Last month, a New Jersey middle school banned girls from wearing strapless dresses to prom. Administrators claimed that the dresses were “distracting” — though they refused to specify exactly how or why. Parents reacted strongly to the rule; some supported the dress code while others deemed it “slut-shaming.” On Friday, the school compromised by allowing girls to wear single-strap or see-through-strap dresses.
This is no isolated incident in the United States. Across the country, young girls are being told what not to wear because it might be a “distraction” for boys, or because adults decide it makes them look “inappropriate.” At its core, every incident has a common thread: Putting the onus on young women to prevent from being ogled or objectified, instead of teaching those responsible to learn to respect a woman’s body. Here are five other recent examples:
1. A middle school in California banned tight pants. At the beginning of last month, a middle school in Northern California began telling girls to avoid wearing pants that are “too tight” because it “distracts the boys.” At a mandatory assembly for just the female students, the middle school girls were told that they’re no longer allowed to wear leggings or yoga pants. “We didn’t think it was fair how we have all these restrictions on our clothing while boys didn’t have to sit through [the assembly] at all,” one student told local press. Some parents also complained, leading the school’s assistant principal to record a voicemail explaining the new policy. “The guiding principle in all dress codes is that the manner in which students dress does not become a distraction in the learning environment,” the message said.
2. A high school principal in Minnesota emailed parents to ask them to cover up their daughters. A principal in Minnetonka, MN recently wrote an email telling parents to stop letting their daughters wear leggings or yoga pants to school. He says the tight-fitting pants are fine with longer shirts but, when worn with a shorter top, a girl’s “backside” can be “too closely defined.” The big risk of having a defined backside, he thinks, is that it can “be highly distracting for other students.”
3. Two girls in Ohio were turned away from their prom for being “improperly dressed.” Laneisha Williams and Nyasia Mitchell were barred from prom this spring for wearing dresses that administrators considered “too revealing.” The girls say that they didn’t believe they were violating a dress code that said dresses couldn’t be too short or show too much cleavage. But one administrator told local news that the high school girls were only allowed to wear dresses that had “no curvature of their breasts showing.”
4. A kindergarten student in Georgia was forced to change her “short” skirt because it was a “distraction to other students.” It’s hard to imagine that a kindergartener’s outfit could be “a distraction to other students,” but a mother in Georgia told locals news there that her daughter had been outfitted in someone else’s pants — without parental permission — after the principal deemed the skirt the young girl was wearing too short.” The girl had apparently wore the skirt, and accompanying leggings, just one week before without incident.
5. Forty high school girls were sent home from a winter dance in California after “degrading” clothing inspections “bordering on sexual harassment.” A school board member’s daughter was among the 40 girls turned away from Capistrano Valley High’s February dance for wearing dresses that either exposed their midriffs or were cut too low. Before the dance, girls were apparently required to flap their arms up and down and turn around for male administrators’ inspection. The school issues image guidelines for appropriate dress on its website — though the images were nearly all of women, and the only male image depicted proper attire. One girl alleges that the principal told her, “Not all dresses look good on certain body shapes.” A grandmother of one of the girls who was turned away from the dance also said that a teacher remarked about her granddaughter, “What mother would allow her daughter to wear a dress like that?” Apparently the school did receive some praise, though, from the parents of two male students.
When most Americans think about “rape culture,” they may think about the Steubenville boys’ defense arguing that an unconscious girl consented to her sexual assault because she “didn’t say no,” the school administrators who choose to protect their star athletes over those boys’ rape victims, or the bullying that led multiple victims of sexual assault to take their own lives. While those incidences of victim-blaming are certainly symptoms of a deeply-rooted rape culture in this country, they’re not the only examples of this dynamic at play. Rape culture is also evident in the attitudes that lead school administrators to treat young girls’ bodies as inherently “distracting” to the boys who simply can’t control themselves. That approach to gender roles simply encourages our youth to assume that sexual crimes must have something to do with women’s “suggestive” clothes or behavior, rather than teaching them that every individual is responsible for respecting others’ bodily autonomy.
Charles Ramsey, the guy who saved the three kidnapped women, is giving up over $25,000 in reward money and giving it to the victims.
