by the school to shame women for daring to show off their body.  And for the second time in less than a week (they covered another story that I actually wrote about as well concerning a girl who was sent home for wearing shorts that were too short) they tried to spin this story into a “women being punished because males can’t control their sexual urges” kind of thing.

Here’s something that people can complain about all they want, but it’s never going to change: Teenage boys are going to be distracted by females they find attractive.  And the less clothing those females are wearing, the more distracted they’re going to be.

That’s not “being sexist,” that’s just nature – many males are attracted to females.

But the way Think Progress tried to play up the “Canadian summer” with girls just trying to wear something that helped them get relief from the sweltering heat with highs near 70 literally made me laugh.

Oh, and they made a very small mention that males have also been sent home for wearing sleeveless shirts.  Though, of course, they tried to play up the notion that women were the ones being much more unfairly targeted.

Maybe because females tend to wear sleeveless shirts more than males?  Just saying.

Think Progress also tried to imply that these dress codes are tied into the “rape culture” and “violence against women.”

But beyond the ridiculous argument that these dress codes are meant to “shame women,” the reason why these girls were sent home is because they broke the rules.  These dress codes are well established, easily found and known to most students.  When they go to school knowingly violating that dress code they risk being sent home.  If they don’t want to be sent home, don’t break the rules.  Schools are meant to prepare young people for the real world and in the real world you’re usually required to follow a dress code when you go to work.

When I was in school we had the same dress code I see these teenage girls complaining about and Think Progress trying to sensationalize.  Shorts had to be a certain length for all students and no students were allowed to wear sleeveless shirts.  Heck, for a few years we weren’t allowed to wear shorts at all.

And I live in Texas where in May, early June, August and September (the hotter months we’re in school) it’s not uncommon at all for highs to range anywhere from 90-110 degrees.  So excuse me if I laugh a little at the “sweltering heat” of Canada with those scorching highs almost reaching 70 freaking degrees.

Heck, during two years when I was in high school they made males tuck in their shirts and if our pants were too baggy we were sent home.  Women weren’t even required to tuck in shirts.  Because that’s how dress codes work.  Some rules are targeted more toward males while others toward females.  The reason why more of these dress code violations seem targeted at women is because women are more likely to wear very short shorts, very skimpy tops or spandex pants.

Teenage males usually follow a “style” that doesn’t show off a lot of skin.  That’s essentially what these dress codes are targeting – revealing clothing.  I can pretty much guarantee you if a male showed up to one of these schools wearing a sleeveless tank top and “daisy duke” shorts they would be sent home too.

If these girls were being sent home for unreasonable dress code rules, I’d be one of the first people on their side saying that the rules were clearly sexist and biased.  But they’re not.  These rules are, from what I can tell, common in nearly every public school here in the United States and probably Canada as well.

The fact that Think Progress is promoting the opinions of 14 and 15-year-old girls on this dress code issue is somewhat laughable as well.  You know what I thought was ridiculous when I was 14 and 15?  That I had to wait until I was 16 to drive (though now that I’m older I realize 16 is probably way too young for most teenagers to be driving) and that it was dumb that I had to wait until I was 21 to drink.  Of course many 14 and 15-year-old girls think it’s perfectly acceptable for them to wear super short shorts to and skimpy tank tops to school – they’re 14 and 15-year-olds!

Not that I’m saying young adults that age can’t have valid points, but these arguments that fairly standard (and not at all unreasonable) dress codes are “shaming and targeting women” are absolutely ludicrous.

These dress codes aren’t unreasonable, uncommon or “trying to shame women.”  They’re simply establishing a slightly more professional sense of etiquette for how students are dressed while they’re in school, in order to help foster a better learning environment.

Think Progress, while a site that I have found some great information on before, should be ashamed of themselves for trying to exploit equality for women with these extremely sensationalized stories about teenage girls who simply don’t want to follow very standard school dress codes.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Ryan Swanson

    Allen, you sound like a whiny little bitch, and it seems to be getting worse every day.

  • Momma_T

    Thanks, Disqus, for deleting my comment.

    1/ 70* in Canada isn’t the same as 70* in Texas. The standard temperatures in Canada run more toward 50*, and northern areas are cooler. That makes 70* the equivalent of 90* in Texas. If you want a comparison, in 60* weather [warm for Wisconsin] Floridians run for barely available coats and sweaters and their crops die.

