How Dress Codes Are Affecting Women Both In School And In The Government


It almost feels like there is a new article everyday discussing dress codes in our schools. Girls feel inappropriately sexualized when they are called to the office because of their outfits. These young women claim that these dress codes are not only impeding their education but are sexist as well. Adolescent men are subjected too much less scrutiny in terms of what they wear. These women are told that their clothes can become a distraction to the class, making many of these girls feel ashamed. Contradictory to this, there are people who continue to support these dress codes and claim that it is important for students to learn how to follow rules of appropriate attire.

One would hope that the problems associated with dress code would cease post-graduation. Astonishingly, this is not the case. In fact this issue has recently been brought to light in The United States House of Representatives. Though the rules have not been formally changed, stricter enforcement of the dress code has been causing stirs in the lower chamber from representatives and the press alike. Representative Martha McSally (R-Arizona) recently defied the dress code while she addressed the house, stating, “Before I yield back, I want to point out I’m standing here in my professional attire, which happens to be a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes.” CBS News also issued a complaint after several of their journalists were turned away for not properly adhering to the dress code of covered shoulders and closed-toed shoes.

Men also are required to follow the dress code, requiring them to wear a suit jacket and tie. However, as Hannah Cranston from TYT Network’s ThinkTank pointed out, for men the dress code is more about formalities, while the women’s dress code can cause women to feel ashamed or inappropriately sexualized. The segment also pointed out that women’s dress code for the House of Representatives forbade them from entering The House while wearing pants up until 1993, a fact that is shockingly hard to believe.

Dress code has increasingly become a problem for both students and representatives. Opponents attest that it is inappropriate for an establishment to attempt to control what women and men wear. However, advocates for a dress code claim that it is essential to maintain a professional work environment, a feat impossible without proper attire. Whichever side you agree with, one must admit that this is a rising predicament, a dilemma that is distracting individuals from the bigger picture — whether it be physics, getting that lead story or appropriating bills.