Please be advised: Dress codes are designed to protect women from their male peers.
At least, that's what Jim Bazen, the principal of Plymouth Christian High School in Grand Rapids, MI, wrote in an op-ed for Michigan Live. According to Bazen, young men literally cannot help themselves from sexualizing girls. So, naturally, "If you do not want women treated as 'sex objects,' you should tell them to cover more skin."
Bazen goes on to explain that dress codes are definitely not a punishment for young women.
"By requiring female students to dress modestly, we are not penalizing them," Bazen wrote. "We are protecting them!"
Clearly, the many, many girls who have been sent home for truly ridiculous dress code violations feel super protected and not at all singled out, embarrassed or humiliated that their education was disrupted because their skin was showing.
According to Bazen, men are just inherently terrible and it's a woman's job to keep herself from their prying eyes, because: "A young man will not think of a respectfully dressed young woman as a 'sex object' but is more likely to see her for who she is. A young man may have no intention to lust, yet when an immodestly dressed girl passes him in the hall, he will think sexual thoughts."
Another key part of Bazen's argument is that dress codes are somehow related to "enabling" a woman to stay a virgin until marriage.
He writes: "Women should not be afraid of their sexuality. Women should be afraid of those who admire them only for their 'great body.' We would like them to preserve this wonderful gift (virginity) for their 'one and only.'"
OK. That's chill. So instead of asking young men to respect a woman regardless of how she's dressed, it's a young woman's job to make herself seem as unattractive as possible? Because even a bare shoulder or the sight of a kneecap might cause the nearest high school boy to pop a boner, forget that a girl is a human and not a sex machine, and promptly forget everything he learned in class that day. Right.
Asking students to dress in a professional, respectful manner for school is more than reasonable. But expecting young girls to dress so irreproachably that a man could not possibly have a sexual thought about them is absurd.
"The only way you can help young men not treat young ladies as sex objects is by telling the young ladies to cover up!" Bazen writes.
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