The Codes — Dress Code and Code of Conduct (archives)

The Codes — Dress Code and Code of Conduct

Here at the College, we have two main sets of rules — the Dress Code and the College Code of Conduct (CCC), together, the “Codes”. Each one reinforces the other, and together their purpose is to foster an atmosphere of decency and decorum at the College.

Although we expect both boys and girls to dress appropriately, the codes are aimed primarily at the girls, because over the years we at the College have discovered that the fairer sex, if left unfettered, tends to drift toward a provocative manner of dress. This is not sexist; rather, it reflects the reality of our culture, in which girls feel driven by the media and other forces to dress and behave in ways that are increasingly attractive and alluring to the opposite sex. We need to put a stop to that.

The approach we have taken to these Codes is unorthodox, but we believe it has the potential to be highly effective. Although the Codes contain a strong enforcement mechanism, the primary enforcement comes directly from the natural inclination of girls toward modesty. Year after year, as new girls are introduced to the Codes, they realize the surprising constraints placed on them by the Codes actually free them to dress however they want, yet modestly. You can think of the Codes as “layered”, with each of the four layers of rules requiring adjustments to dress and behavior based on the layers below it. These layers have been fine-tuned over the years, resulting in a well-balanced, highly enforceable, and most of all fair set of Codes, which all the girls have grown to appreciate over the years they have spent here at the College.

At the bottom layer, there are certain articles or combinations of clothing that are forbidden altogether. For example, panties may not be worn under a dress or skirt. At first this may appear contrary to the goal of the Dress Code, but after a little thought, you will realize that skirts and dresses will have to be a little longer given this constraint. A girl quickly realizes that she needs improved coverage in her outer wear to compensate for the lack of underwear. We also restrict the number of bottoms or tops a girl may wear to just one. That is, a girl may wear a shirt or a bra, but not both; she may wear pants or panties, but not both. The reason for these rules is to reduce the tendency of girls to wear see-through shirts or holey pants, relying on her undergarments for modesty. With these restrictions which require girls to wear fewer items of clothing than they otherwise would want to wear, the result is that the clothing they do wear is much more modest. The simplicity of this bottom layer of enforcement is that girls provide their own self-enforcement, with these basic rules strongly encouraging girls to dress very modestly.

Next is the only layer with any official enforcement: Voluntary Public Inspections. A team of trained Inspectors roams the campus looking for girls whom they suspect of violating the Dress Code. When he spots such a girl, an Inspector will ask the girl to voluntarily demonstrate that she is obeying the Dress Code by lifting or removing one or more articles of clothing. The girl has every right to refuse the inspection, since it is completely volunatary. However, if a girl refuses to participate in an Inspection, the Inspector may infer indecency from her reticence, and cite the girl. It is very rare that a girl is ever cited for indecency, but if such a thing should happen, the Inspector may take one or more articles of her clothing into evidence against her, and she will be scheduled to receive a full and impartial hearing at a later date to assess her guilt and, if she is found indecent, to pronounce punishment. In almost every inspection, the girl complies willingly and quickly. In most cases, girls are only partially nude for the briefest moment as the Inspector performs his job, and then she is able to quickly re-dress, and go about her business. For this reason, Inspections are, by and large, painless and free from undue embarrassment.

The top two layers of enforcement are standards of behavior documented in the CCC. The third layer of enforcment consists of a rule that forbids public displays of sexual excitement. Even after the first two layers of enforcement, this rule is necessary because some girls might still be willing to wear clothes that don’t fully cover them in a decent and modest manner. A girl who isn’t fully covered runs a great risk of exposing her breasts or vaginal area to view. If a girl becomes sexually excited while wearing immodest clothing, then this condition becomes public, violating the CCC. It is assumed that a girl who publicly displays sexual excitement is “asking for it”, so any boy who observes this violation is expected to give her what she’s asking for. This response to public displays of sexual excitement is termed “Consensual Rape”, because the girl is essentially asking to be raped by allowing herself to become visibly sexually excited in public. Even the most brazen girls will naturally avoid wearing immodest clothing so that they don’t run the risk of violating this rule.

The fourth layer of enforcement is the so-called “groping rule”, in the CCC: A girl may not resist, either actively or passively, the touching or fondling by another person of exposed skin on her thighs, buttocks, and torso. Active resistance would be running away or fighting. Passive resistance includes such seemingly innocent behavior as “covering up” with the hands, and is best illustrated by an example: if a girl’s thighs are exposed, she may not squeeze her legs together to stop a boy from touching the soft, tender skin between them. Again, to avoid being groped, girls know they should wear modest clothing and keep themselves covered up.

The interlocking nature of these layers of rules is what provides the strong motivation for girls to dress very modestly. The third and fourth layers of enforcement together form a double-whammy: if a girl’s privates are exposed, then any student may touch her in a provocative way. The girl may not resist the touching, but she is required to refrain from becoming sexually excited, which isn’t always easy. If she fails in that regard, she may be consensually raped, which is a fairly severe punishment — one she would very much want to avoid. Moreover, the second layer — public inspections — interlocks with these higher layers as well: if a girl should exercise her right to refuse to be inspected, and the Inspector infers indecency, he may seize some or all of her clothing for use as evidence against her, leaving her partially or fully naked. A girl in this condition of undress is vulnerable to groping, which might lead to visible signs of sexual excitement and, in turn, consensual rape. Because of the strong interlocking of layers of enforcement, girls have a strong incentive to dress modestly, and to comply quickly and fully with public inspections, so they won’t be left uncovered and thus vulnerable to the relatively unpleasant consequences of violating the Code of Conduct.

Compared to other ways in which modesty and decorum could be enforced, the way chosen by this College is superior in a number of resepcts: The enforcement burden on the College is low, requiring only the administration of voluntary public inspections, and conducting the rare indecency hearing to keep the girls in line; The girls are still free to dress as they wish within the bounds of the Codes; In particular, there is no hard limit to the amount of skin the girls may show, as such decisions are left entirely to the girls themselves.

Risks of the Codes. The highly unusual style of these Codes carries a certain measure of risks, which are outlined here. They include the risk of selective enforcement by the Inspectors, which might influence, over the long term, the styles of clothing girls wear; the risk that artificial boundaries encourage girls to tread right up to them; the risk that the groping rule or the consensual rape rule can be used as leverage against the girls; the risk that games might be designed by the students to purposely put girls at risk of violating the Codes; the risk that teachers might impose their own Dress Codes with rules that contradict one or more provisions of the official Codes. Each of these risks has been carefully assessed by the College, and it has been determined to be low, and not in need of correction at this time. However, it is worthwhile exploring these risks so that girls will be aware of the dangers lurking in the Codes, which will allow them to dress and behave accordingly.

In summary, the Dress Code and CCC work this way:
Layer 1: Prohibits wearing of panties or bra under outer clothes.
Layer 2: Voluntary inspections, requiring girls to strip briefly to prove compliance.
Layer 3: No Public displays of sexual excitement.
Layer 4: “Groping Rule” — exposed skin may be touched by other students; girls may not resist.

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