    2/ Girls ARE being discriminated against. You can only wear what’s available to purchase; if all they have are booty shorts, you wear booty shorts. If all you can find are t-shirts and “cute” shirts, you’ll probably buy the cute ones to match your shorts–sorry, that’s a woman thing. And most girls’/women’s t-shirts tend to be very thin and don’t last long. Boys on the other hand always have basketball shorts, cargo shorts, and t-shirts that don’t have the armpits hanging out.

    3/ Saying that boys “have urges” and therefore girls need to be covered up is exactly the justification used in the middle east to force women into hajibs.; they are “to protect men from themselves”.

    4/ How about instead of covering our daughters we teach our sons not to leer and act out? What do you think will happen when they get out in the real world of college or industry and see a female dressed in a potentially provocative manner? I think sexual harassment would be the least that could be expected. Teach those boys respect and civility instead of accusing the girls of being seductresses.

    • DW

      Let’s quote the article.

      “they tried to spin this story into a “women being punished because males can’t control their sexual urges” kind of thing. Here’s something that people can complain about all they want, but it’s never going to change: Teenage boys are going to be distracted by females they find attractive. And the less clothing those females are wearing, the more distracted they’re going to be. That’s not “being sexist,” that’s just nature – many males are attracted to females.”

      No where does he say that boys “have urges” and therefore girls need to be covered up. More spinning, huh?

      And 70* is 70* everywhere, regardless of where you live. If it was 70 Celsius I could see there being an issue (as people would be catching fire just walking down the street).

      • janipurr

        No, actually expecting girls to be responsible for boys behavior IS THE DEFINITION OF SEXIST. it was an asinine and idiotic essay.

      • Aanna1123

        Expecting girls to be responsible for themselves is how it should be! Quit looking like you want to be a sex object and she will gain some respect! Until then, keep looking like the slut and being sent home from school!

      • Janipurr

        Nice slut shaming there. I’m so very sorry that you hate yourself so much that you feel that it’s necessary for you to monitor others clothing choices. Mind your own business, and teach boys to mind theirs.

      • Momma_T

        My apologies, I didn’t quote the article precisely. “Teenage boys are going to be distracted by females they find attractive.” Exactly how will they be distracted? By their sexual urges, not the girl’s mental acuity. Males are more visual, yes; but that means they need to be TAUGHT how to control themselves.

        As far as “70* is 70* everywhere”, I call bull. Wet heat [ie Louisiana, West Virginia, Ohio, anywhere with rivers] is much more oppressive than dry heat in southwestern states. I lived in Oklahoma, I know what a summer there is like. There is no comparison between that dry heat and the stifling humidity of Alabama. So no, 70* is NOT 70* everywhere.

        To reinforce that, down here in the contiguous states the northernmost have snow equipment, the southernmost don’t. We had the same weather this winter [ice, cold, and snow]; while northern states maintained a pretty decent road condition, those in the south were having hundreds of accidents a day because their drivers couldn’t handle the weather. Same temperatures, same conditions, less snow, and still a totally different outcome.

      • 3rd Party

        Look, I am raising 3 young men and I want them to respect themselves and others. As a society, why do we allow the stupid sexualization of a little girl? Why make clothes for children to be ‘sexy’? Young men can control themselves. Young women can control themselves. My solution is to let kids dress like kids and not attempt to be grown, until they are, and for young people to look out for each other by respecting each other. Consensual sex happens, so we need to make sure that they know birth control. We also need to let kids tell us horrible stuff if it is happening so we can stop it.

    • robingee

      “That makes 70* the equivalent of 90* in Texas.”

      LOL what.

      “if all they have are booty shorts, you wear booty shorts”

      If all WHO has? Every store in Canada and online?

      • Momma_T

        I have a daughter who was so tiny in high school the only clothes that fit her were from the Mary Kate and Ashley line. She wore size 00 pants and XS tops; we live in an obese state so these aren’t exactly in every store. The few stores that have anything remotely her size were too expensive [ie, New York and Company and related].

        I’m sorry that I didn’t have the money to buy anywhere but off-the-rack at Kmart, Walmart, and Gabriel Brothers, but that’s life. To get shorts that would fit her, they would be SHORT. But she’s a short girl and the “fingertip length” rule was about an inch away from satisfied. Luckily she preferred jeans, but there is a very real need out there for quality clothing at a reasonable price in styles teens will wear.

