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END RAPE CULTURE: Change the Mysoginistic DC Public Schools Dress Code

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What are you so afraid of? Are you afraid that a girl's shoulders being "too revealing" or are you really just afraid of a girl being harassed for her outfit choices? This petition stands today because girls as young as 11 are being told that expressing themselves puts them in danger, that it is a woman's fault if she is wearing revealing clothing during harassment. The question is not why a pair of leggings or shoulders compel a group of boys to view a woman as nothing more than an object but why our local PUBLIC schools are promoting this. The real question is why a girl should be pulled out of valuable class time for wearing shorts just an inch too short. "Rape culture is also evident in the attitudes that lead school administrators to treat young girls’ bodies as inherently “distracting” to the boys who simply can’t control themselves. That approach to gender roles simply encourages our youth to assume that sexual crimes must have something to do with women’s “suggestive” clothes or behavior, rather than teaching them that every individual is responsible for respecting others’ body," says Think Project. The message administration is forcing on women in activity stemming from this dress code leads impressionable children into believing the responsibility of crimes such as rape or sexual harassment lie on the shoulders of the victims, not the perpetrators. Sexualizing a child and teaching her that her school AGREES that she is nothing but an object forces women into further oppression and needs to be changed, fast. If clothes determined rape, than the majority of rape would happen in the summer. The problem isn't a girl's shoulders showing, or her bare legs, the problem is that a middle schooler's body is being sexualized. Everybody has a body, it's nothing to hide or be ashamed of. We need to teach people at an early age that empowerment isn't about showing your body or covering it, empowerment is about C-H-O-I-C-E. I need the world to understand that sexualizing MY body will only encourage rape culture, and a school promoting this needs to be changed immediately. "[Sexist dress code] sends an incredibly powerful message. It teaches our children that girls’ bodies are dangerous, powerful and sexualised, and that boys are biologically programmed to objectify and harass them. It prepares them for college life, where as many as one in five women is sexually assaulted but society will blame and question and silence them, while perpetrators are rarely disciplined," says Time magazine. No one is born sexist. It is in the hands of society, inclusive to educators, to form the psyche of a child and teach them the difference between dressing appropriately and promoting rape culture. That is way we stand here today.

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