Importance of dress code
The Editor, Sir:
I refer to the Noteworthy article published in your paper of December 30, 'Gov't dress code for the public?'. It was with some bemusement that I read this reader's comments. Her arguments are quite frankly, as skimpy as the clothing she apparently seems to support.
The dress code is enforced quite simply because most members of 'John (and Jane) Public' do not have the common sense, or more accurately, the decency to dress and conduct themselves appropriately around others. At 2 o' clock one morning, while tending to an injured police officer, I turned my back for a few seconds and upon turning around I was greeted with the sight of about half a young lady's rear hanging out her shorts. Pause here and put yourself in my place; what comes to mind?
Now imagine having to confront on a daily basis young men with their shorts practically at their knees, plaid (and often times not so clean) underpants riding above the shorts, with a rag hanging out of a pocket and practically touching the floor. Imagine too the young women who come with skirts so short you can see the seat of their underwear when they sit, assuming they are wearing said underwear. Or imagine, as well, the far more common sight of a top so low-cut she might as well have left the house without it. I agree that Jamaica is a 'hot Caribbean island' but that is no excuse for indecency.
Protect you and your health
Public institutions, in particular hospitals, are places where large amounts of people gather; it is highly unsanitary to have your bare flesh and most sensitive parts exposed to the germs, sweat and dirt that automatically congregate at these places. Imposing a dress code is not an attempt to dictate to you what to wear, but an effort to protect you and your health. Obviously, it has become the norm to walk around half or three-quarters naked. The reader hinted at an emergency situation, but I am certain that no one of rational mind will deny a mother entry if her child's life is at stake we will simply ask you to cover yourself afterward.
The reader made mention, as well, that we are "trying to adapt everything America does", the same notices are posted at the American and other foreign embassies, so why then do you conform to those? Are they not also trying to infringe upon citizens' rights?, if I may paraphrase your question.
I would like this reader to stop and think seriously about the arguments she posed. Her comments have provided proof, yet again, that common courtesies, decency and good manners are dead and buried in this land. It saddens me to think of the direction in which we are headed, if a simple reminder of decency draws such a vicious outcry.
I am, etc.,