      • robingee

        You live in an “obese state” so your small daughter could not find any shorts that were not extra-short.

        This just doesn’t pass the smell test. Sorry.

  • katherine norton malek

    Allen – I’m a fan of your articles. You always tell it like it is & usually nail it. Most of the time after reading your diatribes, I come away saying to myself, “I couldn’t have said it better”. Unfortunately not on this one for two reasons: First, you sound like a troll here. If you don’t like what Think Progress is writing or covering, don’t read it. Second, fashion (I’ve worked in the industry for yrs.) changes, more rapidly for females than for males. Girls being sent home because their bra straps are showing is overreach to say the least! (I certainly hope boys whose boxers show are also sent home). Bra straps are utilitarian little things, hardly seductive. Go take a look at one. If a boys libido goes into overdrive because of a bra strap, he should probably see the school psychologist, regularly. School administrators in my experience (raised 4 teens to adulthood & made it out alive) can be rather clueless when it comes to the teenage psyche. Actions like suspending kids for bad behavior and sending kids home because of dress code violations is not very intuitive. Ever wonder why these teens went to school knowing full well they were violating dress code? Well, it’s likely because ‘being sent home’ from school on a sunny 70 degree day in Canada (a rare treat) is precisely what they wanted! Someone should have followed those girls o wherever it was the dress code day off party was happening, probably someone’s house with a pool whose parents work or a lakeside beach. Those bra strapped girls got exactly what they wanted – a day off. Sending teens home from school is not exactly heart wrenching for most. Not very insightful administrators. LMAO

    • DW

      Katherine. You’ve never been a teenage boy. A bra strap is something that can be titillating (pun semi-intended) to a hormonal teenage boy. It doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to be turned into a vile rape monster, or have sexual urges, but it can be quite a distracting sight for young men who are discovering their sexuality and just learning about the mysteries of women. Which includes bras as they are not something they get to see beyond the sexually charged images of women in bras in movies, television shows and magazine ads.

      • janipurr

        Teenage boys are going to be surrounded by skimpily dressed women everywhere they go. I think it’s the responsibility of the boys to learn to control their own reactions, it’s not the girls responsibility to prevent others from being distracted. Suggesting that girls are responsible for boys behavior is the very heart of rape culture.

      • Aanna1123

        WHY must it ALWAYS be boys taking responsibility? Sorry janipurr, but girls are the ones that must take responsibility as well as their parents! Your ignorance on rapists is astounding! Rapists are for control NOT sex! I bet you let your little girl walk around dressed like a street walker!

      • Because learning to “take responsibility” is known as “growing up”. Boys need it.

        Nobody said anything about rapists, you need to understand the issue before you weigh in on it.

      • hcd

        The girls are growing up too, and should take responsibility for not following the rules.

      • Aanna1123

        IF you knew how to read, you would have seen that janipurr brought the issue up! And, because you seem to be a bit uninformed, boys KNOW how to take responsibility, it’s the dick teases that don’t!

      • Well y’know, I have no self control and your words piss me off and make me want to punch you in the face so obviously you don’t know how to take responsibility, you teaser.

        Also, if you knew what ‘rape culture’ means, you would know that it isn’t about rapists.

      • “Dick tease”?

        That’s a Freudian expression if I ever heard one.

        Next thing I expect to hear you say is, “Well, she asked for it.”

      • Janipurr

        No, I think you have that backwards. Everywhere, GIRLS are the ones shouldering the responsibility for boys reactions to them. That has to end. It’s time boys to start taking responsibility for their own behavior and reactions, instead of blaming girls for being raped.

      • Aanna1123

        NO! It is very obvious to me that you make excuses for girls looking like sluts! It is also apparent to me that you have no children, otherwise, you wouldn’t be making such half assed comments!

      • Janipurr

        Oh, my, your argument is just so….compelling. How can I resist?

        Really? It seems to me that you couldn’t possibly have children, either, because your debate and writing skills make you seem like you haven’t yet graduated from 8th grade. Grow up, develop an ability to look beyond the obvious, and then maybe come back and try this again.

      • Aanna1123

        Poor janipurr! Sad that you have a one sided mind! I happen to be very educated and have a child! I would suggest you grow up! Without the teases, boys are good to keep their dicks in place. When a girl walks around with their asses and tits showing, they ARE the problem! Now, do as you suggested to me; GROW UP!

