In defense of “short shorts”

Jacqueline Rayfield, Opinion Editor

As the sun is coming out, Liberty students are beginning to shed their layers of winter clothing for warmer, and often more revealing, options. Exhibit one: the bro tank. Walking around campus, it’s not hard to notice the numerous students wearing one particularly controversial and showing piece of clothing. Girls in all grades and all classes are being distracted by the abundant amounts of skin and underarm hair that this attire displays. How are students supposed to focus on a teacher’s lecture or the test they are taking, when they can’t keep their eyes off of the glistening exposed shoulders and bulging, rippling arm muscles of the boy in front of them? Why should Liberty girls and women be forced to work in an environment with this type of distraction?

This attack on showing too much skin is utterly ridiculous, and yet it happens at Liberty. While bro tanks may not be the victim of criticism, the dress code at Liberty prohibits female students from wearing shorts or tops that show too much skin.

While girls shouldn’t be wearing attire such as bikinis or clothes the size of underwear to school, if it would be inappropriate in another public setting, they also shouldn’t be kept from wearing clothing because it is deemed a “distraction” to other students. It is not a girl’s responsibility to make sure that others are not giving her too much attention. If boys, and especially teachers, have an issue with something a girl is wearing, it is not the girl’s job to change in order to make them more comfortable.

While this is a small scale issue, it reinforces the concept throughout our society that it is the girl’s fault for any negative attention she receives. If a girl was cat-called or harassed on the street, it’s not uncommon for people to ask, “Well what was she wearing?”, as if the clothing she had on was an excuse for the behavior towards her. Even in cases of rape, perpetrators have been given lesser sentences because the victim was wearing clothing that “invited” the assault.

On a less noticeable scale, this same attitude is also sending a message to teenage girls that they need to be cautious or even afraid of the way their bodies are portrayed. No fourteen-year-old girl should be worrying about whether she will get in trouble or receive negative attention from her peers for the length of her shorts.

Liberty is the perfect place to begin slowly undermining this sexist mentality. I think Liberty boys can handle themselves around girls in short shorts, just as Liberty girls won’t be distracted by bro tanks. If this clothing does make someone uncomfortable, that is not the fault of the wearer. It’s time for Liberty to adopt a less sexist policy. Bring on the bro tanks; bring on the short shorts.