Today’s lesson: Be more like this guy. Remind yourself that you’re not the center of the universe. If everyone just put themselves in other people’s shoes instead of only looking out for himself, then perhaps we’d all stop treating each other like crap.
Even if you’re selfish, there’s a reason not to be. Treat others poorly, and they in turn will treat others poorly. This keeps being transferred like a disease until one day it comes back to you and someone treats you poorly. So helping others benefits you as well. The benefits are just not as immediate.
According to Stephen Colbert tonight, this is the link for a new GOP survey aimed at ‘younger voters.’ Oh sweet lord, the questions on this thing are hilarious and painful and EVERYONE ON TUMBLR NEEDS TO…
Hey, just another reminder that THESE ARE SPAM/A VIRUS
IF YOU GET ANY VIDEO SUBMISSIONS LIKE THIS (OR ANY OTHER VIDEO) FROM SOME RANDOM EMAIL ADDRESS WITH NUMBERS AT THE END, DON’T CLICK ON THEM - BLOCK OR DELETE THEM
Kay, have a nice day :3
I got one of these as a submission and just deleted it right away (I don’t trust anything these days).
Here is just a sample of some of my recent photo project, CONsent, which you can read about here.
Please read and spread the word around. I got to work with some great cosplayers, photographers and fans and I really hope to continue this project if it gains enough support.
Thank you for looking!
I just want to say that as a cosplayer at cons, this is a real issue. The amount of things that get said (and mostly REQUESTED) to us is ridiculous. This deserves a signal boost.
On Facebook a couple days ago BelleChere posted basically asking people to not proposition her. Throughout the comments she noted she was married and neither one of them appreciated creepy comments made toward her. A number of people proceeded to argue with her saying that because she dressed up, it was okay.
I know a ton of people who have dealt with harassment at cons and they feel like they can’t say anything because it’s a convention. WRONG. You deserve to feel safe no matter where you are. Dressing up is not giving someone permission to say something to you or do anything to you.
This is a great project and it gets a boost from me.
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Black and white students at Wilcox County High School in south Georgia aren’t allowed to go to the same prom. Instead, students and parents sponsor segregated proms — yep, in 2013 — and kids that break the skin-dress code are barred entry from the caucasian rager. A mixed-race group of friends who hang out all of the time but can’t wear corsages and dance to Top 40 together are trying to encourage their peers to participate in a radical social experiment called NOT BEING RACIST.
“We’re embarrassed, it’s embarrassing, yeah it’s kind of embarrassing,” Stephanie Sinnot, Mareshia Rucker, Quanesha Wallace, and Keela Bloodworth told WSFA. “We are all friends, that’s just kind of not right that we can’t go to prom together.”
Uh, they’re embarrassed? Wilcox County High School officials are the ones who should be beyond embarrassed, since, last we checked, Brown v. Board of Education declared segregation unconstitutional in 1954. But since the proms aren’t financed by or hosted at the school (they’re sponsored by the students and parents), the administration says there’s nothing it can do. Officials have offered a resolution to permit an integrated prom — big of them, right? — but won’t stop segregated proms or even take a stance on the issue.
A biracial student was actually turned away by police at the white prom last year. And when the school decided to elect only one pair for homecoming queen and king for the first time this school year — mmhmm, homecoming is segregated, too — and one of the integrated prom-organizing students won, she still wasn’t allowed to attend the white homecoming. The king and queen took separate pictures for the school yearbook.
Wow. When you think you can’t be shocked you find stuff like this happening in real life today in this country. Whose still keeping slaves down there too? Wtf?
how in the fuck
like, how the fuck is this a thing?
MY DAD WAS LITERALLY JUST TELLING ME ABOUT THIS FUCKERY
i don’t know how many people know this but if you find someone reposting your art without your consent, you can get it (and all the reblogs) removed by submitting an infringement notice!
it doesn’t work for reposted graphics but i know it does work really well for art
god fucking bless
I’m reblogging this because not a lot of people know about this!
Really wanna see This is the End.
You’re Probably Not Really a Nice Guy (x)