      • Janipurr

        It seems that anyone can pretend to be anyone on the internet. At this point, I doubt you are even female. You write and sound like a horny 14 year old boy with poor english skills.

        Has it occurred to you to mind your own damn business and let other people mind theirs?

      • Aanna1123

        LOL, you really are an idiot! I am a female. In a turn around, I could also mention to you to mind your own business. Little girl(?) may I remind you that you are minding other people business for them and that is what is called a nosy old woman with nothing else in their life! Later

      • Janipurr

        Riiigghhtt–typical abuser language–accuse others of the faults in yourself. You lost, whatever you are, so just give up.

      • Aanna1123

        See how little you know. LOL The worse abuse I have ever done is kill a fly! You, on the other hand, are real good with the verbal abuse. No wonder you have no picture.

      • It’s also obvious to me that you want boys to have no responsibility whatsoever. What a sad commentary, and what a low opinion of boys, that you don’t want them to be able to control themselves.

      • Janipurr

        Plus, let;s be honest–a bra strap? Boys can’t possibly control themselves if they are exposed to a bra strap? You have a very misandric view of boys and men if you believe they can’t possibly hold themselves back from acting like an animal at the sight of a bra strap. It may be a poor fashion choice, but it’s really pretty tame.

      • Alex Harman

        To be fair to DW and Aanna, their concern is not the boys will “lose control” and sexually assault girls who are showing a lot of skin, bra straps, etc.; their concern, and the concern behind the dress codes, is that boys will be distracted by looking at their female classmates and have trouble concentrating on the course material. Holding oneself back from acting like an animal is one thing; ignoring attractive girls in revealing outfits seated around you completely enough to maintain the mental focus necessary to absorb calculus or 19th century American history or how to write an effective essay takes greater concentration and self-discipline than can reasonably be expected of most 13- to 18-year-old boys.

        That said, dress codes tend to involve blatant double standards, their enforcement quite often does sink to the level of slut-shaming, and Allen Clifton’s article smells rather strongly of “get off my lawn” curmudgeonism.

      • Janipurr

        I guess this explains why more girls than boys get into college every year–14 and 15 year old girls seem to be able to concentrate despite distractions.

        Let’s be clear–the only person responsible for a boner is the owner of the boner. Perhaps we can stop coddling boys inability to grow up and expect them to start acting like civilized human beings? When can we start doing that? Instead of policing what girls wear and charge them with preventing the illicit thoughts of other people? I say that if your first reaction to seeing a bra strap is that you are worried how boys will react, just reveals how poor at parenting you are.

      • Aanna1123

        Well, janipurr, you are such an ignorant woman that there is n talking to you. You have such tight blinders on that loosening them up will no longer help you. Your brain has become one-sided mush! Let the sluts rule the world!

        Let’s be clear ~ you are a man hating piece of work!

      • Janipurr

        You know nothing about me–I happen to be very happily married, thank you.

        You, on the other hand, sure sound like an angry adolescent boy. There are drugs that can help with that, you know.

      • Aanna1123

        Bahhhhhh ha ha ha ha, I feel sorry for whoever married you. Seems you would know about drugs. Flipcase

      • Janipurr

        Give it up, whatever you are. You lost this argument a long time ago.

      • Aanna1123

        Yes, janipurr, you did! Now, go back to minding everyone else’s business, as that is what you do best. LOL

      • Aanna1123

        Exactly, but, when girls flaunt, how is that possible? I remember my son asking to be moved away from girls so he COULD do his work. Just because the ignorant parents allow their daughters to go to school looking like that, does not mean my son should have suffered for it. You can only move so many times because, even in elementary school, mothers allow their girls to dress sexually.

  • janipurr

    Expecting girls to be responsible for boys behavior and reactions is the very definition of sexist, and an excellent example of rape culture. Just because you grew up under it doesn’t make it correct. Please engage your brain next time before writing such garbage.

    • hcd

      They are not responsible for the boys behavior, they are responsible for following the rules and the dress code. The business works requires it, society expects it, and their parents should teach them to not show off a bunch of skin.

      • Janipurr

        OMG, girls showing off skin!! It’s the end of the world as we know it!

