Want to know what an ally looks like? Let us introduce you to the boys over at San Benito High School in Hollister, California. They’re standing up for their female classmates’ right to express themselves — not be targeted by a sexist dress code.
It all started when the boys noticed the school giving the girls confusing dress code violations. Specifically, for wearing off-the-shoulder blouses. At least 20 girls have been sent home so far this year just for showing their shoulders. According to the school, the style had been banned by the dress code policy for years. But per the boys, the staff only began to enforce the rule more strictly last Monday when school started.
Sick of what both male and female students identified as sexism, some of the girls decided to protest the newly-enforced dress code by continuing to bare their shoulders.
And what did the boys do? They protested the dress code by wearing off-the-shoulder tops of their own.
And they posted proof on the internet for everyone to see.
We love, love, LOVE this show of solidarity.
But the San Benito High boys don’t just walk the walk — they talk the talk, too. One student in particular, Andrei Vladimirov, had some thoughtful remarks on the dress code matter.
But Vladimirov didn’t stop there.
One student even pointed out the hypocrisy of the rule as female students traditionally wear off-the-shoulder frocks for their senior portraits without violation.
On Friday, San Benito’s principal Adrian Ramirez released a statement on the school’s Facebook page addressed to students, parents, and staff members. He says that the dress code, which does include “no strapless or tube tops,” is not to prevent male students from becoming distracted, but to ensure students conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.
However, Ramirez did recognize the need for a conversation around the current policy. He concluded by saying that “our next steps will include organizing a committee of students to continue dialogue regarding the dress code.”
Regardless of what happens, it looks like the San Benito boys will stand with their female classmates in solidarity. And that’s a huge win.
And that’s a huge win for everyone.