As I see it there are three basic reasons rules exist: safety, control, and ease. Laws, regulations, and policies are created by many entities including: governments, cultures and religions, organizations and institutions, as well as individual families and clans.
The laws designed to keep the populous safe are generally guided by common sense (no killing or other violent acts, stop at stop signs, etc). Most of us are fairly good at obeying those rules, because (a) we want to stay out of jail, (b) we are interested in living a good long life, and (c) they make sense!
I would argue that the majority of rules, however, fall into those other categories of control and ease. They are also the ones that are usually the most open to different personal interpretations, can often have harmful side effects (ex. mandating girls clothing leads to the sexualization of female apparel), and are the ones most frequently disobeyed or ignored.
As many of my friends and family will attest, I do not like to follow instructions and I am not very good at following rules, even the ones that I have made up myself (one thing we often forget, rules are made up by someone). I quite often disregard directives and intentionally proceed in a way that makes the most sense to me (as long as no one else will be harmed by my disobedience).
When a rule is designed purely as a way to control others, instead of being supportive and nurturing, I firmly believe it should be altered or eliminated.
This is a message I pass on to my students regularly: challenge authority; ask why; in fact, ask lots of questions, and if you disagree, be willing to stick your neck out to create change in the most respectful way possible.
The majority of rules are made to be altered, all it takes is a few renegades to take the lead and show us the way.
*This post was not instigated by anything beyond my own thoughts regarding the senseless regulations that dictate our lives.