Desexualize the Female Body Movement
Schools all over the US are fighting against school dress codes. One of those schools being Cooper City High School (CCHS).
Sophomore Meryssa Parker began the movement here at CCHS by taping up slips of paper in the halls and bathrooms. These slips consisted of statements like “SCHOOLS CARE MORE ABOUT WOMENS CLOTHES THAN GUN CONTROL AND MENTAL HEALTH”, “DON’T RAISE BOYS TO BE BOYS AND DON’T RAISE GIRLS TO COVER UP,” “#TANKTOPTHURSDAY” and “DESEXUALIZE THE FEMALE BODY” along with many others.
These slips caught a lot of students’ eyes. More students started making, hanging, handing out and even wearing these slips of paper on their body.
“I want it to be an empowerment to women,” Parker said.
The statement “#TANKTOPTHURSDAY” was referring to Thursday, September 2, 2021 when a group of students including all gender, race, and sexual orientation would wear tank tops in protest of the Broward County Public Schools’ dress code.
Page 25 of the dress code, responsibility number 3 states, “Revealing clothing or clothing that exposes the torso is not allowed. Examples include, but are not limited to: tank tops or spaghetti straps without overblouses (long shirts) or jackets; see-through garments; mini-skirts or mini-dresses; halters; backless dresses; jackets, shirts, or blouses tied at the midriff; and bare midriff outfits.”
“I wanted tank top Thursday to be about women complimenting each other,” Parker said.
Many students were dress coded or warned to be dress coded, a majority being females.
Sophomore Lizzie Driggers recounted a conversation with a teacher about her clothes where she was threatened with disciplinary actions for her ripped jeans.
Students say the reason this movement is called “Desexualixe the Female Body” is because “guys don’t really get striked as harshly as females do and it’s just not a fair policy that schools have for dress code,” junior Stephanie Blige said.
While it may be assumed that the only students supporting this movement are females, many male students have also been open about their support to the movement.
“I like it because girls are standing up for themselves, having a voice and are making a stand,” junior Jancarlo Rapalo said. “The Broward County school board should be able to change the dress code, we should be able to dress how we want, we are human.”
Junior Gage Taylor also voiced his support for changing the dress code to make it more equitable.
“I support the movement because shoulders shouldn’t distract any dudes or anybody,” Taylor said. “More people should support [it] because if nobody really gets involved and stands for it then it’s going to fall flat”
There are also a number of students who disagree with the movement.
“It makes sense but at the same time there’s no end goal and with no set end goal it’s kind of pointless, there is no real possible end goal,” junior Michael Paan said. “If the school already has no dress code and has small rules to follow, why not follow it unless you want all uniforms and to wear colored shirts and pants.”
While the overall percentage of students’ support for updating the dress code is unknown, Tank Top Thursday has continued as the school year has progressed.
Should the dress code be modified? That depends on the actions taken by students and the movement’s supporters.