Feminists decry 'no belly, no butts, no bras' dress code policy, accuse university of 'slut-shaming'

Resident advisors at an all-women’s college claims the 'no belly, no butts, no bras' dress code policy—is 'slut-shaming' and 'mak[es] women conform to an ideal of corporate feminism.'

Resident advisors (RAs) at an all-women’s college are claiming the college’s “Training Expectations” guide—which requires that students’ consent to the “no belly, no butts, no bras” dress code policy—is “slut-shaming” and “mak[es] women conform to an ideal of corporate feminism.”

Barnard College, a small liberal arts college in New York known for its progressive and feminist leanings, distributed the guide two weeks ago on the first day of orientation training. The guide contains a dress code contract which requires that dorm advisors agree they will “dress appropriately” and acknowledge that the school is “a work environment.”

“While we want you to be comfortable, this is a work environment. In the words of from [sic] our friends in Admissions, ‘No belly, no butts, no bras,’ meaning that none of these should be showing in the clothing you choose to wear. We ask that you come dressed as you did for Group Process. Those dressed inappropriately will be asked by their HD to go home and change.”

According to Business Insider, in order to become an RA, applicants apply, interview and train for the position. It is assumed they will “adhere to personal and professional conduct as outlined by the school.”

Still, the college’s RAs say that the dress code was not “discussed or negotiat[ed]” before signing.

“It was printed and we were made to sign a contract regarding expectations for training,” one BC RA told Feministing. “No one said anything, we weren’t asked. We read it aloud, but we didn’t consent to it.”

Another RA asserted that physical differences along racial lines could cause an RA to get in trouble, even if she was otherwise wearing the same clothing as another RA.

“I’d just like to highlight the racial aspects of it...certain bodies are policed and deemed as not welcome,” the RA said.

“It’s about control under the guise of protection, they’re grooming you,” said another RA. “This is under administrative policies that tend to maintain an ideal image of Barnard women, what do you think when you think of our president Debora Spar? White corporate feminist.”

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