Opinion: Female Injustice of the Swim Unit

Opinion: Female Injustice of the Swim Unit

Jordan Bode and Shannon Pharr

“Girls were raised in an environment where they have to cover up.”


From the past swim unit, we have viewed the rules as degrading and unfair. And it gets to a point where sexualizing women is not an option. We are two female freshmans – one who had to face the mandates and one who was a spectator having to watch every day. No matter the excuses the school uses there is no way to make the rules fair. The school is supposed to be a place where students are encouraged to express themselves yet they refuse to let women have this ability. Even gym teachers are seeing the injustice of these mandates. 




Females get no opinion on the matter, so here are their opinions- 

  • “I find it unfair that women should have to wear a shirt over two pieces when the guys don’t have to if they don’t want to. I also find the swim dress code pointless because outside of school girls don’t wear tee-shirts and if the rule is set because the school is worried about guys looking at girls – well that’s their problem.” 


  • “The culture of modesty is something that has been ingrained in girls, the times and beauty standards are changing so we ALL have to get adjusted to that. It becomes harder to believe in a school that tells you to “be yourself” when they enforce rules that say/do otherwise. I understand the want to protect but NOW is the time to teach the potential people that could harm.”


  • “Why can guys show their whole top half but girls can’t show their stomach.”


  • “The only problem we have is how girls are so heavily focused when it comes to dress codes. Boys have little to no restrictions, while girls have multiple rules forcing them to cover themselves up. It’s only this way because many teachers sexualize or view girls’ bodies as something to BE sexualized. It’s simply 

disgusting and unfair. The same can be said to the general dress code of ours 

and many other schools.”


We asked some males about their opinions on the topic, so here they are- 

  • “I find it inappropriate and unjust that women have to wear a shirt above their two pieces. Whereas men only have to wear swim trunks. I believe that women should be allowed to wear what they want for the swim unit or in general.” 


  • “Either everyone wears shirts or no one does.”


  • “As a transmasculine person I believe that making female born students wear more than what is necessary to swim in. I find that it is unfair that, while in the swimming unit of gym, the male born students are allowed to wear whatever they want. But female born students had to wear a swimsuit “deemed not revealing”. All of this stems from the sexulization of females.”


We believe that it is unjust to make females cover their stomach, but guys are allowed to have their whole upper body bare. When females wear a two piece to a public pool most do not wear a shirt over their swimsuit because they are comfortable with this. We believe it to be 

unfair that the school does not think that females will be comfortable all because it’s in school. Many girls wear two-pieces because they feel comfortable with their body, therefore, the school should allow girls to wear what they choose to. If the school is doing this to “protect girls from boys” then they should recognize that that is an issue that boys should have to fix. We can’t keep teaching our younger girls that they have to cover their body and be “modest” for men. As long as they are confident and happy, the school should allow girls to wear what they want and let them be themselves.