Free Speech/Clothing

        I.            We all wear clothes. As clothing is an important part of the society we live in. Your choice of clothing may be influenced by your environment or what is most acceptable in society today.
a.       Clothing is a practice of free speech, we make every single day. Even in face of this, we should not develop a more narrow definition of freedom of speech. *
b.      Freedom of speech varies in many factors in today’s society, such as dress code in schools, in various cultures and even in something as simple as a restaurant chain.
c.       Keep in mind Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas using one’s body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them. Freedom of speech is protected right as stated in the 1st and 14th amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Definition is by Merriam-Webster dictionary.
     II.            One constitutional controversy raging in public schools today concerns mandatory school uniforms. This is the perfect example to show the narrowing of freedom of speech in today’s society.
a.       Many schools have adopted a dress code and uniforms after President Bill Clinton endorsed uniforms in his 1996 state of the union address.
b.      And I quote “I challenge all our schools to teach character education, to teach good values and good citizenship”
c.       But I ask to you pause and think does this address on uniforms support the practice of free speech? I think the obvious answer is clear.
d.      According to the definition of freedom of speech, one is permitted to express information, ideas and opinions free of government restrictions based on content.
e.       In 1919 Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr an American jurist who served as an associate justice of Supreme Court, stated a restriction is legimate only if the speech in question poses a “clear and present danger”. Example a risk or threat to safety or to other public interests that is serious and imminent.
f.       Now I ask you, is a school dress code fall into that category of a “risk to society”? That is the question you must decide for yourself. But before you make your decision let us consider in other factors as well.
   III.            Clothing is an important part of our society we live in. Some of us prepare the night before for what we will wear tomorrow, others are more spontaneous. We dress according to the way we feel or how we would want to feel. Our clothing can be influenced by our environment or what’s most acceptable in our neighborhoods.
a.       According to Julia Twigg a professor at School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Many people believe that clothing is a representation of their cultures and beliefs.
b.      For example, Africans wear clothing dependent upon their faith, culture, and the weather in their areas, or some combination of those. Generally though, Africans tend to favor durable, natural fibers, and clothing that is both useful and beautifully made.
c.       This culture is a representation of freedom of speech. If the definition of freedom of speech were to be narrowed, then segments of the population would suffer as a result.
d.      Clothes play a vital though often unacknowledged role in the constitution for social difference. Dress is also significant in relation to other forms of social difference, for example sexuality.
e.       In changes in the overall definition of free speech could inevitability affect people’s identity as well as right to express them self.
f.       Cultures differ in their values for speech as the expression of individuality.
g.       In the next example we will see how freedom of speech can be practiced even in smaller forms of a restaurant.
  IV.            As a food lover, I personally enjoy going out to restaurants and enjoying a meal with my family. Regardless of where we go I enjoy my time. Personally I have never paid much mind to the uniforms of the staff.
a.       But when you take a step back, you can see that the uniforms are a source of freedom of speech.
b.      One particular example is the restaurant Hooters, international chain that bills itself as “delightfully tacky yet unrefined”.
c.       Hooters have built an empire on hiring young and attractive waitresses.
d.      Ashely Lutz, a business Insider’s retail editor and writer received an inside scope on former server at Hooters.
e.       Brittany the former Hooter’s employee, gave a full inside look on Hooter’s operations
f.       From her experience the uniform was mentioned at the first stage of the hiring process.
g.       All the girls were fully aware, as it was their “free speech” to wear the uniform
h.      Uniforms come in all shapes and sizes, just like the servers who wear them.
i.        It is their choice to wear the uniform or find another job best suitable, in the act of doing so they are expressing their right to freedom of speech.
     V.            Clothing whether it is a school uniform, culture style or a restaurant chain, all is dependent on freedom of speech.
a.       If we narrow down the definition of freedom of speech, we then lose our rights to be who we are.
b.      From the way we dress to the words we speak.
c.       Freedom of speech comes in all shapes and sizes. Starting from your shoes to the words you speak.
d.      At the end of the day it is left to you decide your stand on free speech.

e.       But before you voice your opinion remember that freedom of speech is there to protect you and your rights, without it you would have no law on your side.