Dress codes: sex and stigma

Originally published at: https://prostasia.org/blog/dress-codes-sex-and-stigma/

I was in middle school when the spaghetti strap phase of the late 90’s hit (yes, I’m old). Basically, all tank tops that came out for a year or two, were spaghetti strap tops. For those who are uninitiated, spaghetti straps are just very thin straps on an otherwise normal tank top. Almost immediately, this…

While it’s undeniable that school dress codes hurt girls the most, I see them as an insult to everyone.

Girls are forced to dress modestly because ‘‘immodest apparel’’ may ‘‘distract the boys’’. As a male, I take offense to the idea that women should have to censor themselves over the belief that men lack the ability to function outside of our sex drives.

I didn’t think about it at all at school. In the one case I did, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference whatever they wore.

I don’t see the point of complaining about this, it comes off as awkward and it is just how society is. Is justifying less modest outfits a good thing? Are there any societies which don’t have strict codes?