Slut shaming remains prevalent

What you wear apparently defines who you are.

Your skirt is too short. Dont wear that. Boys might get the wrong idea.

photo via flickr.com under the Creative Commons license

“Your skirt is too short. Don’t wear that. Boys might get the wrong idea.”

Chelsea Santos, Staff Writer

Everyone knows that the word “slut” has a derogatory connotation. No one wants to be called a slut. By definition, a slut is “a woman who has many casual sexual partners.” Synonyms include “whore,” and my personal favorite, “prostitute.”

Slut shaming is the practice “of making a person, especially a woman, feel guilty or inferior for certain sexual behaviors, circumstances or desires that deviate from traditional or orthodox gender expectations, or that which may be considered to be contrary to natural or religious law. Circumstances where women are ‘slut-shamed’ include violating accepted dress codes by dressing in sexually provocative ways.”

At the beginning of the year, our school sporadically released a dress code reminder, addressing the students about the length of their dresses/skirts, advising them not to wear tights, leggings, jeggings, any other spandex-type material, sleeveless tops, sheer tops, and tank tops. Also, the administration has done a very effective job of reminding us not to unbutton our blouses — it will be the only thing I will remember from these four years in high school, aside from the mitochondria being the powerhouse of the cell.

Which students were school officials really speaking to?!

The girls!

Note, that nothing in said reminder includes anything about what boys are wearing, especially cargo shorts, which are, mind you, against dress code.

But slut shaming isn’t just a thing restricted to just one school. It’s happening in other high schools across the nation. In an article from Time Magazine, it was reported that Tottenville High School in Staten Island, NY, handed out 200 detention slips in the first few days of the semester — 90% of which went to girls whose clothes supposedly “distracted [boys] from the education process.”

These dress code rules only target girls and make them feel bad about the clothes they wear (sound familiar, anyone? does “bullying” ring a bell?). And as stated in Time, the unevenness of said rules may be a violation of Title IX, a law that bans gender discrimination in schools.

These dress code rules only target girls and make them feel bad about the clothes they wear ”

— Chelsea Santos

On social media, girls are fighting back, trending hashtags like “#IAmMoreThanJustADistraction” and “#YesAllWomen,” and even posting their responses to their schools after they have been punished for the clothes they wore. With the power of the Internet, girls are spreading the word that they are not supposed to be viewed sexually when all they wanted to do was wear shorts when it was hot. I’m sure if she wanted to wear pants she would.

I asked a friend, Genevieve Gonzales, who goes to Crescenta Valley High School, how her school, which doesn’t have a dress standard as Clark does, handles the dress code. “The teachers don’t actually do much unless it’s noticeable. If you have spaghetti straps or whatever, most say to put on a sweater or something. If you wear something a little more provocative than that, then they give you this pass and make you change out of whatever you were wearing and into another shirt they give you.”

The entire thing is uncomfortable — imagine a teacher coming up to you and telling you that you’re showing too much skin, and that you have to change your clothes, and then you go to the office and they give you some oversized, dirty old thing to wear that would draw even more attention to you than if you just wore your own clothes in the first place. It happened to me in middle school. It happened to my friends. And it happens to teenage girls every school day.