The Oracle

The Oracle debates appropriate dress: Pros On Slut-Shaming

The Oracle

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In today’s progressive society, the “it’s my body, I can do what I want with it” mindset has permeated various aspects of people’s lifestyles. In the case of teenage girls, this philosophy has lowered the standards of acceptable dress. Unhindered by the conservative norms on dress that existed years ago, many girls now choose to wear revealing or slutty clothes. Condoning such dress leads to objectification of girls, unhealthy perspectives on sex appeal and “slut-shaming,” which is malicious criticism.

When girls walk around in overly-sexual clothing, they communicate messages to the world that contribute to the objectification of their bodies. How a girl chooses to dress often reflects how she wants others to perceive her. So when a girl dresses in skimpy clothing, she suggests that she wants to have sex. A girl’s dress also shows others how much respect she has for herself. A girl walking around scantily clad suggests that she does not respect her own body enough to protect it from inappropriate stares. And when it appears that a girl does not respect her own body, it only makes sense that others will not respect it either.

Overlooking slutty dress also results in girls forming unhealthy ideas about their sex appeal. Girls in immodest clothes invariably receive more attention from boys. The problem with this situation lies not in the sexual attention itself, but in the fact that girls may feel like their value as a female depends on this sort of attention. They will put more and more emphasis on their sex appeal, when instead they should be focusing on their brains, talents and other merits.

At the end of the day, girls should not dress like “sluts” because by doing so, they only bring unnecessary gossip and slander on themselves. Teenagers are inherently judgemental; they will not hesitate to criticize those that seem to break the rules of what is “socially acceptable.” Dressing like a slut is one of the easiest and most noticeable ways to step out of the “socially acceptable” boundary. As such, when girls wear revealing clothing, they set themselves up as easy targets for malicious slander and gossip. The saddest part of this culture of “slut-shaming” is that it can so often be easily avoided by girls’ covering up their bodies.

Many people contend that it is unfair for girls to have restrictions on how they can dress. But empty theories of justice and gender equality should not be cause to ignore the very real consequences of girls’ unrestrained clothing choices. There is no point in advocating the elimination of dress restrictions for females if doing so will only compound the pre-existing problems with loose dress standards. Similarly, it is illogical to suggest that both genders should be treated equally when it comes to dress when the problems that arise from girls dressing revealingly are intrinsically different than the problems that arise from boys doing the same.

One way for our school to combat the negative effects of slutty dress would be for the administration to more strictly and equitably enforce the dress code. Currently, students walk around violating the dress code with little to no punishment. Girls are also often subjected to harsher enforcement, which only gives the well-intentioned dress code a negative connotation. If the school cracks down on the dress code equally and consistently, it will surely cultivate healthier attitudes towards women in its students.

Putting on longer shorts or covering up midriffs and chests take little effort, while alleviating the aforementioned problems. Thus, girls should seriously consider the consequences of slutty dressing and cover up.

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The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School
The Oracle debates appropriate dress: Pros On Slut-Shaming