The sleepy Alabama town of Dadeville, Alabama, is planning to enforce a really strict dress code on its residents - but for once, it's not a gender thing...
Remember the days of rolling your skirt up at high school, convincing your teachers that it definitely reaches your knees (if you crouch over a bit at the same time), and dreaming of life in America, where school uniforms just didn’t exist?
Well imagine being told at the age of 25, 35, or 45, that you’re no longer allowed to dress yourself. And that, in fact, you’re no longer allowed to wear your favourite clothes outside of the house.
And then stop imagining, and book a flight to Dadeville, Alabama.
The town, which has only got about 3,000 residents, has recently discussed imposing a dress code upon its residents – both male and female.
It all started when City Councilman Frank Goodman proposed an ruling that would ban men from sporting baggy trousers, saying the look is ‘disrespectful’.
But rather than stare at him in horror, his fellow council members thought the idea was so great, it should be applied to women too. Only, it wouldn’t be baggy pants that were off limits – it would be short skirts and hot pants instead.
‘My concern is it should be for everybody,’ Stephanie Kelley said during this Tuesday’s council meeting. ‘I think for the girls, with these shorts up so high looking like undergarments and dresses so short, I don’t want us to be showing favoritism.’
It’s a scary idea: your clothes are a means of expressing yourself, and the idea of regulating what a person can or cannot wear in their own free time feels an awful lot like restricting their freedom of speech. If a person is offended by another individual’s outfit, that’s their problem. After all, it’s not harming anybody, and what might be considered ‘disrepectful’ to somebody might not be to somebody else – it’s totally subjective.
Plus, while this might not be a conscious effort to restrict women specifically, in a world where we’re constantly being told to feel ashamed of our bodies and to cover ourselves up, this feels like a giant step backwards all the same.