WTF Wednesday

WTF as in what the fuck are we as a society DOING here…Yeah, that could refer to many things, but I’m talking about these news articles I keep seeing about school dress codes here in the States (do kids wear uniforms to school in other parts of the world, or is what a 9 year old wears just not such a big fucking deal in other places, I don’t know), but I’ve been seeing some articles, legitimate news articles, about how schools have “dress codes to protect the modesty of the female students”.  And these are not parochial schools, but regular public schools, the kind of school where if you live in the district, it’s your RIGHT to attend that particular school (and children who don’t come from wealthy backgrounds have no choice BUT TO attend their zoned public school).

I guess first of all, WHY HAS THE SCHOOL (any school that has such a dress code) BEEN NOMINATED, CONSTITUTED, and/or ELECTED to protect the modesty of its female students?  I mean, I get that not every little girl has a father at home (some women are strong and raise families on their own; some men walk out on their families like cowards; other men are bravely serving our country overseas and so no, they’re not there when their daughter is getting dressed for school; and some children are foster kids, having no “real” family to call their own, but being shuffled from home to home), and so in many instances the school acts in loco parentis (which is a fancy latin phrase for “in lieu of the parent”)  And I understand why there’s a need for SOME SORT OF dress  code (because there’s that one ninth grade jokester who, if he can, WILL show up to class wearing just Crocs).  But for school administrators to foist their attitudes about “modest dress” onto tweens and teens…I don’t know if you know this or not, but many tweens and teens have a whole different sense of style than their middle aged school administrators, and it’s a cruel thing to stifle a kid’s sense of style,  right when they get to the age when they’re trying to figure out who they are.

The other problem with these dress codes “to protect the modesty of the female students” is that it gives an EXCUSE to teachers and other school staff to decide (just by looking) which female students are appropriately modest, and which are dressed immodestly.  Am I the only one who sees a problem with a school policy that gives male teachers an excuse to judge tween and teen (underage) girls based on whether or not they’re dressed “slutty”, because this is what such a policy comes down to.  I mean, sure, school administrators and teachers can pull a girl aside and say, “You’re not compliant with the dress code” about her short skirt, but she’ll hear them saying she’s dressed like a slut, no matter what words they use.

And if school dress codes are “to protect the modesty of the female students”, then who or what are they protecting that modesty FROM…because it’s obviously not the male teachers.  No, they must be aiming to protect female students from sexual harassment by male students.  Some schools have gone so far as to say that immodestly dressed female students are guilty of enticing and/or distracting male students.  I guess the schools force the girls to cover up because that’s easier than teaching the boys about self-control.  Self-control as in no, you can’t slap a girl’s ass just because you pass her in the hall.  I know, there’s this “boys will be boys” phrase that people have been repeating for I don’t know how long, and they trot it out when ever a boy slaps a girl’s ass in a high s chool hallway, right before they say “Well if she didn’t want him to slap her ass, she wouldn’t wear such tight jeans”.  But self-control is a real thing, and schools should maybe teach it to their male students, because KIDS ARE ONLY IN SCHOOL FOR EIGHT HOURS A DAY…that means there are whole big chunks of time after school and on weekends when the kids aren’t in school, when school administrators can’t intervene if and when he DOES slap her ass when she doesn’t want him to.

Self-control could SAVE our young men, a lot of the time.  Like maybe in Steubenville, Ohio, that time.  Yeah, I mentioned Steuben-fucking-ville, Ohio, and the truth is those boys didn’t end up on trial for rape because they were such hardened criminals.  They ended up on trial for rape because they couldn’t control themselves.  Self-control means when the girl is drunk, you WALK AWAY, even when all your friends are going in the room to get a piece of that.  The young man who walks away doesn’t end up on trial for any goddamn thing, he gets to keep his reputation and play football and all that other good shit.  Teaching the girls that their modesty is to be protected, while giving the boys a free pass when they trample a girl’s modesty is bad…it has reprucussions that last long after graduation.  You do this and you are not creating empowered women who can handle themselves, you’re creating scared little girls in grown women’s bodies who expect someone, anyone, the school, their job, whoever there is, to protect and preserve their modesty.  And you’re creating grown men with the mentality of children (and a pack mentality at that) who believe they will get a free pass everytime they grab, grope, fondle a woman against her will, because they learned in school that that’s how it is.

Maybe we stop taking the easy way out…we stop with the ridiculous dress codes (because, as we all know, putting a collared shirt and a tie on a young man isn’t enough to make him behave like a gentleman), we stop spouting off about “protecting the modesty of female students” (because who died and left you in charge of their modesty in the first goddamn place), and we do what schools are intended to do…TEACH.

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