Dress codes and distraction

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Post by reboundstudent on Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:17 pm

reboot wrote:
Enail wrote:At my school, boys would take off their shirts in gym class on hot days. The school never made any comment on this.

My school was the same and the boys always took their shirts off if it was warm enough at lunch and after school.

The funny thing is a billion things distract teens (because being a teen is like being a squirrel with ADHD on speed) that are not prohibited and kids are expected to cope with it. Why is sexual distraction considered so different?

Coming into this conversation late, but I admit, I always thought the dress code was less about "sexual distraction" and more about learning correctly coded public behavior. Boys at my school didn't dress sexually, but they were reprimanded for dressing in a "delinquent" way; lots of chains, jeans hanging down around their butts and showing their underwear, backwards-upside down visers, that kind of thing.

My understanding was that the dress code for school was meant to impress on students that they should send a certain message when out in public. Just like I wouldn't discuss my sex life in the middle of an Arby's, because that topic of conversation is not coded for public consumption (potentially makes other people uncomfortable), I should maybe save skimpy clothes for somewhere more private, with other like-minded folks.

So for me, it isn't that the dress code is about not distracting other people with one's own sexuality; it was more recognizing that we all have to be in this public space together, it's better to dress to moderate-restrictive tastes because that's the safest option to respect differing boundaries.
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Post by reboot on Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:34 pm

That is an interesting take on it, RBS, because it is an important thing for kids to learn as they get out and about and have to follow, say, workplace dress codes.

My school was kind of dorked up with the dress code because it was a different time and a conservative place (UT), so the code for boys was no hats, no muscle shirts, and that was it. For girls we had rules on skirt/short length, shirt/ skirt transparency, tightness of all things, cleavage coverage, no heels, etc., so I might be seeing it through that lenses.
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Post by Jolly on Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:26 pm

trooper6 wrote:
Except, the cheerleader uniform skirts were really, really short. Really short. And that was somehow fine? And women who played volleyball or basketball had uniforms that were shorter and tighter...actually so were our generic PE clothes. But that was never a problem. Which seemed like a bunch of hypocrisy to me.

I remember someone somewhere mentioning this. Ended up saying something along the lines that "Revealing clothes is okay for women if they are entertaining others but apparently it's not okay if they just wanted to wear clothes cause they felt like it". Might be looking a bit too much into it but kind of makes you think. If the revealing clothing is forced on you due to sports/cheer then that's okay but if you wanted to wear it on your own than it's inappropriate. At my high school cheerleaders frequently wore their uniforms on game days so it's not just a matter of it's optional to go to volleyball games or whatever.

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Post by Conreezy on Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:33 pm

The closest thing I can think of is guys wearing shirts that are completely unbuttoned.

That's interesting. When and where I was growing up, that sort of behavior could get you mocked as gay or a try-hard. That's loosened up over the past few years, for sure, and even I'll do similar things, but there's a limit to how many traditionally feminine cues can be appropriated into a man's dress, I think.

Still, as I've aged especially, in my mind "sexy dress" for a guy is a suit or tuxedo. More clothing, not less, though I think there's some more wiggle room there too.

At my school, boys would take off their shirts in gym class on hot days. The school never made any comment on this.

Yeah, I regularly played shirts vs skins in school. Never gave it a thought that it could be perceived as sexual by anyone.

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Post by WJMorris3 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:11 am

I can only speak from my experience. All students at my old high school wore the same uniform: Navy blue sport coat, navy or gray pants (seniors could wear khaki), light colored button up shirt, and a tie. I think it was more a discipline thing rather than repressing any sexuality.

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