To rebel or not to rebel
May 17, 2016
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This letter responds to a Letter to the Editor by alumna Samantha Ramirez ‘15.
Dear Samantha Ramirez,
First, I would like to thank you for writing to El Cid. Your letter perfectly displays the constant revaluation and uncertainty around the topic of dress code. Should the philosophy be to wear what you want, how you want. Or, should modesty be valued?
Dress code is largely a struggle between individuality and assimilation. Questions in students’ minds include, “Am I happy?” or “Am I acceptable?” However, is it possible to answer “yes” to both of these questions at once? I believe Cathedral Catholic High School students should wear their skirts at a length that provides them confidence — whether that be at the knee or mid-thigh. However, is it appropriate to wear your skirt so high that one can see the shorts you wear underneath? Or, as you mentioned, what is the effect of coining someone as prudish for wearing her skirt longer than the rule requires?
Judgments of other people should be avoided and dismissed, yet they often enter and poison. I have never felt the sense of superiority you mentioned experiencing. While I have noticed the length of other girls’ skirts, I do not pass judgements on the character of the wearers. These clothes proved to have a depth to you, a symbol you wore and struggled with.
I do not believe describing the uniform skirt as an injustice to young women from mainstream culture is fair. The uniform skirt is meant to bring equality. Uniforms instill a level of regularity among students from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Outside the school gates, there is a population of people who must view the uniform as a burden and a barring from freedom. If anything, I think the uniform in public invites curiosity. “Where is the school?” “What do they stand for?” “What a weird looking skirt.” By choosing to attend CCHS, we sign up to be differentiated, both through our choice of education as well as our apparel.
I completely agree that what we wear says something about who we are as it reflects our personality and our preferences. Perhaps rebellion regarding this issue can evolve to mean not to wear our skirts a little longer or shorter, but it can come to mean to stop criticizing one another over inches in length. Rebel against your mind by refraining from judging other people for their personal decisions.
Finally, detention is wildly unpopular. As students of CCHS, we choose to abide by the rules given to us by the administration, including dress code and the consequences for failing to comply.
Skirt length cannot begin to correlate with faith. God’s teachings are prevalent in all areas of CCHS. Campus Ministry, for example, is a sector of campus devoted to the formation and growth of faith; our commonality is faith. What someone wears, or how they wear it, may tell something about them, but not everything.
El Cid Staff Writer