What can I wear to school?

I was following a relatively heated discussion on an online forum of highly educated mothers regarding dress codes at school. While I am personally not against some form of a dress code at school, the current rules are arbitrary and discriminatory towards girls. Here I have tried to give voice to a teenager who feels she is not being heard when this issue is debated.

Who is going to tell me what to wear

To have a dress code at school is unfair

To me, because I am a girl, they target me

Tell me to dress more modestly

Then my mother tells me not to measure

My self-worth by my clothes, wear what gives me pleasure

Frankly, I must say I am confused by the messages mixed

My voice seems ignored either way, and that needs to be fixed


I don’t see boys reprimanded for their clothing choice

But then they don’t really make revealing clothes for boys

I like to look and feel nice, but I don’t know

If spaghetti straps and short shorts are the way to go

When schools and parents fight about codes in dress

They take extreme positions that do not address

The judgment from different sources that girls have to face

Regarding (in)appropriate clothing, in each setting and place

My clothing is a form of self-expression

It should not become an instrument of repression

I don’t mind following some rules for dress

(Honestly then I’d think about daily outfits a bit less)

But they should be gender-neutral and equitable

Give room for interpretation, and enable

Students with different body structures or different cultures

To not feel singled out or pressurized to conform

To some arbitrary “standard” or norm..


We are there in school to learn, of course

Therefore it is harmful when we are forced

To miss classes to change clothing deemed inappropriate

You embarrass a girl in the worst possible way when you berate

Her for her body, her clothes so publicly

She is not responsible for how her body others see


Let no one’s misguided misogyny

Detract us from who we want to be

From school to beach handball- girls and women

Are challenging sexist dress codes set by men

Not against rules but we fight against discrimination

Against our harmful and unnecessary objectification

Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

One thought on “What can I wear to school?

  1. I wore uniforms all my years at school and even then the girls were held to measure, literally! We had to kneel on the hall floor and our uniform skirts had better touch the ground! No telling what Catholic schools are doing now, but that was just nuts way back when.

    Liked by 1 person

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