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Here’s The Problem With Having College Dress Codes For Girls

July 05, 2018 | by Mansi Shah

We want to pretend it doesn’t exist but honestly, we really try to condition our girls into behaving a certain way, dressing how we want them to and telling them to tone it down if they’re too loud. Parents do it, relatives do it. Heck, sometimes even strangers do it. But we might be taking it too far when even schools do it.

This school in Pune is asking all the students to wear white or skin colour inner wear. They even want to dictate the length of the skirt that students should wear. When asked what bizarre sort of rule this was, the school claims it was done with ‘pure’ intentions. Erm, telling people what underwear to wear isn’t seeming very pure or like it has been thought through at all.

I am a little confused about the implementation of this rule. I mean, are they going to be subjecting people to underwear checks? How is this going to play out?

But before we launch into a campaign against such rules, we’ll have you know that there are many schools that impose rules on attire. Last year, Rizvi Springfield School in Mumbai was in the news for putting restrictions on not just what students wore but even what parents did.

We are already for each place making its own rules, it’s their premises after all. But where do you draw the line? When does personal choice come into play as fully functional adults? Shouldn’t we be allowed to decide?

What’s more, the problem with imposing such restrictions is that it puts the responsibility of avoiding conflict, sexual or otherwise, firmly on the shoulders of young women. The implication is what you wear or choose to show determines how you will be treated. And that girls are responsible for the bad behaviour of boys.

Boys, on the other hand, face no such problems of dress code ’cause more often than not, it applies only to the girl students. Would this be a message we want young girls to hear? That you’re on your own, and you’ll need change things to be safe?


Mansi Shah

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