Is Dress Code Sexist?

Is Dress Code Sexist?

Rebecca Klein

Lindsey Stocker hung these signs around her Quebec school, accusing the school dress code of sexism.

The Montreal Gazette

Carolyn Fenerty, Writer

A Quebec student accused of breaking her school’s dress code recently accused the dress code of being sexist.

Lindsey Stocker claimed that dress code rules, saying that the dress code seemed aimed at not distracting boys instead of on whether her outfit was actually inappropriate. After being confronted about her outfit breaking dress code, Stocker retaliated by hanging signs around her school, accusing the dress code of sexualizing girls for dressing for the weather.

“They should approach it in a way that doesn’t target girls at least  — for starters — because that’s the first problem,” Stocker told CBC News, “They don’t really care what guys wear. They just kind of target the girls first.”

Stocker’s accusations first began when, during a class, school administrators came in to assess girl’s outfits to see if they met dress code: if the girl’s fingertips reached beyond the hem of her shorts, she was in violation of dress code.

Lindsey continued to the CBC:

“When I started explaining why I didn’t understand that rule, they didn’t really want to hear anything I had to say, and it was in front of my entire class. I felt very attacked … and I wanted to tell them how I felt.”

Similar incidents have occurred in the United States as well, with a Virginia teen being sent home from prom because her dress was too short,  or students sent home for wearing leggings to school. In one of the more ridiculous cases, a girl who shaved her head to support a friend with cancer was told that she violated her school’s dress code.

Nearly ever example of dress code controversy in the media surrounds what girls are and are not allowed to wear, and nearly every dress code is directed at girls.

Uniforms, an often-suggested possible solution, would solve problems of dress code violations or unfairness, but also prevent students from expressing themselves as individuals.

On the other side, dress codes exist to make sure students dress appropriately for a school setting. Dress code also prepares students for a work setting, where they will be expected to dress professionally to maintain the image of the company/business.