Students at prestigious Boston school claim dress code perpetuates rape culture

Boston Latin School.

Boston Latin School.  (Google Street View)

Administrators at prestigious Boston Latin School have been embroiled in a dispute with female students over rape culture.

And the whole thing was triggered by the school’s decision to actually enforce its longstanding dress code.


The code is fairly conventional as schools go: It bans gang-related colors and symbols, sexually explicit logos, hemlines higher than 4 inches above the knee, and shirt-shoulder straps narrower than the width of three fingers. It also prohibits leggings worn as pants (as opposed to under a skirt or dress).

The female students, in middle and high school, didn’t react well to the announcement. In a petition, they said it sends the message that “we still live in a patriarchal society where men can decide whether a female’s clothing is appropriate or inappropriate.”

The petition also claimed the dress code creates “a sense of shame towards girls bodies” and reinforces the notion that “yes, it is our fault when girls get raped because they should have covered up and avoided the situation by dressing in a way that does not attract another person.”

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