Many Americans were elated when the French Supreme Court overturned a ban on burkini’s, a very modest form of swimwear for those whose religion does not permit any other kind of dress. By US principles, bans on clothing, whether it be men or women, are a sign of exclusion and a step back from the direction this country, as a majority, wants to move towards in the future. That being said, the principles that the United States touts so frequently are easily challenged by their actions in reality.
There have been more than a few times that people working in the media and other on-screen professions (women being the vast majority) have been forced, as a part of their employment, to wear a certain type of clothing or wear something a certain type of way. It’s a ban on clothing in its own way, restricting and requiring certain dress, and it’s oppressive to those affected. Many up-and-coming female anchors have claimed that at their job interviews they are asked how much cleavage they are willing to show, a truly demeaning and extremely disrespectful question for these women, and a question that is not of any concern to their fellow male co-workers. The thing is, there is no reason why women should be oversexualized in the workplace.
As for other bans or regulations on clothing in the United States, both public and private schools have parameters that are expected to be met in terms of what students wear. In private schools, there are uniforms or restrictions on what can be worn, and it varies in severity or strictness from school to school. In public schools, there is a dress code that restricts the amount of skin that students can show, the rules sometimes just pointed at girls, along with restrictions on clothing that depict violent or illegal practices. In that school environment some of these kinds of rules are necessary. However, school administrations are oversexualizing young women with the specificities they have for them. They get blamed for male student distraction in school and all sorts of things. All those rules really show is an ignorance of the issue and that male students need a class in school about respecting women. As for the issue as a whole, what a student wears to school is a reflection of what they believe or how they want to represent themselves, and that is something that shouldn’t be held back.
by Sam Pugliese