In the Philippines, dress codes are usually prescribed in schools and offices and are followed without qualm. In other parts of the world, however, the case is different.
Last week, a Canadian teen was given detention for wearing a dress that showed her back. After being called “a sexual distraction,” however, high school student Lauren Wiggins decided she would have no more of the school dress code.
In a strongly worded letter to their school’s Vice Principal, Lauren explains what exactly is wrong with the policy.
The letter reads:
I have a concern I would like to bring to your attention. In today’s society, a woman’s body is constantly discriminated against and hypersexualized to the point where we can no longer wear the clothing that we feel comfortable in without the accusation and/or assumption that we are being provocative. This unjust mindset towards women is absolutely absurd. The fact that authority figures, especially males, can tell young women they must cover up their shoulders and their backs because it’s “inappropriate” and “a distraction” is very uncomforting.
Schools are the social building blocks in an adolescent’s life meant to teach them how to communicate and develop relationships with others and also learning about themselves and who they want to be. It’s preached upon us to be individual, to be ourselves. The double standard here is that when we try, we are then told we’re wrong. We may not truly dress, act or speak how we want because authority figures, and I use that term very loosely such as yourself, tell us we can’t. Yes, I understand there are restrictions to how much and how little of your body that shows, but that applies when people show up in their bikinis or bra and panties.
Though I do believe women should legally be allowed to publicly be shirtless considering males are, it’s mindsets like yours that keep that as something that is shamed upon. So no, Mr. Sturgeon, I will not search for something to cover up my back and shoulders because I am not showing them off with the intention to gain positive sexual feedback from the teenage boys in my school. I am especially not showing them to receive any comments, positive or negative, from anybody else besides myself because the only person who can make any sort of judgment on my body and the fabrics I place on it is me.
If you are truly so concerned that a boy in this school will get distracted by my upper back and shoulders then he needs to be sent home and practice self control.
Thank you, have a nice day.
The letter was posted online with a photo of the offending dress and it has since then been making rounds online.
Laura was given a day’s suspension for having penned the said letter. But really, that was just all types of win. Do you think something like this would happen here?