Normally, girls are expected to nod along to sexist dress codes and edicts, but such is not the case with Marion Mayer, a high school junior in Florida. When her principal, a Mr. Martinez of Lakeland Senior High School, admonished “Modest is hottest. Boys will be boys,” she saw flawed lines of thinking and exposed them for the global public, engaging us in a much needed conversation via The Huffington Post about rape culture and slut-shaming.
Instructing girls to dress modestly can be complex; as Mayer explains, developing women’s bodies should not be made to feel wrong— and not “hot,” for that matter— depending on what they wear. Mayer aptly points out the consequences of an authority figure’s choice to express these sentiments; adolescence is a time of self-actualization, and it is ideally a safe place where people of all genders can find ways to express their desires as they enter into adulthood. The teenager writes, “My body is not a sinful temptation that needs to be hidden..”
The phrase “boys will be boys,” she recognizes, is damaging to people of all genders. The assumption that boys are more sexually “aggressive” and girls are more “reserved” and must be protected creates an environment in which harassment and assault are expected, excused or blamed on the victim. This frightening way of thinking presumes that violence against women is a fact of life, and it is ultimately what prevents social change and gender equality.
As Mayer so beautifully puts it, “Sex needs to stop being about ‘no no no bad dirty gross shameful’ and start being about “Yes. Let’s have consenting sex because I want to.’ Consent. THAT’s what you should be teaching.” Sadly, the girl was dismissed and her concerns disregarded after she made complaints to the principal. Read her full post here.
Writer's Note: The original version of this post erroneously listed Tala Saif as the author of The Huffington Post piece. The feminist powerhouse behind the brilliant work is in fact Marion Mayer.
Thanks to Huffington Post
Images via Cause.We.Cool