Hey, remember when Slate put UT on a list of top universities “leading the way in combating sexual assault”? Yeah, that was nice.
Meanwhile, someone at UT was making the decision to once and for all deal with the university's real problem: Women in the School of Nursing parading around with their midriffs bared, clad in short-shorts and short skirts and—if you are wearing pearls, prepare to clutch them—”low-cut shirts that reveal cleavage.”
The notice of an “in-building dress code,” which appeared in the UT-Austin School of Nursing Building, claims that such clothing “distracts from the learning environment.”
Read more about the UT dress code after the jump.I'm a UT alum, and as such, I am very familiar with the sundry learning distractions around campus. I have been distracted by:
-The stock ticker in McCombs
-The sculpture of studded metal balls
-The organization that raises money by selling fried Oreos outside of Gregory Gym
-The vintage bathroom fixtures in the architecture library
-The carelessness with which the parking staff maneuver their unwieldy golf carts
-THE RACIST STATUES LITTERING THE ENTIRE CAMPUS
-Daily (hourly?) (minutely?) email blasts about university events
-Freshmen boys who feel compelled to play songs by The Fray on every piano in every dorm ever constructed
-The official UT Nap Map (look it up!)
As a former student with a chronic distraction issue, I feel as though my attention can be used as a sort of Litmus test for what does and does not create a “distracting learning environment.” Here is a list of things that have never prevented me from learning:
-The presence of women
-Women wearing clothes that make them feel comfortable and attractive
What this sign tells students—in large capital letters, no less—is that women prevent men from learning by having women's body parts.
Hopefully, the leadership at UT can agree that that's not true. Women do not hypnotize men by exposing their ankles. If there truly is a problem in the School of Nursing Building with men ogling other students' bodies, perhaps UT can deal with it in a way that doesn't blame the people who are being harassed.
Natalie tweets from @nsanluis.