Jim Bazen, a principal at Plymouth Christian High School in Grand Rapids, Mich. has gotten a lot of backlash for a controversial op-ed he wrote for Michigan Live last week. Bazen had responded to an article from a month ago about school dress codes having a sexism problem. (Regarding that sexism problem, see: the teen who was forced to wear this shame T-shirt for wearing a skirt a few inches above her knee, this girl who got in trouble for wearing leggings (LEGGINGS!), or that school that entirely banned "tight jeans" because dudes can't control themselves.)
Principal Bazen thinks that strict dress codes are necessary, because "young men will look at them not as persons, but as sex objects." He talks about the double standard in school dress codes, but rather than the double standard of, say, GIRLS GETTING HARSHER PUNISHMENT, he says, "That's a double standard because as a female you will never completely understand the male mind." He then goes on to make a listicle about how the more women dress provocatively, the less men will be able to control themselves. He writes: "The only way you can help young men not treat young ladies as sex objects is by telling the young ladies to cover up! A young man will not think of a respectfully dressed young woman as a 'sex object' but is more likely to see her for who she is. A young man may have no intention to lust, yet when an immodestly dressed girl passes him in the hall, he will think sexual thoughts." He compares it to "walking out into the rain and expecting not to get wet."
Obviously this is problematic because it enforces that "she's asking for it" mentality. Despite the outrage he's received since, Bazen tells People today, "I stand by what I wrote because I think that dressing provocatively is degrading to women. Now, I also wish I'd added, 'Men, you need to control your eyes. You need to look away instead of make a woman a sex object in your mind.' But I stand by my basic thought: The way to help women is to get rid of pornography, and get rid of the dress that is provocative." He adds, "People can call me a pervert or whatever they want, but the fact is, I am coming from the point of total depravity. I don't put myself above anybody. I say to the ladies, 'Please dress in a non-provocative way.' And I need to control my eyes as well and not think in a lustful way."
Jim Bazen, maybe you should teach young men (AND YOURSELF) that women dressing "scantily" (or, like, wearing leggings) is not for your sexual perversions. The scary part is he says women should dress conservatively to preserve their virginity... Does that mean men will just SNATCH it without consent if you're dressed immodestly? That sounds very Rape Culture. Men, control yourselves before you try to control how women look.