Some parents in east Iceland believe a new school dress code was “poorly thought out” and shifts responsibility for sexual assault onto children.
RÚV reports that the parents of students of a primary school in Neskaupsstaður recently received a letter from school officials regarding a new dress code for children attending a school dance. These regulations forbid girls from wearing skirts shorter than knee length, as well as low-cut T-shirts or dresses. Boys are forbidden from wearing unbuttoned shirts, or showing up shirtless entirely.
One parent, Ingibjörg Þórðardóttir, has questioned this dress code in a column she wrote for Austurfréttir.
“If the purpose of this dress code is to take action against the pornification that pervades our society, then I think that fight should be had elsewhere, and that it is not right to make young women responsible for it,” she writes in part. “Will these ‘neatly’ dressed children maybe dance to songs such as Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines or Jennifer Lopez’ Booty?” She furthermore points out that often in sexual assault cases, how a woman was dressed at the time of the assault is often used to shift the blame onto the survivor.
Arnar Guðmundsson, Ingibjörg’s husband, told reporters he also believes the dress code shifts responsibility unfairly, and that the rules were “poorly thought out”.
The principal of the school in question would not grant an interview on the matter at the time of this writing.