Sexism is simply prejudice or discrimination against women and even though our world has moved forward tremendously and left behind most of the traditional and discriminating laws, sexism still prevails in almost every single country.
In most of the countries now, girls and boys have access to equal amounts of education but there are plenty of ways in which schools (even in developed countries like US and UK) can be – and are – sexist.
For example having a dress code mandatory for girls is completely sexist. It’s basically teaching young girls body shaming and how they are supposed to cover up their bodies so that boys can study in a distraction-free environment.
Girls’ bodies aren’t distractions and if any of the boys are getting distracted by it then it’s their problem, not ours. So why should we cover up ourselves? Why can’t we teach guys not to think of women as sexual objects?
“Sending a girl back home from school just because she broke the dress code indicates that the school thinks that creating a distraction free area for boys to study is more important than the girl’s education.”
I understand that dress codes are necessary to maintain uniformity in a place and I am completely fine with dress codes in Model United Nations where everyone has to wear formals or in Dubai International Academy where there is a particular uniform which everyone has to wear. Dress codes are everywhere, in hospitals schools and parties, but these dress codes should be mandatory to both girls and boys. And I think that there is absolutely no harm if a girl or a boy wears shorts on a hot sunny day to school or to anywhere.
I live in UAE, which is probably the most modernized country in the Middle East and also tourist friendly so there isn’t much sexism here. But still women have to follow dress codes which ban us from wearing anything above the knees or sleeveless t-shirts in some of the public places. I mean, I’m not complaining about the fact that women here cover up their bodies. I believe that you should be able to wear ANYTHING you are comfortable in. But nothing should be forced upon you.
Once, I went to a zoo in Dubai and it was like really hot so I wore shorts. The security over there told me that I couldn’t enter the zoo wearing shorts so I was forced to buy a long skirt from the zoo store. When I went inside the zoo I saw that there were many women and girls out there who were wearing that same skirt. The zoo was practically making money out of banning us from wearing shorts. The most outrageous thing was probably seeing a group of teenaged boys, shirtless and roaming around in the zoo. It’s so sexist that men are allowed to roam shirtless but women can’t wear something that’s above their knees. It is bullshit and it so needs to be stopped.
This mindset of the society has to be changed. If we want to stop body shaming and rape culture we have to come out of this weird notion we have that women should cover up their body. Everyone should be allowed to wear whatever they feel comfortable in, not what the society feels comfortable watching them in.