Indian College Bans Female Students From Wearing Sleeveless Dresses

Oh, dress codes. Women have been banned from wearing sleeveless dresses at a school in Madhya Pradesh, India, because administrators say doing so isn’t dressing in a “decent manner.” In order to enforce the new rule, the college director stands outside the premises every morning to make sure the students are wearing “decent” attire.

Why are they suddenly enforcing this rule? That’s not exactly clear; perhaps the recent spate of high-profile rapes and gang rapes in India has lead to increased policing of the way women dress in the name of “protecting” them. Anyway, prior to the official enforcement, female students who wore sleeveless dresses had to write essays on Indian culture as punishment — potentially the catalyst for the college-wide ban.

And how are the female students feeling about the decision? Some are fine with it. But others quoted by the Hindustan Times don’t really understand the point. “The reason for the director’s anti-sleeveless dress drive is that it can distract students,” said a woman named Richa. “What concentration and distraction can a student achieve with a single inch of cloth on one’s shoulder?”

Even some faculty seem confused. The acting vice-chancellor of the overall university, DAVV, claimed no knowledge and said, “I don’t think that wearing a sleeveless dress to college is something which is outrageous. It is something very common and normal.” [Hindustan Times]

[Image of Indian students via Shutterstock]