When Will Schools Stop Policing Girls For Predatory Behaviour Of Men?

It is not right to not teach boys in school to own up to their guilt of sexually objectifying women. Because if they are continuously saved from the punishment by blaming women for their distracted minds, those same boys will grow up believing that women who wear revealing clothes are sexually available.

Rudrani Gupta
Apr 19, 2022 15:29 IST
Self Defense Program For School Girls
Schools are considered the place where children learn and grow. But for women, it is another patriarchal institution that curbs their freedom. Women are criticised for every little thing like and are told: tie your hair in plaits, cover your knees with your skirt, don’t wear lipstick or jewellery and so on and so forth. What is the reason behind it? Boys in the school will get distracted. Well then, shouldn’t we teach our boys to concentrate on their life rather than the bodies of their female classmates? Why should girls pay the cost for the staggering minds of boys?

I have studied in a Christian Missionary school ad boy did it have many restrictions on what girls could wear and how they should behave! We were asked to tie our oiled flattened hair into plaits or get it cut short. We were also asked to wear skirts which were as long as possible. In fact, once our teachers addressed women to get down from the walled side of the stairs because men can peek inside their skirts if they alight from the other side. But I never conformed to these restrictions.

I wore skirts the length actually prescribed, let my medium-short hair open and applied lip balm. I wanted to look confident when I went to school and this is what made me look confident. But then I was also reprimanded many times for my deviant behaviour. I always mulled over why were women forced to dress according to someone else’s likes? Why the restrictions were made for women alone? Why don’t we ask men to behave properly?

Will Schools Stop Policing Girls Ever?


Recently ponytails were banned in Japan because they apparently “sexually excite” men in the school. A 19-year-old girl in Assam was wrapped in a curtain before appearing for an exam because she was wearing shorts. A high school in Mumbai shamed girls for wearing short skirts that ‘spoil’ boys’ mindsets. These cases are reported frequently in our country and beyond that showing the grim reality of schools in today's day and era. Today when some textbooks are accepting gender binaries, school teachers are still bent on policing girls to mind the length of their clothes to preserve the mindset of the boys from being spoiled.

Suggested Reading: Slut Shaming Is Patriarchy’s Weapon Against Women


This clearly points out the notion that a woman is responsible for her own harassment. Schools propagate victim-blaming culture by reinforcing such baseless restrictions as wearing short skirts or letting hair lose. The women are told they will invite hell of harassment over themselves for such simple things.

Moreover, it also shows the stereotype of how women are made responsible to correct men if they are spoiled. In our society, even today, wives are blamed for the irregular behaviour of their husbands. “Why can’t you teach him some sense?” “Why can’t you stop him from being so?” “What kind of wife you are if you can’t even handle your husband?” comments like these are often hurled at women for not taking care of their husbands.


The fact that women are put through hell even in schools, a place they are supposed to learn to be distinct individuals, is saddening. Girls are made to think that they are somehow responsible for not letting the boys of the school distract them from their studies.

Moreover, policing women in schools makes them appear as if they are the indisciplined ones in the school when they are just being who they are. They are made to feel ashamed of themselves for ‘wanting to attract men’. I remember I was scolded by my principal because I was ‘caught’ talking to a boy. She told me, “I have pictures of how bad you are. You are spoiling the boys of my school.”

But dear society, the fault is not in girls but in the mindset with which teachers enable boys' predatory behaviour. Boys should be held accountable for sexually objectifying women, even in schools! And if they are continuously saved from the punishment by blaming women for their distracted minds, those same boys will grow up believing that women who wear revealing clothes are sexually available. And this mindset is one of the major reasons why many rape cases happen in India.


If you have watched Delhi Crimes starring Shefali Shah, you must have seen how the rapist blamed the woman’s dressing style and her openness with her male friend for the wrong that happened to her. Even ministers of our country say that women’s ‘inappropriate’ dressing sense is responsible for the wrongs that happen to them

Moreover, rather than focusing on ">slut-shaming girls, it is time schools focus on their safety. A number of cases of girls being sexually harassed by their male teachers, staff or classmates surface on the internet. In fact, I was shocked to learn that a minor girl was sexually harassed by male staff in my own school that blamed me for spoiling the boys of the school. Why doesn’t the school administration draw their attention to these cases? Why is it bent on saving women by restricting them? Why doesn’t it penalize and groom the men in the school? It is time schools change their mindsets before it is too late!

The views expressed are the author's own. 

#slut-shaming in school #patriarchy in schools