School District's Sexist Ban on Skinny Jeans Is Pretty Much Impossible

skinny jeansIt seems there's no end in sight to ridiculous school dress codes discriminating against girls for having bodies that might be "distractions" to boys: A North Carolina school district is considering a ban on skinny jeans, unless said jeans are worn with a top or dress long enough to "cover the posterior area in its entirety." As one might expect, the policy isn't being particularly well received by kids or parents -- and why should it be? 


Never mind the fact that this type of restriction on girls' clothing is outdated, misogynist, and ultimately a symptom of our society's sick tendency to blame victims of sexual assault (not to mention a complete unwillingness to teach young males to take responsibility for their actions) -- this particular ban doesn't even make sense. After all, skinny jeans and the vast majority of "regular" jeans look pretty much the same from the waist to, say, mid-thigh. The "skinny" part refers to the rest of the legs. So what difference would wearing a long shirt covering the "posterior" make anyway?

More from The Stir: School Changes Dress Code to Save Girls From Their Lecherous Male Teachers

And either way, this debate inevitably takes time and energy away from the one thing that schools should actually be concerning themselves with, i.e., education. That's how most of the students and parents feel, at least. The New Hanover County School Board asked for feedback online regarding the policy (the comments, along with other input, will be reviewed by a committee). One Twitter user summed up the sentiments of many with this post:

Exactly! Losing two hours of valuable learning time over a pair of yoga pants -- a garment which, for better or worse, has pretty much replaced sweatpants in terms of ubiquitous and almost always acceptable casual wear -- is completely unacceptable. The message they're sending here is a dangerous one: Basically, they're saying that a girl's education is less important than that of her male peers. Rather than risk the possibility of a boy's being distracted for five seconds by the sight of a girl's "posterior" in yoga pants, this school was willing to throw two hours of that girl's school day out the window. That's just messed up.

Messed up and highly impractical, I might add. Yoga pants and skinny jeans aren't just what a select group of seductively dressing teens are wearing these days -- they're what everybody's wearing nowadays, as another tweet pointed out:

More from The Stir: School's Sexist New Dress Code Includes Something Women Hate Wearing

So true! Are these kids supposed to go hunting through vintage store racks (or the backs of their moms' closets) for oversized boyfriend jeans or flares?

Then there's the financial burden a sudden change to school dress code policy can pose for parents, as this next tweet brings up:

That's essentially what I said to my daughter's former principal shortly after she started eighth grade and the school decided to unexpectedly change its policy on the acceptable length for shorts. 

"Well, all of her shorts are the same length and I've already blown my back-to-school clothing budget, so what would you suggest I do?" I asked when called in to bring a change of clothing for her.

After I went on for several minutes pointing out how unfair these new stipulations were to parents of girls and asking what exactly they were doing to teach boys how to treat girls with respect, the principal backed down, and my daughter never got in trouble for her (completely reasonable and appropriate) clothes again. Whether or not they left her alone because the principal understood my argument or simply didn't want to deal with me again, I can't say -- but either way, I highly recommend other parents make a fuss over unfair dress codes, too. I think it's entirely possible that if schools receive a significant amount of backlash, they'll reconsider implementing policies like bans on skinny jeans. Hopefully, they'll reconsider them because they'll begin to realize how flawed the thinking behind them is -- not just to pacify outraged parents -- but either way, at least girls won't be stuck wearing dresses over their denim to hide those apparently hypnotically irresistible posteriors.

Here's hoping this North Carolina district listens to parents and students and thinks better of its ban -- and that other districts follow suit. The time for this sexist treatment of students has passed, and should never return.


Image via Katheirne Hitt/Flickr 

Read More >