A sense of helplessness is common with regards to the mandate of conventionalism (dress code) throughout our schools, for it is seemingly the right of leadership to determine the confines of appearance rather than the individual. Even in a modernized civilization, policies created to cease the negative effects of clothing and physical appearance actually “perpetuate discrimination” (Zhou, “The Sexism of School Dress Codes”). Too frequently, the occurrence of prejudice against a number of groups is directly influenced by clothing and physical appearance, which is why the policies embedded in schools concerning this influence should be augmented and extended throughout the world.
In order to prevent discrimination and distractions in the United States, legislation must be passed for every race and gender to uphold these ideals by covering themselves from head to toe in a conservative and conventional manner. This solution will affirm the end of countless issues throughout the country and, due to the United States’ distinguished position in world politics, will expand the concepts of equality and peace. This policy will not only ensure a distraction free learning environment for schools, but it will also establish a distraction-free world that will open up innumerable opportunities and result in more favorable situations.
Firstly, this law would guarantee the end of all forms of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Clothing totally determines whether a sexual predator will take advantage of someone or not, so someone can’t be “asking for it” based on their appearance if everyone looks the same. Men and women will no longer feel the powerful temptation to perform hatred acts due to the seductive nature of exposed shoulders. By covering everything, the problem of sexal assult and harrasement will definitely be covered and taken care of.
Secondly, along the same lines, husbands and wives will no longer have affairs because neither will be tempted by another person’s appearance. The sin of adultery will never be committed because sexual desires do not exist when there is no form of outward sexual expression. When no one can see anyone’s protrudent bra strap, no one will ever be promiscuous. In fact, this law will better humanity, for the transgression of human nature will be dealt with by it. Humans are innately evil, but this solution will work to completely stop the convenience committing sins such as adultery.
Thirdly, there will no longer be any accidents of any kind because of the “distraction-free zone” this legislation would create. For example, male drivers are constantly distracted by females, wearing running shorts and a tank tops, running on the side of the road. Although this problem is hardly ever addressed, this is an insanely dangerous situation that is giving up safety just so that women can be a little more comfortable. A woman's sexual display of her arms and legs directly cause these kinds of accidents all of the time. Since when has a life been less important than a cute pair of leggings?!
I have spoken with an expert in this matter, Lynn, an American who grew up in the 70s, whose insight on traditional dress code substantiates my proposal. Growing up in a time where people were allowed to wear “offensive shirts” with “marijuana leaves” on them, she was quite distracted. The only release from the distraction was the “forbiddance of shorts”, which allowed for the sinful nature of humans to be subsided. This historical situation promotes the positive advantages of strict dress code laws, to which I have dutifully proposed and laid out.
Fourthly, this solution would cure all forms of Attention Deficit Disorder because the main distraction would be eliminated. The only thing that truly distracts people is the display of one’s body and the sexulization of it. Hiding one’s body is more important than education anyways right? Schools are already putting this ideal into practice by taking people out of class to dress code them, so why not just create a country-wide mandate so that conservative dress becomes the cultural norm? According to Catherine Perlman, (who was interviewed by Kelly Wallace, CNN) "The dress code is outdated and out of touch with the clothing that is being marketed and sold to girls (Wallace, “do school dress codes end up body shaming girls”). The only reason girls are dressing in suggestive outfits, such as skirts that one inch above fingertip length, is because these styles are forced on unsuspecting, innocent little girls who don’t know the possible detriments their attire can cause.
Fifthly, one of the most important advantages is the cease of discrimination that would occur due to this legislation. Due to the fact that no one can see who anyone is, they can’t judge them based off of their race or gender. This not only creates equality, but also stops violence and hate crimes. Everyone would be equal because everyone would look the same.
