Feminist Club Releases Dress Code Survey Feedback with Alarming Results

Erin Perrine

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The M-A Feminist Club conducted a survey in early December of students’ opinions of the dress code and how it has affected them personally in the past, yielding results that revealed astonishing inequities in the dress code between males and females.
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The survey came as a result of the administration’s decision not to act on a letter concerning the dress code due to its limited representation of the student body, and was distributed to students of all grade and class levels.

Of the 118 female and 111 male participants in the survey, 64 percent of females responded that they had been called out for violating the dress code, compared to only 12 percent of males. The survey showed that males received 40 dress code offenses, primarily due to displaying gang-related or explicit messages. In contrast, females reported 178 offenses, of which 153 were shorts violations. Only eight of the offenses did not relate to the duly named Coverage Clause of the dress code.

Photo Credit: Georgia Reid

So what is the cause of this? Are hundreds of girls deliberately dressing in a “provocative” manner? The presidents of the Feminist Club stated in their TEA Talk that most girls wear short-shorts simply because they feel more comfortable in them.

They believe that the problem lies not in the actions or intentions of the students, but rather the Coverage Clause of the dress code itself, and according to the survey, the student body agrees. While over half of the surveyed students support the clause prohibiting gang-affiliated or explicit clothing, less than a quarter back the rule banning short-shorts.

The results of the survey also exhibited how the consequences for violations are skewed towards targeting females. Over seventy of the female participants said that they were given a warning for their attire, approximately seven times the number of males. In their letter, the club described these warnings as often “vulgar” and “insulting.”

Additionally, females reported nearly 40 occasions where they had been sent either to the office or to their homes to change, matched by less than five such counts by males. The club views this as not only degrading for females–the exact opposite of what the dress code serves to promote–but also as favoring male education by forcing girls to miss valuable class time to avoid a male’s moment-long “distraction.”

As a result of the survey, the Feminist Club hopes to present a stronger case when it appeals again to the administration.

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6 Responses to “Feminist Club Releases Dress Code Survey Feedback with Alarming Results”

  1. Sierra on January 13th, 2014 11:28 am

    This really shows how targeted the females are for the dress code. I think it is shocking that 64% of the females interviewed have been called out for dress code!

  2. Aditya Sinha on January 13th, 2014 9:56 pm

    This is actually brilliant

  3. Molly Baxter on January 14th, 2014 1:46 am

    The statistics in this article are fascinating- looking at charts with actual data makes it a more concrete thing that is happening at MA. Kudos for the feminist club for their continued efforts- I think this new evidence will be very useful in coming up with an agreement with the administration.

  4. llobdell on January 14th, 2014 10:53 pm

    Although many students at M-A realize how many students are affected by the dress code, the severity shown in these results is shocking. I think that the administration should make a compromise with the feminists club. While I agree with administration that students must dress appropriately for a working environment, the severity of the dress codes seems to favor the boys. I agree that many girls are more comfortable in shorter shorts than the dress code allows. This is proven by the statistics shown that all other parts of the dress code are respected, except for the shorts section. If administration does not decide to change the clause about shorts, they should revise the consequences for girls violating the dress code. I do not think that it is fair to force girls to skip part of their school day for shorts violating the dress code. It also isn’t fair to publicly ridicule girls for violations either. I have seen girls being sternly spoken to in an appropriate matter about their attire, but I have also seen girls being very rudely spoken to about their attire. At the very least, administration should change the manner in which they dress code girls so it is not degrading or favoring boys’ education over girls’ education.

  5. Burger on January 16th, 2014 11:56 am

    Very well written and good use of visual aids. Nice article!

  6. msimes on January 16th, 2014 9:50 pm

    This is great

Feminist Club Releases Dress Code Survey Feedback with Alarming Results