Clothing Ban Gone Bad
UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon, the University of Texas issued a statement regarding the sign: "We want everyone to know that we’ve taken the signs down. The wording of the signs made it sound as though we were worried about women’s clothing as a distraction in the learning environment. This is not the case."
The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing is garnering some not-so-positive attention today for its seemingly sexist summer dress code.
On Wednesday morning, women's interest website Jezebel posted an article entitled, "University of Texas Says Women's Clothing 'Distracts' From Learning." The post includes a reader-submitted photo that shows an "in-building dress code" found at the school.
"Revealing clothing MUST NOT be worn while in the School of Nursing Building," the sign states. "It distracts from the learning environment." According to the sign, unacceptable clothing includes: midriff-baring shirts, short-shorts, short skirts, low-rise pants, low-cut shirts that reveal cleavage.
"Pretty sure this is just directed at the female students," writes author Rebecca Rose. "I doubt anyone is complaining about seeing too much cleavage on a man."
In the post, Rose details why students opt for less coverage in the summer. "It's Texas. It's summer. It's so freaking hot here," Rose says. "We're about to hit triple-digit temperatures and quite possibly stay that way for most of the season. Of course it's more comfortable to wear shorter skirts and shorts."
Regarding the effect of a wardrobe on the ability to learn, Rose says the following: "If the men in your school or department take issue with that because they can't handle perfectly normal and natural parts of a woman's body, take it up with them, not the female students on your campus. Perhaps instead of wasting your time posting these shitty signs everywhere, you need to offer them some education on how women are not responsible for their reactions."
In just a few hours, the Jezebel post has gone viral, popping up on Facebook and Twitter feeds, and sparking criticism of UT. "Not cool, University of Texas," Rose says in closing. "This is not how Longhorns roll. Not by a long shot."