        Good God, they aren’t going to work on Wall Street–they are going to school. In shorts and tank tops, like kids everywhere. Has anybody considered the girls comfort? They should be hot and uncomfortable so that boys–and society–don’t have to be subjected to “skin”? Maybe you should stop worrying about what others wear and start minding your own business?

      • dlion

        well said

  • Patty

    My school in Michigan has a similar rule system. If you don’t have extra clothes that meets the dress code standards you have two options. 1) wear something they drag out of lost and found or 2) go home and change. If you can’t find shorts long enough then wear pants or make your own, like several girls I knew. The first weeks of school, were always in the high 80s in a building with no ac and high humidity. My school also had rules about the guys wearing their pants too low, repeat offenders were sent to detention. Guys during my father’s school days were not allowed to wear shorts until they started a protest with everyone wearing skirts until the rules were changed because it was unfair for girls to be allowed to wear skirts while guys had to wear pants. And for those who think I am nuts for suggesting someone alter their clothes to get something the need because the store doesn’t sell it, I have to alter my pants because my store doesn’t sell 32×28 size pants. It’s hard enough just trying to find anything below a 30×30 size pants.

    • Victoria

      Look, I’m fine with having a serious discussion about dress code violations – but when you surround it with slut-shaming and victim-blaming you lose any credence you started with. It is “natural” for boys to be turned on by “thin straps” and short shorts? Yes, but boys are also turned on by showing a sexy neck or a nice hair-do. Young boys are turned on by ANYTHING. So stop shaming girls, teach boys how to deal with their inconvenient (and often embarrassing) urges, and STOP making it about “sex” and “expectations” all the time. Then, it shouldn’t matter what anyone wears ever.

  • Michael Cookson

    I’m going to agree with Allen on this one! As a male, I know what it’s like to be a young man in school! It didn’t take much to turn my automatic into a stick shift!

    • Momma_T

      So women should wear burkas because men can’t control their penises? Oh come on!

      • Aanna1123

        Don’t be so ignorant! Apparently, you have no children and do not see what the teases wear to school!

      • Momma_T

        I happen to have two children, a son and a daughter. My daughter wore what would fit [hard to do when she’s a 00 with DDs] and didn’t put up with crap from the boys. My son had classes with girls wearing all kinds of clothing but RESPECTED them as he was taught to do.

        And someone your age shouldn’t be referring to teenage girls as “teases” — even if you have sons who don’t respect girls any more than you do.

      • Aanna1123

        Back off Barbie! My son was brought up to resect women! Who the hell are you to disrespect my son because of my feelings for the sluts? Sex does NOT belong in school and the majority of the girls look like they want sex more than learning. Dress appropriately and there would be no need for these kind of conversations!! Some mother you are!

    • Janipurr

      I agree with Momma–your boner is your problem, not the girls you are looking at. If you can’t control your boner, move to Iran.

  • Aanna1123

    Thank you for this article! When people constantly putting all the blame on boys, they’ve already stuck their heads in the ground! When my son was in elementary school (13-14years ago), the mothers thought it was okay for their girls to come to school with their thongs showing, pants cut so low that if they had pubic hair, it would have shown and midriff tops! That was elementary school. At that age, most boys are just learning about sexuality and hard ons! WHY are the girls shown as victims when a young boy has to walk around with a book covering their front because they have a hard on? Seems to me, at that age, the boys are the victims!
    As girls get older, we DO try to show off our bodies ~ not express ourselves with clothing. And, how parents allow their slut looking girls to leave home like that is beyond me! I was livid with Think Progress’s article last week too.

    • WHY are the girls shown as victims when a young boy has to walk around
      with a book covering their front because they have a hard on? Seems to
      me, at that age, the boys are the victims!

      Oh, poor, poor baby. Bobby has a boner!!

      Maybe if Bobby gets pointed to and laughed at a few times for inappropriate reactions, he’ll learn to ignore bra straps.

      • Sandy Greer

        No. God forbid we point and laugh at boys getting hard ons. Especially girls.

        Boys grow into men.

        God forbid I run into a man who can’t get a hard on for me – because he’s been emasculated by pointing fingers and laughter.

      • Well, there’s a bit of difference between appropriate situations and inappropriate ones. What you’re referring to is definitely the former, not the latter.

