Unfortunately, policing of females doesn't diminish as we get older and it trickles into our social lives, our interactions with the general public and at work. Dress codes -- on paper or through verbal expectations -- are an easy way to determine if there is disparate treatment of the genders.
The transition to high school announced itself in the form of the middle school prom. Somewhere in that elusive moment between childhood and adulthood, my daughter floats in her too-short dress. Or, rather, in her Spandex underpants.
When I was interviewing for my current pastoral job, one of the questions asked of me, in one of the many different conversations I had with various committees, was, "What does the Virgin Birth mean to you?"
We can teach our children there's a time and place for cocktail or beach attire without shaming girls for their bodies. And we need to teach and show boys that a girl's attire or presence at a party doesn't mean she's fair game.
Girls and LGTBQ youth are disproportionately affected by school dress codes. Challenging schools to align unexamined, traditional dress codes to contemporary values is a tangible place to start if you're interested in teaching kids to live in a diverse, tolerant society.