Dear Girls: Boys are Not Neutered Ken Dolls, and Yes, That’s Why Dress Codes are Smart

Posted on June 13, 2014


Women seem to have unfair and unrealistic expectations that men should be a bunch of neutered Ken dolls until – and only until – we want them to be otherwise.


With warmer weather, there have been a few incidents of schoolgirls being disciplined for violating school dress codes. The girls, often backed by their parents, rebel against the dress codes and lament that they are unfair to females. “Stop shaming girls for what they’re wearing, and do something about boys’ behavior,” says a 15-year-old Canadian girl disciplined for wearing too-short shorts. “Women shouldn’t have to cover themselves up completely because we shouldn’t be viewed as sexual objects,” agrees another teen.

I’m pretty tired of hearing this sentiment from women and girls.   You can’t dress like a sex object and expect that no one will view you as a sex object.  And you certainly can’t expect that not a single whiff of a sexual thought will cross the minds of the red-blooded males who see your revealed female flesh.


Warning – Warning Politically Incorrect Zone Ahead

If you are sensitive and easily offended, avert your eyes now. STOP READING. I am about to say something rather crude and insensitive but very, very true.




Farm boys wild to couple
With anything with soft-wooded trees
With mounds of earth. . .

     – James DickeyThe Sheep Child,  1966


Well, someone had to say it. This is how reproduction works, people. Females of childbearing age absolutely ARE viewed as sexual objects, period. Men are hard-wired that way so that we don’t go extinct from lack of interest. In pubescent boys and young men, with hormones raging and a combination of new awareness, new eagerness, teenage impulsivity, and lack of actual experience, that urge is especially strong and greatly distracting. Most men, if they are honest, will confirm to you that their teenage thoughts were greatly occupied with getting laid. Not love, not marriage, not life partners, just… Oh, man, I wanna tap that.


Tell me, are you hot mama? you sure look that way to me

– Foreigner, Hot Blooded 1978


Yes, we can teach boys that women aren’t sex objects. We might even get through to them on a rational, higher plane of thinking. Once in a while they might even actually realize just how threatening or annoying or unfair it is to objectify women. Maybe we “get through to them,” hammer them into submission with hours of sensitivity training.  With good parenting, or with proper teaching, young men certainly can and do learn to “behave.” Outwardly, anyway.

But you know what? They are still thinking about it.  They can’t help it.

Lauren Strapagiel, writing for, asks:

“what’s so offensive about bra straps? … too often the reason bra straps are a dress code offense at school has nothing to do with their board room appropriateness, but with the fact they’re attached to boobs. In the case of the girls in Labrador… the girls were told their outfits were ‘inappropriate because some of the male teachers, and male students found it distracting for them.'”

Well, YEAH. It’s not that the bra straps are “offensive.”  That misses the point.  The point is, what heterosexual guy doesn’t like boobs?  What heterosexual guy… especially a young, hormone-soaked, pubescent one… isn’t already thinking about them?  Ms. Strapagiel ‘s whole article reveals the flaw so common in women’s thinking, and frankly unfair to men: she mockingly flings one dress-code rationale after another at us, scoffing that it is men’s responsibility to not be attracted, to not be distracted, to actually have no desires no matter how the females appear to them.

Hot tramp Daddy’s little cutie
You’re so fine…

– Aerosmith, Rag Doll  1987

“The shorts… were deemed offensive because a male could potentially, outside the control of the girl, decide they’re sexy.” Well, YES, exactly!  Intentionally or not, girls do wear things that turn guys on.  The girl might just think an outfit is “cute,” while a young man sees it as “advertising.”  Ever heard of a CFM skirt?  I’ll let you look that one up.

Your dress is tight
Oh howwwwww, I want you right now

– Kanye West, Drunk and Hot Girls   2007

Another sneer from Strapagiel’s article:  “Implicating male teachers is even more disturbing, first as an insult to professional educators and second for teaching underage girls it’s their responsibility to quell the desires of adult men.” The implication here is that girls should not be taught any kind of responsibility for their appearance, while men should not only behave like neutered Ken dolls, but should actually be neutered Ken dolls, with no desires at all until we decide that they are to be allowed in response to our desires.

I ask you: is that a realistic expectation? Is it a fair demand to make on men, while we reject all demands placed on women for their part in the biologically-driven dance of sexual attraction?  Does that belief keep women safe, or does it endanger them by promoting ignorance and misunderstanding of what is going on in the male mind?  Could this sort of thinking be contributing to college-campus assaults?

School girl sadie with the classy kinda sassy
Little skirt climbing way up her knees

– Aerosmith, Walk This Way 1975


Reasonable dress codes exist not just in the in the workplace, but as a requirement to enter business establishments (No shirt, no shoes, no service)  or government facilities (no flip-flops in the White House), to attend church, and – yes – to attend school (Lila’s high school actually had a uniform, which took care of this whole thing quite nicely).

Young people are going to push boundaries; that’s what they do. I don’t exactly fault a couple of 15-year-old girls for questioning the limits of the dress code, but I DO fault their parents for backing them up. Dress codes are not optional or open to interpretation.  If a hemline can be two inches higher, why not five inches higher? If short-shorts are okay, why not a bikini bottom? Why not a g-string and pasties? Because, as our 15-year-old Champion of the Shorts says – “it’s hot outside,”  and the men would still be wrong to look sideways at us as we express ourselves.  Ugh.  Puh-leeze.  It may be hot out, but I haven’t seen a lot of young men wearing short-shorts and tank tops to school so I fail to see why girls think it’s okay for females to do so.

The dress-code line is drawn, it is reasonable, and there is no good reason not to adhere to it.  Kids have all summer and all of their adult lives to “express themselves” with scanty clothing if that’s what they really want. But if their parents are wise, they will explain why that’s not necessarily a great idea.


What do they make dreams for
When you got them jeans on
What do we need steam for
You the hottest bitch in this place
I feel so lucky
Hey, hey, hey
You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with hug me?

 – Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines 2013