Gender bias is a big issue in America. Many accounts tell about experiences with unequal payment and roles in offices and workplaces. We hear about these experiences a lot in the media today, but one thing that is almost always forgotten about is gender bias in schools.
Gender bias or discrimination often starts with teachers and school-aged children; whether it be related to dress code violations, sports teams, or the general treatment of either gender, there is no denying that gender discrimination does in fact exist in schools. Some argue that gender bias in schools is worse than in workplaces because behavior like that in schools is what is nurturing children to actually think along the lines of those discriminatory views.
One of the biggest issues in school gender bias is dress code. I can say truthfully that after reading the code of conduct for my school, it is very clear that more than half of the dress code is directed at girls rather than at boys. We have rules on the length skirts and shorts can be and also what kind of earrings and shirts we can wear on dress-down days. I can attest to the fact that shopping for shorts and skirts that touch or go below your knee is really hard. Everyone has a different body type, and it can be extremely difficult to find clothing that meets ALL of the restrictions of what’s allowed and what’s not. In many ways, dress coding a girl is just like body shaming. It can make you feel extremely insecure about your body and ashamed about the clothing that you have. Some teachers’ justifications for making girls change is that “boys will be boys.” By this, they are basically straight out saying that a girl’s education is less important than a boy’s if the girl’s shorts are too short. Instead of teaching the male students not to look at girls in a way that objectifies them, they teach the girl to deal with it and ignore it. If this is how our young people are being taught, we desperately need to change that.