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OPINION: Dress code protects boys, inhibits comfort for girls

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OPINION: Dress code protects boys, inhibits comfort for girls

Nancy Grijalva, English III Contributor

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In conjunction with Mrs. Rebecca Collora’s English III classes, ManestreamNews will present a series of opinion columns, known as the ‘Pub 8 Project.’ 

Sexual harassment. Defined as the making of unwanted and offensive sexual advances remarks or acts, this horrible epidemic is now a societal norm. This is unacceptable, but sadly it’s the truth.

Walking down the street, women are seen as fresh meat waiting to be carved by the ego and entitlement of men. Rather than digging to the root of this problem, society has decided to do patchwork. It finds excuses, not solutions

“ Well, she was wearing a skirt.”

“Her clothes were asking for it.”

“What do you expect to happen if she’s wearing that.”

But, the clothes that women wear do not define their desires or intentions. On the other hand, men see these trappings as an invitation to a party they weren’t invited to.

McKinney ISD has faltered to this idea and have hence implemented a dress code hindering the females of their ability to express themselves through their clothing.

According to the McKinney ISD Student Handbook, “Yoga pants, jeggings or leggings must be worn with a shirt or skirt that extends past the fingertips.” “ Tube tops, spaghetti straps, exposed midriff and cleavage, or halter type blouses are not permitted.” These rules are meant to prevent other kids from being distracted from their learning environment. By ‘other kids’ we mean boys. The obvious solution is not to teach these young men to keep their hungry eyes to themselves, but to prevent girls from being comfortable in their clothing choices. This is not only at McKinney ISD, but also at most schools across the nation. Young women can’t wear comfortable clothes because a man has a right to everything in his eyes.

I see women asking each other not if but when they have been cat called. These little comments are seen as harmless to the ones making them, but when men see that women do not put an end to their remarks, they’re tempted to see just how far they can push her buttons. This can lead to both unwanted verbal and physical sexual attention, which can easily escalate to cases such as rape.

A girl I knew had this guy that really liked her. Just a 14-year-old drowning in the lust his eyes seeped. So when his small ” You’re really pretty” comments turned into his hand grazing her leg, she didn’t notice the change. She didn’t see the red flags going off. And soon when he invited her to his house, it didn’t seem like a big deal.

I saw this girl shatter right before my eyes. She cried for days, but never let anyone see her tears. I listened to her whimpers into the pillow for a whole year since, and everytime I look in the mirror, I see her looking back at me.

It really sucks that rape is such a huge problem in our world and rather than teach men not to rape indiscriminately, society has tried to teach women self defense and modest dress as if it’s our fault it happened. And it all started with sexual harassment.

You will meet some people who say that sexual harassment is not as big of a problem as it was in the past. But that does not mean it has been obliterated. Since 1993, sexual harassment reports have fallen by 63 percent (Criminal Victimization 2015). This is an amazing step in the right direction, however, it feels more like 5 percent. Every 98 seconds a person is sexually assaulted. This can mean comments, unwanted touch, and even rape. So, yes, it has decreased, but the search for an end to sexual harassment is far from over.

I still have yet to see the day where sexual harassment isn’t something you see or even experience everyday. But, I have a strong feeling that I will not see that day. I grip onto a sliver of hope, crossing my fingers and wishing that I will see that sunrise. Until then, all I can do is spread awareness and hope someone listens.

Resource:

U.S Department of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization 2015

 

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OPINION: Dress code protects boys, inhibits comfort for girls