Some are familiar with the unauthorized
anonymous flyer that has
been posted and removed from the
school bathrooms and, in some cases,
taped to water fountains and the
backs of doors. Straightforward in
meaning, the flyer is a direct criticism
of the dress code policies that
have been issued at Hanover which
include possible restrictions on various
types of running shorts, a clothing
item becoming popular among
female students. Shorts which are
less than five inches above the knee
are forbidden by the policy.
Running shorts, in any case, are
anything but attractive. Ask any
boy and you will get a reply that
running shorts are not in the least
bit distracting. Made of cotton and
including built in underwear, they
are often baggy and in no way reveal
a woman’s figure.
This calls to question the age-old
conundrum: “are we just promoting
the idea that women should be
viewed as depersonalized objects
rather than whole people by issuing
policies such as these?” In some respects,
no, the administration is not.
If one truly believes in the equality
of the sexes he or she would have
to admit that, if the roles were reversed,
the clothing item would still
be deemed inappropriate. Would it
be appropriate for boys to start wearing
shorts that are thigh-length? No,
it would not.
Yet, in some respects, yes, the
administration could be seen as perpetuating
such an idea by issuing
certain restrictions. For instance,
instead of only being allowed to
wear tank tops that are three-finger
length, any form of tank top is now
banned which means that, due to
the media and society as a whole,
shoulders have been so sexualized
that they have been deemed too
distracting to reveal in a school environment.
Shoulders are not inherently
inappropriate; this feeling is
not intrinsic rather it is manufactured.
Although such restrictions seem
unprecedented, they have been issued
in the past. In the late 1970’s
and early 1980’s, jeans were banned
from Henrico County Public Schools
and women were only allowed to
wear skirts. It was only gradually
that these restrictions were lifted.
History has shown that, with
time, society gradually becomes
more liberal as it progresses in the
direction of change. So, to the adversaries
who do not like the dress
code at this moment, the best advice
would be to make their voices
heard, yet keep in mind that it always
takes time for something to
change. History, however, will
hopefully provide a flicker of hope
that such change will one day occur.
4/4 managing staff agree.