Dress Code Issues or Sexism? Part 2


Rylie West, Writer

One month ago today, on September 14th, I wrote about the dress code controversy we have here at ERHS. Since then, girl and guy students from our campus have come to me wanting to share their personal stories. I asked the students, “When you got dress coded, what did the security guard say to you and how did it make you feel?”


Skylar Swalm, a junior here on campus said, “It was before school had started and I was outside waiting by my classroom, I was struggling to carry both my textbooks in one hand along with my water bottle in the other. A security guard then comes up to me and calls me over. At first I didn’t realize they were talking to me. The security guard then tells me,’ Your shirt is too revealing.’ I tried to explain that when I readjusted my textbooks in my hand it could have caused my shirt to rise with it. I apologized for my stomach(barely)showing and I pull my shirt down showing her that my shirt is not usually like that and that I just did not have a chance to pull it down because my hands were full.  But the security guard responded saying ‘I don’t care, I better not see you without your jacket off or unzipped all day.’ It made me feel embarrassed as I was called out in front of some of my classmates and as I’m explaining myself, clearly showing the shirt does not show my stomach if I were to just walk around or sit, the security guard did not care even if I was following the dress code. I have seen many people wear things ALL day long and they do not get dress coded and I feel it’s really unfair.”


Madison Brown, also a junior here at ERHS, came to me with her story and said,”The security guard mentioned to me that ‘I can’t show everything to guys’ and it made me feel objectified because I don’t dress for boys. I dress for myself. I wear certain clothes to express myself. In a school with over 4000 kids it’s easy to feel like a number, so clothes really help me feel original and it sucks when people condemn how you express yourself. You know? And I completely understand security guards are doing their job and following the system and rules set in place I just wish the system didn’t objectify women.”

I then decided to search our campus for a boy who has had a similar experience. A junior here on campus told me,”I was walking toward the back gate and the security guard was talking to my friend, and asked me if I was leaving and I said ‘I’m about to’ and she said, ‘You can’t be walking around with a shirt off on campus’ and I said, ‘I had to because my shorts didn’t match with my shirt’ and my friend would have judged me so I might as well had my shirt off to avoid getting judged. I was obviously joking and the security guard laughed and I just kept walking around.”


Why is it that our girls on campus don’t get a chance to explain themselves? Why is it that our boys on campus can? Why do boys get away with walking around without clothing on, yet girls can not wear clothing that reveals skin?


Not only are our ERHS boy students not held to the same standard as our girl students, but our girl students are also feeling embarrassed, judged, and objectified.

Why do security guards put girls down when dress coding them, but joke around with boys?


It leads back to the main question, is this sexism?


Sexism is “Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.” Security guards are showing bias of the sexes by not dress coding boys, compared to dress coding girls. Not only are biases being showing but the way girls are being dress coded, almost looks as if they are shaming girls as a whole.


The next time you see someone being dress coded, or you yourself are being dress coded, think to yourself, is it because of sexism?

Skylar Swalm