Students have the right to freedom of expression through the clothes they wear – The Daily Barometer


Teresa Aguilera, illustrator

This illustration shows a gym staff member calling out to a woman who is wearing a sports bra and sports shorts. The Dixon Rec Center dress code can cause problems for people wearing certain sportswear that expose the skin.

The dress code policy of the Department of Recreational Sports at Oregon State University restricts students’ free speech and further reinforces outdated gender stereotypes.

Historically, dress codes have encouraged the objectification of women and gender nonconforming individuals. These gender policies promote patriarchal ideas, creating sexist platforms that society can join.

The bodily humiliation and humiliation of sluts against women and gender non-conforming people sows the seeds of rape culture through which they are blamed for men’s reactions to their outward appearance.

OSU is not exempt from the effects of gender stereotypes and body shame in enforcing dress code policies.

While participating in physical activities within the Recreational Sports Department on campus, women are prohibited from wearing sports bras. Students are also required to cover their torso and are not allowed to wear tank tops with lower armholes.

Policies are in place for both men and women to prevent them from wearing clothing deemed distracting by OSU employees.

That being said, it is generally women who are more frequently warned than men for the clothes they wear.

According to Huffington Post, schools issue 90% of dress code violations to students who identify as female.

Dress code for college employees can exacerbate self-esteem and mental health issues, especially for young developing girls.

Kali Furman, postdoctoral researcher in the OSU Program on Power Difference and Discrimination and with a PhD in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, pointed out how extremely humiliated or embarrassed individuals can be. dress code police.

“This feeling of being controlled in terms of gender expression [creates] the inability to go about your day-to-day business without feeling embarrassed or like you’re doing something wrong, ”Furman said.

Furman also added that the dress codes are designed to be gender binary, which means they assume there are only two genders: men and women.

Members of the LGBTQ community who are not binary are vetted based on what their gender is perceived by others rather than what they identify with. The university’s dress code policy imposes a lack of recognition and respect for gender nonconforming people.

While the college’s dress code policy is viewed negatively by some, others see it as necessary for a variety of reasons.

According to Brian Hustoles, associate director of marketing, communications and events for recreational sports at OSU, the university follows the policy to minimize the risk of skin infections and keep students safe.

“The Rec Sports dress code policy was last updated in 2018 and at the time was prompted by feedback from students regarding trends in workout clothing,” Hustoles said.

At a professional development workshop on September 17, student staff at Rec Sports raised concerns about the existing policy.

Hustoles said the dress code policy will be reviewed with the Student Recreational Sports Advisory Council during the winter session, when issues surrounding free speech and comfort with the dress code can be resolved.

The policies applied on a college campus reflect the values ​​of a university.

If OSU is to be a university that champions diversity, equality and inclusion, policies like these must be put in place.

The OSU community is full of colorful and confident adults. They should have the right to wear whatever they feel comfortable in without being judged or labeled by their directors and peers.

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