      • Sandy Greer

        The ‘difference’ is:

        I don’t think it’s ‘appropriate’ we point our fingers, and
        laugh at boys, when they get hard ons. Don’t think it ‘appropriate’ we bully them for something they all go

        It’s not ‘appropriate’ adults advocate doing so.

        It’s emasculating – when done by girls. Advocated by women – smacks of misandry.

      • Aanna1123

        You’re an ass! Try telling that to as 7,8,9 year old! Girls acting like sluts should be treated as such! I see no problem pointing at the dick tease!

  • You know what else is distracting? Advertisements. Get rid of all those and then we can talk about bra straps.

  • Pipercat

    Meanwhile Uncle Fred, a fastidious man, trims his beard 27 times a day!

  • Sorry, Allen, I usually agree with you, but you’re completely off base on this one.

    Teenage boys are going to be distracted by females they find attractive. And the less clothing those females are wearing, the more distracted they’re
    going to be. That’s not “being sexist,” that’s just nature – many males are attracted to females.

    Therefore those boys can’t be taught to, or learn to ignore, the things they supposedly find distracting? You have rather a low opinion of teenage boys, don’t you? Of course they can. Especially if the administration was to make clear that girls are not going to be sent home just because their bra straps are showing, and the boys simply need to get used to it.

    Some rules are targeted more toward males while others toward females. The reason why more of these dress code violations seem targeted at women is because women are more likely to wear very short shorts, very skimpy
    tops or spandex pants. Teenage males usually follow a “style” that doesn’t show off a lot of skin.

    And why is this, pray tell? Is it because society and culture is pushing to sexualize girls at younger and younger ages? In this case, some interesting discussions could be had on these subjects in class, rather than automatically blaming and shaming the girls.

    It’s teenage girls violating written policy on what is appropriate to be worn at school.

    So you can’t accept the possibility that the dress code needs to be revisited and perhaps revised, instead of continuing to needlessly punish the students?

  • Ediehick

    I don’t know if you have shopped for teen girls clothing lately but it is remarkably hard to find long enough shorts to purchase. They are mostly very short and not age appropriate in style, tops also. I think we need to be rebuking the fashion industry for their inability to sell clothing that fits the dress codes for MOST schools and demanding appropriate clothing purchasing choices.

  • hcd

    Awesome! I have been making those same comments there. Guess what kids, when you go to the real world your work will have dress codes! Those bastards!

  • K. Thompsen

    You are so off the mark. You are stating here that males are primordial ooze incapable of controlling their “criminal” urges. Just because “it’s always been this way” is not a viable argument. The old saying”boys will be boys” is just lazy parenting. It is not every woman’s responsibility to ensure you or your uneducated boys don’t commit offenses. Take responsibility! A male’s moral compass is not his penis and what it wants. Stop being lazy! Do the work and teach your boys. I have 2 sons and this blanket characterization of man as an ignorant animal with no self control is an insult to them and all men everywhere. This article is repugnant and offensive to women but more importantly to all men everywhere. Have you evolved or are you no better than a monkey in the zoo masturbating in front of a window and throwing your own feces? You may be, but my boys were raised better. Stop whining and do the work to raise your boys to be accountable.

    • dlion

      yes and raise your girls to dress appropriately and not blame boys for their lack of good judgement..
      it is not just about the boys.

  • dlion

    I would say that no one except the teen girls are making themselves responsible for boys behavior. Dress code at school is just that. The purpose of school is to educate. Dress codes at school at work, at malls, etc. are for a reason. The reason is decency. I see girls right here in my town after school looking like they should be at the beach or on a corner. I am shocked that they would think it is appropriate, or that their mother’s/father’s would think so. It is not about boys sexual urges, it is about appropriateness. The girls and whomever is saying that they should be able to prance around school is clothing more appropriate for the park, playground, or beach, are way off base. Grow up girls! I actually recently saw a 20something girl at a wedding with a dress so short when she walked up the stairs you could see everything under it. She should have been embarrassed, but she seemed to want to show it off. It was distracting, and not only for the young men. I think the bride was quite angry about it and I do not blame her. There is a place and time for everything, and short shorts are not for school.

  • A lot of discussion here, but virtually none of it even addresses what these events were about. Everyone has an opinion about how girls should dress, but that really has nothing to do with the issues.

