Poster Calls For Schools To Stop Shaming Girls For Wearing Shorts And Skirts

Julie Gerstein / May 10, 2013

Every spring at my high school, as girls would start showing up to school dressed in shorts and skirts, the school administration would busy itself trying to regulate and police what female students were wearing. Shorts and skirts had to be of a certain length or you’d be sent to the nurse’s office and told to wear a pair of school-issued sweatpants. Boys’ clothing offenses typically had to do with T-shirt ,logans which they were forced to wear inside out. But girls’ clothing — the length, the cut and even the fabric — was regulated under the guise of female bodies being “distracting.” The above poster was put up in a high school recently (we’re trying to figure out which one), featuring a saying that’s been floating around Tumblr lately:

instead of publicly shaming girls for wearing shorts on an 80 degree day you should teach teachers and male students to not overly sexualize a normal body part to the point where they apparently cant function in daily life

It’s a good point: high schools often police women’s bodies in order to better “control male urges.” Which is just putting a Band-Aid on the real problem: men and boys (and let’s face it, women too) are taught to over-sexualize women’s bodies. Should women and girls have to change the way they dress, or where they go, or how they look to avoid being sexualized by a male gaze? No. But they often do. Women invariably pay the price.

Contact the author of this post at julie@thefrisky.com or follow her on Twitter @havethehabit.