Indignation is running high as a result of a Florida high school yearbook being digitally adjusted by those in charge to make the photos of 80 female students comply with its dress code. The root problem is not the fact that dress codes for females are more detailed, therefore “unfair,” than those for males as the article concluded. The mistake on the part of school administrators was not enforcing the dress code prior to the photos being taken. Once they missed their responsibility on that point, any changes should have been approved by each family impacted. The end doesn’t justify the means.
Granted, “The high school’s website says all student pictures in the yearbook ‘may be digitally adjusted’ if they don’t conform to the school district’s code of conduct.”1 However, they should have anticipated that this was a vociferous crisis just waiting to happen. Anyone who has paid attention to the last few decades should expect an uprising even though a policy is officially stated. Acknowledgement of authority and modesty is considered old-fashioned in many places.
THE REAL PROBLEM
One parent misses the problem altogether with: “I think it sends the message that our girls should be ashamed of their growing bodies, and I think that’s a horrible message to send out to these young girls that are going through these changes.”
It’s not about being ashamed of anything. Rather, it’s about not “being in your face about it.” If a woman believes she’s attractive, the knowledge of her good fortune should be sufficient for her. Reminding the outside world of her sexiness does either of two things, and both aren’t good. It causes envy in other women and lust in men. (By using the word “lust” this writer risks being labeled as hopelessly out-of-date. So be it.) But what the promoters of more revealing clothing forget is that women and men respond differently to the human form. Everyone seems to want moral perfection of everyone else, but few understand the reality that all of us have the responsibility to encourage virtue in our fellow human beings by our words and actions. (Yes, the Left is intent on a genderless humanity, but natural differences remain despite their attempts at social re-engineering.)
NO, IT’S NOT “UNFAIR”
The school’s dress code has seven bullet points for girls compared to three for boys. “Some parents and students call the policy sexist for its wording and enforcement. More than 80% of infractions over the past three years have been issued to female students, according to data provided by district officials.”
Without becoming graphic, a review of the human body and its effects on human sexual interactions makes it clear that it’s not unfair. In addition to the aforementioned differences between men and women and how they process sexual stimuli, the female form provides many more opportunities for getting attention. Unless we revert to the unfortunate practice of codpieces2 for men, women naturally have more “zones of focus” than men do. Society’s chances at a less immoral environment do not increase from the dismissal of nature, but from a cooperative strategy to promote virtue in everyone. How we dress is part of that.
It’s a good bet that those parents who are ignorant of the virtue of modesty are among the first to want the elimination of class standing in cumulative grades because it makes some feel inferior. Well, a young woman who is more physically developed can have that same impact on her “less fortunate” classmates, especially if she dresses more provocatively. Class standing has the justification that students will enter a world where their achievements vs. the competition will have to stand on their own. Sexual attributes, by themselves, should not be the way to success … although we do have examples of some politicians and others in the limelight using this route.
Imagine if we “geeks” paraded through class hallways and office settings with our academic and professional achievements plastered on our clothing. It would be a definite indication of a severe lack of confidence. It portrays a similar amount of insecurity when we dress in order to advertise our physical attributes as if we have nothing else to offer.
True humility is not shown by the rejection of compliments. Rather, it’s accepting our true worth in a way which gives gratitude for our blessings without making others feel insulted or inferior, especially regarding those attributes we cannot change. How we dress will be a reflection of our insecurity if we have a need to flaunt it, hoping to tease or cause envy. If we believe ourselves to be attractive, that knowledge by itself should be sufficient if we are healthy emotionally.
1 – From “’They’ve made these girls feel humiliated’: Parents voice anger over female students’ altered yearbook photos at Florida high school,” by Sheldon Gardner, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/05/23/florida-female-students-yearbook-photos-bartram-trail-high-school/5237009001/, updated 5/24/2021.
2 – “When the fourteenth-century fashion for very short doublets emerged, the codpiece was invented to cover up the gap at the top of those hose. If you believe ‘the Parson’ in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, it was a much-needed innovation. He disliked the short doublets of his day because ‘Alas! Some of them show the very boss of their penis and the horrible pushed-out testicles that look like the malady of hernia’.
“Originally just a triangle of cloth, the codpiece became more substantial and more decorative as time went on, until its decline in the late sixteenth century.
Codpieces also functioned a useful little purse for storing precious items like coins, or jewels, and tradition claims this as the origin of the expression ‘a man’s family jewels.’”
From “A little article on the history of the codpiece…” by Lucy Worsley, https://lucyworsley.com/a-little-article-on-the-history-of-the-codpiece/