Much like Mike Pence's dining policy, school dress codes based on sex are discriminatory and wrong.
By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project
Of all the shockingly retrogade views about gender that the past year has brought us, a top contender is the revelation of Mike Pence's policy of refusing to dine with women unless his wife is present.
As commentators have been swift to point out, this policy is deeply problematic. It reduces women to the role of temptress, blaming them for male transgressions from marital infidelity to sexual assault, while relying on the equally demeaning assumption that men are incapable of controlling their sexual impulses. It is also discriminatory in the context of the workplace, depriving female employees of critical opportunities for networking, mentoring, and face time.
Discrimination under the guise of chivalry - sometimes called "benign protectionism" - is hardly new. Women have been "protected out" of jobs and educational opportunities ... well, pretty much forever. Laws against sex discrimination have eradicated some of the most blatant examples, like policies prohibiting women from entering certain professions or excluding women and girls from educational institutions. But as Pence's "No Girls Allowed" rule shows, these archaic views about gender persist.
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