Blurred traditional gender lines

Discrimination should not be based on clothing

Ivy Kaplan

 

 

 

It’s a typical day at the high school. The hallways fill up with hundreds of female students wearing pants and one male student wearing a dress. While the girls pass along unquestioned, the male receives judging looks from students and apparent concern from staff.

This situation occurred April 25 when theater members decided to dress up as the opposite gender as a dress code, promoting their opening night of the spring play, “Shipwrecked!”

Sporting a dress, a male participant was called into question with the administration regarding how the dress code could be perceived as offensive to other students.

This leads to debate over cross-dressing as a part of society today. Cross dressing is defined as wearing clothing typically associated with the opposite sex. It is a common occurrence, and yet in some cases it goes widely unnoticed.

For example, women have been wearing pants, an item of clothing traditionally linked to men, for decades and are completely accepted. If women can wear men’s clothing without judgment, why are men attacked for wearing a dress to school?

According to a 2011 study conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 58 percent of cross-dressers expressing a transgender identity or gender non-conformity had experienced harassment, physical or sexual assault or expulsion while at school.

This demonstrates the discrimination placed on those who choose not to conform to stereotypes that require everyone to look or dress a certain way.

Although the Gay-Straight Alliance and Gender Equality Clubs are in place at the high school to address this matter, stigmas against cross dressers are still prominent in the Park community

Whether as a dress code or as a form of self-expression, those partaking in cross-dressing should not be criticized by others. Specifically, women and men should encounter the same approval when cross-dressing.

No one has the right to determine which apparel coordinates to which gender, and who is allowed to wear or not wear a certain clothing item.

It is unfair for society to accept women while men are judged for doing the exact same thing, an aspect of discrimination against males neglected by many people.

 

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