National Crop Top Day Protests Gender Dress Code Inequality & It Was Started By An Awesome Toronto Teen
While I do believe there is a when and where for certain outfits to be deemed appropriate, there is no denying that school dress codes have gotten a little out of hand. When Etobicoke School of the Arts student Alexi Halket was told her shirt looked too much like a sports bra by a male administrator Monday, that was the last straw for this Toronto native, who organized Crop Top Day in protest against her school's dress code.
According to BuzzFeed, the school's dress code reads, "The school should be a great learning and working environment for all. So that we can all feel comfortable in our school/work environment, clothing must be respectful — it shouldn't be too revealing or display inappropriate language. Students may be asked to change or cover up if their clothing is deemed inappropriate by the school administration."
We’ve come a long way from poodle skirts and high socks, but women’s clothing, ranging from everyday outfits to prom dresses, is no longer subject to fashion policing alone. Halket decided it was time to take a stand.
Wasting no time, Haltket created a public Facebook group, encouraging her peers to celebrate her birthday by declaring May 26 Crop Top Day. “Wear a bralette, sports bra, short crop top, or bandeau to stand in solidarity against making people (especially those of the female sex) cover their bodies because it's "offensive" and "inappropriate," she wrote on the event’s page.
Soon enough, Crop Top Day was no longer a group of girls sticking it to the man, but a movement expanding throughout social media platforms and into classrooms across Canada and the U.S.
Etobicoke School of the Arts principle Rob MacKinnon told the National Post, “I encouraged teachers to talk about this with their students. It’s about appropriate dress for this setting, not sexualizing students or objectifying them, but what’s okay in school [...] I’m very proud of [the students] for talking about what they value — critical thinking is important in schools.” He also told the National Post that he regards this incident as a "learning moment for both teachers and students."
That cat has been out of the bag and roaming around for quite some time now: We are far from gender equality, and whether you find yourself in a school or work setting, there are very different expectations of how a woman versus how a male should dress.
Overall, I see no issue with abiding by the dress code. Crop tops, sports bras or bralettes alone, etc. are not exactly classroom-friendly, however, neither are exposed boxers or muscle tees cut way below the armpit.
These young women's argument is a valid one: Dress codes are not equally enforced between male and female students and as a result of this, create the inexcusable mind-set that there is an issue with any part of a woman's body being shown.
Yes, dress codes should be enforced and followed, however, until said dress codes are equally enforced, such issues will continue to arise, and women will continue to fight back.