    Newfoundland was a complaint about the undeniably sexist reasons that the schools gave for having their rules.
    The Montreal complaint was about the girls being humiliated in front of their class.
    Parents and students protested their treatment via civil disobedience, and by a poster campaign, both hallmarks of the democracy these students are supposed to be learning about.

    Instead of having their concerns recognized or listened to, much less addressed, they get called sluts.

  • Sue Roediger

    To me it is about the dress code – period.
    If you allow 2 inches too short today it will be 4 inches tomorrow. a dress code is for consistency. Yes – boys that age are easily aroused, but just as easily by a girl in long baggy pants who bends over to pick up a pencil.
    As a once-upon-a-time teacher I know the importance of enforcing rules consistently. We had a school rule about profanity, but other teachers slacked off about enforcing it. This made it even harder for me to follow through in my classroom. I didn’t give in though. When students from other classes ere in my room – like when they were held back from a field trip – my students told them “that’s not allowed in here.”

    • Ok, for you it’s all about the dress code, it’s not about children who break the rules being stood up and humiliated in front of the class?
      You approve of that?
      Would you approve it for other infractions?

      You approve of telling the girls that the reason the dress code exists is because girls are responsible for the boy’s behavior?
      Those are the things the girls complained about.

      • Sue Roediger

        I totally agree that the emphasis should not be on girls not “distracting” the boys. Boys need to learn to “check themselves”. Way back in the old days I went to Catholic All Girls school …………we had a very strict dress code. We were lectured about our behavior in public and the need for modesty, but even at school with all girls we got in trouble if our skirts were too short. On the days we had free dress – oh my the drama. I hated it. So I think we agree about the need to not make the girls responsible for the boy’s behavior.
        I do hate to see bra straps showing – I think it’s tacky.
        Standing to have one’s shorts measured is really not “shaming” and as I said before they all know the dress code. This is the end of the school year, so no surprise if they get called on it.

      • Standing to have one’s shorts measured is really not “shaming”

        We certainly have a difference of opinion. I’m also a survivor of catholic school, and the memories of being made to stand in front of the whole class and have your shortcomings pointed out was humiliating, “shaming”, and left worse psychological scars than any of the physical abuse the nuns inflicted on us.

        Even a minimum degree of respect for others dictates that something like that be done discretely and privately. What they did is bullying, pure and simple, and the fact that only the girls were made to endure it makes it doubly so.

      • Sue Roediger

        well I guess next they’ll call it “shaming” to tell a kid they got an answer wrong when you call on them in class.
        and yes the nuns were brutal – physically and emotionally. We di need to teach kids resilience thought — she could have laughed it off “oh they say my short are to short – whatever.”

      • It’s sad that you think going out of your way to intentionally embarrass a young kid in front of their peers is in any way acceptable behavior.

  • Danielle

    I partially agree with the article. Like every argument, people are taking this to the extremes. Should girls be shamed for showing a little skin, hell no. Should they be expected to dress in a respectable manner, yes. So should the boys. Wear whatever the hell you want as soon as school is over.
    On the other hand, a lot of these dress codes ARE too extreme and target girls unfairly. Like others have said, if a girl can’t show a bra strap, a boy can’t show his boxers. If people are worried about embarrassing these kids, they could be sent to the principal with a note, and the issue could be dealt with in private.
    I’ve gone to catholic and private school. In catholic school, we would wear regular clothes under our (very ugly) uniforms and change as soon as we were off of school grounds. A couple girls in my public school would wear skin tight jersey mini-dresses. I’ll admit they could pull it off. So what. Why does any body need to wear club-wear to school. That’s not necessary. Neither was the guy wearing a mesh shirt. I’ll add that neither got in trouble.

    Basically, it comes down to having REASONABLE and FAIR dress codes, and making sure all kids follow them.

  • Kathleen Allen

    Girls bodies are naturally more variable than boys. If some girls have been walking around at school in tank shirts and haven’t been sent home, then the schools shouldn’t be allowed to send home the girl with the larger breasts because she’s showing more skin than the smaller girls. It’s either tank shirts for all or tank shirts for none. I’m not saying that’s what happened in Canada I didn’t read the original article. They can’t say boys can wear tank shirts and girls can’t because they might show a bra strap. No tanks for girls? Then no tanks for guys. Dress codes are fine but they must be interpreted equally between girls and boys, flat chested girls and large busted girls. And girls should not be shamed for wearing what they are being told is in style.