Olga Khazan
Olga Khazan
Olga Khazan is a staff writer at The Atlantic.
Paul Sahre

Why Do Women Bully Each Other at Work?

Research suggests that conditions in the workplace might be to blame.

  • Lisi Niesner / Reuters

    The Glory of the Cheat Day

    A new study suggests that planned lapses in self-control can help you stick with your goals over time.

  • Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters

    The Three Types of Happiness

    Things can make people happier than experiences, a study finds, depending on the kind of happiness being measured

  • Color Us Confused

    When we asked about your weird school dress codes, many of you wrote in with surprising rules about colors. Forget short skirts or untucked shirt-tails. What’s really distracting today’s students are “patterned shoelaces,” according to one reader who attended a public school in Texas.

    For some of you, school administrators were fashion police, issuing prohibitions on “clashing” or mis-matched clothes:

    The junior high I attended decreed that clothing must match. For example, we could not wear plaids and stripes together, and colors must not clash.

    Another reader, Cathy Lehman, said she was reprimanded for what she thought was a nice-looking outfit:

    Once I was written up for wearing a very nice shell sweater top and long skirt to school chapel because the sweater had wide stripes in two shades of light brown and the skirt was cream with flowers on it, in matching shades of light brown. I couldn’t believe how arbitrarily that rule could be interpreted, based on any one person’s definition of color or style, or what “clashing” even means. I had truly thought my outfit looked nice.

    This reader’s school invented an unusual 11th commandment:

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    Relieve Your Anxiety by Singing It

    Some therapists are using Songify, a music app, to have patients make recordings of their worried thoughts—and get rid of them.

  • Zak Bickel / The Atlantic

    Why Soviet Refugees Aren't Buying Sanders's Socialism

    The ultra-conservative views of many in the Russian Jewish community are driven by memories of life in the USSR.

  • Your 11 Weirdest Dress Code Rules

    One reason school dress codes are such a lighting rod is that they often have no basis in real-world sartorial standards. Though some rules are common sense, people seem most irked by prohibitions on clothing that wouldn’t be out of place in a business meeting—yet is unacceptable by middle-school standards.

    Recently we asked what the strangest dress code was at your school. Dozens of you wrote in, and here are the 11 we deemed most odd:

    1. No holes in jeans, but duct tape is fine:

    “This was at a public high school in West Virginia in the mid-2000s—the time just before leggings and yoga pants, which was a dress-code battle after I graduated. The fad at the time was holes in the jeans. The rule shifted every year, from no holes at all to only ones allowed below the knee. The kicker was if you were caught with in appropriate rips or tears in your $50 Hollister jeans, you had to put duct tape over them. Our principal carried a roll of tape with her just in case.

    The strangest part was the rule was established because it “looked bad.” But then we were forced to wear duct tape, which makes you look even worse. And of course, this rule completely targeted girls because few boys wore holes in their jeans. The duct tape also ruined the tears, created even bigger holes once the tape was removed. It was bizarre and embarrassing.”

    -- Taylor Stuck

    1. No little old Russian grandmas:

    “I attended a public high school in rural Ohio from 1998 to 2002. It was the only high school in the entire county, and despite the lack of any real problems (save the occasional student caught with a joint), the teachers and leadership felt it necessary to institute an oppressive dress code. At least once a week, the principal would announce via intercom a new standard. Below are some of my favorites:

  • New Wave Foods

    A Synthetic Replacement for Shrimp Made by Slaves

    The shrimping industry is fraught with human-rights abuses. One startup thinks their plant-based seafood might be the answer.

  • Olga Khazan / The Atlantic

    A Drone to Save the World

    Developing countries are skipping over roads and going straight to drones for providing health care

  • Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

    What Happens When There’s Sewage in the Water?

    Raw sewage flows into many of Rio’s Olympic venues every day. As the prospect of a full clean-up before the Games dims, the world is left wondering, who will get sick, and how?

  • Reuters / Chris Helgren

    Does Manspreading Work?

    A study suggests people find expansive, space-consuming postures more romantically attractive.

  • Sara Wong / The Atlantic

    No Spanking, No Time-Out, No Problems

    A child psychologist argues punishment is a waste of time when trying to eliminate problem behavior. Try this instead.

  • Tell Us: What Was the Weirdest Dress Code Rule at Your School?

    Spring is here, heralding the emergence of that perennial warm-weather menace: the shoulders and lower femurs of teenagers. It’s only March, and students from Fresno to Baltimore are already protesting what they say are unfair and antiquated school dress codes. As Li reported last year, it’s often girls who feel singled out by these rules.

    It’s not just students who are up in arms. A group of parents are suing a charter school in North Carolina because the school says girls must wear jumper dresses, skirts, or “skorts” each day.

    Some school dress codes, granted, are nothing radical—they’re similar to what you’d encounter in an entry-level job. But others seem to drag far behind mainstream social norms. (Barring a sister-wife situation, in what other context would women not be allowed to wear pants?) Many school clothing rules seem puzzling because they’re so at odds with real-world business attire.

    Here’s my personal head-scratcher: I started high school, in McKinney, Texas, right after Columbine. One of the Columbine shooters was wearing black during the attack. Therefore, in my public high school, we were not allowed to wear all black. That meant no black blouses with black skirts, no little black dresses, no black dress shirts with black slacks. There had to be at least one colorful element. This was, fortunately, during a preppier era, but suffice it to say my current look would not comply.

    Below are some Atlantic staffers’ most perplexing dress-code rules. We invite readers to submit their own. Please email hello@theatlantic.com, tell us the rule, the time and place (roughly, if you prefer), and whether the school was public or private. Please also let us know if we can use your name.

  • Larry Downing / Reuters

    Can Three Words Turn Anxiety Into Success?

    A simple technique called “anxious reappraisal” might help people channel nervous jitters into improved performance.  

  • Is It Okay to Cry at Work?

    Exploring the gender-based judgments of the perennial office cry

  • Michael Haegele / Corbis

    Lean In to Crying at Work

    Looking down on people who cry at work is sexist. It’s time to bring back the noble art of public weeping.

  • Jeff Roberson / AP

    Racial Segregation Is Making Americans Sick

    How housing discrimination causes stress and shortens lifespans

  • Jan Buchczik

    Exercise in Futility

    What if physical activity doesn't help people lose weight? New research suggests working out might slow metabolism down.

  • Sara Wong / The Atlantic

    Welcome to Parent College

    Can parenting classes help end America’s disgraceful child-abuse epidemic?

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    The Water Diet

    Can you lose weight just by drinking more water?

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    Why Straight Men Gaze at Gay Women

    The psychology behind the male sexual desire for lesbians