Sixthly, Now that everyone is equal, gender roles can be switched with ease. Now men can do the fast and easy jobs that women used to do: spending hours cooking 3 healthy meals, washing the dishes, dusting, doing the laundry, tending the garden, making beds, tidying up, cleaning the toilet, maintaining all rooms of the house, disposing of all garbage, polishing the silverware, picking up and dropping off the kids, etc. All gender roles will be thrown out the window and each spouse will feel free to do exactly what they want. This subtle change of clothing and physical appearance will create healthy relationships throughout the United States. This, with an addition to the advantage of the suspension of adultery, will significantly reduce the divorce rate in this country. For example, in a country such as Saudi Arabia, in which a significant population of women wear head to toe covering, their divorce rate is only at 21%; however, the United States has a much smaller population of women in head to toe covering, and (obviously consequently) their divorce rate is around 46% (Engel, “MAP: Divorce Rates Around the World”).
However, I know that there will be one objection, which is that no one will be able to recognize anyone. This could be a substantial problem, for if you have some really juicy gossip you want to share with your friend Suzy, how do you know who Suzy is if everyone looks the same? Although this seems detrimental, it only further proves my point that the exposure individuality through physical appearance is a distraction. The point of the legislation is to obstruct discrimination, distractions, and violence, which is exactly what it accomplishes in this situation.
In spite of this fantastic solution, the real problem, sexualization, is strongly implemented throughout schooling years. The reason these things might be “distracting” is because society has made them so. The discriminatory dress code isn’t going to stop discrimination and will even enhance the disturbance by making people change into embarrassing, alternate clothing that is inherently more distracting, such as neon clothing and green jumpsuits labeled “Dress for Success.” However, if dress code is done away with completely, there will be certain people that push the boundaries that do create unnecessary problems; nevertheless, they, as an individual, make their own decisions, which, granted, might receive ostracization and other consequences. However, the change in dress code will not affect me, for I am about to graduate high school. Although this might bring a sense of helplessness due to the seemingly unsolvable nature of this predicament, attention needs to be placed on this issue in order to come up with a viable solution to fix it.
A Modest Proposal to Stop Distractions Concerning Dress Code: An Annotated Bibliography
Engel, Pamela. “MAP: Divorce Rates Around The World.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 25 May 2014.
This map showed the Divorce Rates around the World based off of the country. The map was not interactive and the rates were taken from a variety of years (but all within the last century). This map was reliable and informative, but not very specific. Due to the fact that it did not specify some exact dates, I had to click on the specific countries to do an in-depth research of them. This map is applicable to this essay for it provided specific statistics to back up my proposal.
Wallace, Kelly. "Do School Dress Codes End up Body-shaming Girls?" CNN (2017): n. pag. Print.
Wallace’s article offers insight to the problems that dress code creates. She displays multiple opinions of parents regarding the issue of dress code. This is a slanted article in that most of her opinions included are biased to one side; however, she does include some quotes from others who disagree with the other interviewees.
Her report on dress code focuses on the opinions of others and anecdotes of others rather than her own. Organized through emphasized quotes, this article supports the questioning of dress code in schools, an environment that can influence the confidence of young girls.
Quotes from interviewees from this article can be used in a satirical essay emphasizing and critiquing dress code and sexualization of girls. Also, the overall idea of “body shaming” can be embedded into the essay as well.
Wessels, Lynn R. "Dress Code in the 70s." Personal interview. 18 Oct. 2017.
This interviewee supplied ample information on dress code in the 70s that can be
included if needed. The use of descriptive details of the dress code and the specifics of its effects
were also utilized to emphasize the interviewee’s opinion.
Zhou, Li. "The Sexism of School Dress Codes." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 20 Oct. 2015. Web.
Zhou’s article offers multiple opinions on school dress code, concerning both girls and LGBT students. By embedding specific stories and events, Zhou is able to display the discrimination that these school policies create.
Zhou displays this issue in a harmful light and even offers solutions to this problem by presenting student’s remedies to fix the issue. Her critique on dress code is enforced by descriptive examples, engaging diction, and embedded quotes from activists.
Ideas from this article could be easily utilized in a satirical writing against dress code, for it provides both background information and current opinions on the issue. In addition, verbiage could be quoted in order to supply a dogmatic approach to this issue.