Last weekend Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah held their homecoming dance. Several female students were denied entry because their dresses broke the school dress code. The following Monday, the students held an impromptu protest, walking out of class in support of their peers.
This is not the first incident in which a school has publicly chastised female students about breaking the dress code. Note that the male students did not receive such treatment.
I understand and respect the reasons for a dress code, especially in the classroom. I also understand that formal dresses for women can often leave little to the imagination. Like many schools, I’m sure they sent out notices to the parents informing them ahead of time about rules for the students who planned to attend.
However, this again, comes down to the control and fear of female sexuality. Why should a young lady who only wants to enjoy her precious teenage years be denied entry to prom because some of the males around her cannot keep their snakes in the cages? If they have “impure thoughts”, those thoughts do not belong to her, they belong to the males who have been taught that women are to be feared and seen as sexual property.
This phenomenon is not new nor is it relegated to the secular world. In certain religions, women are covered up and/or separated from the men out of fear that the mere presence of a woman would create impure thoughts and distract them.
My heart goes out to these young girls who have been denied the pleasure of going to these formal dances that are hallmarks of American teenage life. I am also very proud of them for standing up for themselves and their fellow female students. Maybe there is hope after all for the true equality of women.