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Hello Dress Code

A Slam Poem About How Dress Codes Objectify Women

Throughout my years as a student, I have found that school dress codes and most dress codes in general have a habit of objectifying women. They force us to cover-up our natural bodies, as if the shoulder of a female is any different from that of a male, and they turn our bodies into staring contests simply because of our gender. Dress codes teach men that it’s okay to sexualize women by making us take responsibility for their staring and catcalls. They’re taught that our clothing choices somehow create an open-invitation to make us feel uncomfortable. The truth of the matter is that I like to wear dresses that frame the curves of my body, because it makes me feel confident. I don’t decide what to wear each morning based on what I think will draw the most attention. I wrote this slam poem in the hopes to educate the men who objectify women based on their clothes and help any woman who has ever felt sexualized by a dress code.

Hello dress code,

I am here to say

If you’re distracted by my shoulders

Then please look away

Hello dress code,

I am going to plea

For you to realize

That these breasts don’t define me

Hello dress code,

I am here to ask

Why am I blamed for pigs

Who can’t look past my ass

 

I was born with these shoulders,

These breasts and this butt

I was born as a person

Who is not willing to put up

With sexist rules

That try to define me

By the dip of my shirt

And the skin on my knee

I don’t dress to be sexy

I’m not a prize that can be gaped at

Stop objectifying me

I’m more than my shape

It seems to me that

No matter how hard we women try

Men having trouble seeing

Beyond what hits their eyes

They say we are equal

Yet we don’t have the same pay

I’m still waiting

For women’s true equality day

 

Hello dress code,

It’s true, I do think about romance

And men say there’s nothing wrong with this

As long as I don’t claim my hormonal stance

I have emotions and feelings

That cannot be stopped

But no one would believe me

If I said I didn’t want my pants dropped

That I don’t want to be taken advantage of

That I deserve a choice

 

Hello dress code,

I’m taking back my voice

I’m sick of the men in power

That try to justify this oppression

Whose wandering eyes

seem to have x-ray vision

So today I proclaim

That I will fight

These sexist rules

That try to control my life

I will free my nipples

I will wear a thong

 

Hello dress code,

I don’t care what you think is right or wrong

Because no matter what

I will be me

 

Hello dress code,

I will be heard, I will be powerful, I will be free

What do you think?

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Written by Allison Trainor

Ally Trainor is a senior in high school, and she loves reading and writing. She is the president of the Slam Poetry Club at her school, and she is obsessed with the Broadway show “Hamilton.” She also loves to re-watch the Harry Potter movies and couldn’t ask for better friends. In the future, she hopes to become an author and is very excited to be a part of the Affinity team!

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