by Hakeem Babalola
University of Ibadan and that of Calabar were recently reported to have turned back female students whose dress the school authorities believe too sexy. Perhaps majority of adult male policy makers at our Higher Institutions share a sentiment similar to that of Mr. John Ekpang, University of Calabar’s Information Officer.
"Indecent dressing by university students was becoming too rampant and unacceptable," he says. "They distract lecturers, tempt fellow students and also make everyone very uncomfortable. We cannot continue to allow that in this school".
The above comment is all hogwash as far as I’m concerned. Aren’t these teachers suppose to be self- disciplined? Even if a female student walks into a classroom naked, it’s part of being a teacher for a male teacher to control himself. It’s not even about control but being a teacher to the core. Me say to hell with implausible excuses like "teachers are humans too".
First of all, the dress code issue in Nigerian universities shows the level of worldly knowledge and refinement and savoir faire possess by our intellectuals. It also reveals how well they use their mind creatively. If the way a student dresses affects the intelligence or spiritual principle of an esteemed teacher, then I suppose such teacher isn’t serious about his intellectual career.
Teachers who allow the Siren of their students’ way of dress thirst or wet their pants should, in my own opinion, become Eunuchs. If not, then they have no business being employed to impart knowledge or guard our female students. A male teacher who is distracted by a female’s "kinky dress" under any circumstances has betrayed the trust of the profession.
Prescribing dress code for University girls is like enslaving their gender spirit. What code of dress is being prescribed for their male counterparts, or even these wayward teachers who say they cannot impart knowledge unless their female students dress or behave like nuns? If the University authorities want female students to dress as if in a monastery, then the crusade should start from that end.
Says Chinenye, a University of Calabar student who was reportedly dressed in a pair of jeans trousers and spaghetti body-hug with her breasts almost popping out of the body-hug, "The security man said I’m dressed badly. I’m coming from the church, and the pastor never said anything like that". See what I mean? A woman’s body is a religious ornament and should not be covered from head to toe. It is a creation where God brings humans into life. It should be respected and not brutalized with dress code.
Dress code is an attack on their gender intellect as long as the same dress code does not apply to male students. It’s a slap on their freedom of expression as long as their male counterparts have not been accused of dressing in a "kinky" manner that distracts female teachers. Such promulgation is unnecessary, and it further testifies to the domination of male adult policy makers over their helpless female students.
The authorities of the Universities in question have only succeeded in murdering morality they claim to profess or instill in these female students. What is "kinky dress" anyway? Instead of occupying themselves with heavenly agenda like how Nigerian universities would become arena for proper learning, University authorities engage in mundane or unremarkable affair; wasting their energy on dress code.
So what kinds of dress should be worn by Higher Institution female students? I recommend uniform like in the primary and secondary schools; or let them veil their faces like women in Afghanistan so that male teachers’ thirst for sexually dressed female students could be easily curbed. Isn’t it embarrassing? I mean our male teachers telling the world they cannot control their manhood thing unless their female students adhere to a non-sexually provocative dress code?
Higher Institution being a radically distinctive and unequal topographic shrine of learning, a berth for self discovery, a craft to free one’s mind, should not become a capricious idea of male teachers’ roughshod treatment of female students. I support the right of female students to dress anyhow they want. Perhaps it’s the male teachers that should nimble as a deer for a heat therapy as a relief.
Even if these female students wear a full-dress uniform, a brazen and raunchy teacher would still be thirsty for their large bosom and pleasing curves. And this seems to be his undoing; he is simply addicted to any red-hot mama. Haven’t we heard the story of a secondary school male teacher harassing female students who do not wear "kinky" dress? So it’s not about the dress, rather about the seriousness mind of this depraved teacher. He is as filthy as a pigsty.
And why is it always the fault of the female students and not the fault of these addicted teachers? Why is the university community bending on a dress code for female students and conspicuously neglecting a dress code for these male teachers’ smutty nous? Perhaps the crusade should start by penetrating the perverse soul of this earthy and sexually explicit teacher or administrator.
As a Secondary School teacher here in Hungary where even under age girls dress in "kinky" outfit, I have never heard of a dress code oppressive mentality. Male teachers here despite students’ "kinky dress" do not lose focus or their minds in the classroom. In fact I’m vastly disturbed by their incorrigible nasty behaviour than "kinky" dress. Male teachers must adapt to their female students’ way of dressing. Period
However, if we must suppress our female undergraduates’ freedom of dress expression, we should endeavour to start at the earliest stage rather than wait until one morally corrupt teacher tells us he lacks concentration because of his female student’s plushy flesh. Although I don’t favour teacher-student love relationship, if however, they both hide under love tango, it must be absolutely consensual.
So the authorities of Nigerian Higher Institutions should stop their campaign of obloquy against our female students under the pretense of dress code. Our female students should be respected and given the chance to study rather than physically and emotionally assault their gender. A teacher who cannot stop being a dog unless his female students adhere to a code dress disparaging remark should choose another career.