Watch the video here first, about the dress code at a Catholic school's awards event.
Several of us worked at last Friday's dance and we were shocked at the way the girls dressed. When I started at that school a dozen years ago, girls came to dances dressed in one of three ways: a small number were way overdressed, as for cotillion; most were nicely dressed; a small number dressed as hookers. Those three categories are essentially gone now; by almost universal agreement, the vast majority of the girls at Friday's dance were dressed in what I'll nicely call "pole-dancing chic".
For starters, 14-17 year-olds don't need to be wearing 6" heels. Most of them can't walk in them anyway, and sometimes it's funny to watch them clomp around in them. After pictures are taken they ditch the shoes anyway, walking around the gym and the concrete breezeway in their bare feet. One wonders what they think when they go into the restroom.
Then there are those dresses, the ones that are Saran-Wrap-tight and are so short that every few steps the girls are pulling the backs of their dresses down to ensure their butts are covered. I am not making this up.
And there was a school administrator at the door who allowed all of them in. This floors me.
With boys it's pretty easy. They wear slacks and a shirt, probably a tie, and that's it. There's no need to tell boys that they can't wear muscle tees to a nice event, and there's no societal norm, even for adult men, to have their pants slit up to their you-know-whats. Dress codes for guys are easy. "Keep it classy" is a fairly clear instruction, as was the rest of the boys' dress code in the video above.
It's is not so clear with women. "How do you put into a dress code that dresses shouldn't be skin tight like that?" was a question that came up in the staff lounge just today when discussing what's appropriate attire at a school dance. Dress codes for girls need to be more detailed because there are more ways for girls to dress, both good and bad, than there are for guys. It would be nice if "choose an outfit pretty enough to show you are a woman and covered enough to show you are a lady" were all that was needed to ensure the girls dressed appropriately, but sadly it's not.
The dress code isn't sexist, it's appropriate. Perhaps if someone addressed how having breasts or butt cheeks popping out of a tiny dress could be considered sexual harassment, just the same as a dirty joke can....