Screw cocktails for a little while; I think this might be my new Friday meme.
To start this particular entry, here’s a photo of me from a few weeks ago, before I cut my hair. Just putting it up for those of you who don’t know me to get a basic concept of how I look before I start ranting, as it is actually pertinent to my coming rage monologue:
The room was a little messy, my hair is now shorter, and by coincidence, I’m wearing that exact same outfit today. I’m thinking I should go shopping.
But, that’s not here or there. What I’m here to get pissed about is sparked by this article on xoJane. You’ll probably see my face in the comments section.
I hate school dress codes. Really, I really, really, really hate them.
When I was in middle and high school, the general dress codes where this:
- No bandanas. (We had a very, very small gang issue in our school system. Very slight.)
- No clothing with alcohol/tobacco/drug logos.
- A BILLION RULES RESTRICTING WHAT GIRLS CAN WEAR TO SCHOOL BECAUSE BOYS ARE HORMONAL AND WE SHOULD ALWAYS BLAME GIRLS FOR HAVING SECONDARY SEX CHARACTERISTICS.
I got yelled at for wearing shorts that were “too short,” skirts that were “too short,” tank tops, anything that showed my arms, shoulders, or legs; high heels, shirts that were too short. I never got sent home, but it was threatened on me once when I was in middle school when my homeroom teacher decided that my shorts (with the required 3″ inseam) looked too short on me.
Listen: I’m a leggy woman. Just am. At the time, I was about 5’8″ and 13. First off, boys did not notice me until I was IN COLLEGE, so no, Mrs. Peale, I was not distracting 12 year old boys with my legs. I’m sure when I was 13, I spent long hours of my day coming up with LISTS of things I could do to attract the attention of boys. Didn’t happen.
Secondly: do not body-shame anyone. Not boys, not girls, and especially not 13 year old girls.
Thirdly: It is not *my fault* that this culture cannot teach boys (starting at, say, 13) that girls aren’t meant to be leered at. Or that school is VASTLY more important than whatever body part of mine is sticking out from the article of clothing I purchased at Kohl’s.
It’s not biology that makes boys (and, let’s face it, men of all ages) think that the best way to spend time is ogling women and their bodies. That’s fucking SOCIETY and apparently that training starts in middle school.
By the time I got to high school, my personal dress code motto was IDGAF.
A few times a month, I’d put on my wildest outfit to go to school (and get an approving head-nod from my AWESOME MOM who is the AWESOME-EST): A button down shirt, a pleated mini-skirt, fishnet stockings, and 4″ platform shoes. I was 6’2″ of mall punk/Connecticut prepster.
(I asked my mom a few weeks ago what she thought of all my weird (and conventionally inappropriate) outfits back then. Her general answer was, “You were playing dress-up.” ACCURATE. And I urge any of you with teen-aged daughters to take on this mentality.)
Did I catch gross male teachers staring at me? You bet. Did I catch high school boys staring at me? Less often, because I was generally considered a freak of nature, but sure. Was it my fault or problem or concern that they were fucking inappropriate? Hell to the no.
I get school dress codes that say, No gang colors, nothing that’s advertising for booze or cigarettes. But beyond that? No. Teach your boys to be respectful and teach all your children to express themselves, unabashedly, through dress and other forms of harmless self-representation.
Do we really have to boil it down, school administrators? Short skirts and tank tops and short shorts don’t cause boys to assault girls. Your attitude toward MY body does.