I’ve got beef, and it’s with school dress codes. Mostly with the notion that the amount of shoulder a girl is showing is going to be so distracting to boys that they won’t be able to focus on learning. Hello -- if you, high school boys, get so hot and bothered looking at a girl’s shoulder that you can’t focus on trigonometry, then we all have far bigger problems than inherited standards of "risqué dress."
It’s obvious that I’m slightly biased, but this story about Clare being kicked out of prom for wearing a dress that followed all the rules of her school’s dress code is bonkers, no matter which way you look at it.
That’s right, a home schooled student named Clare attended a homeschool prom in Richmond, Virginia with her boyfriend, wearing a dress that adhered to the dress code -- and the chaperones at the prom promptly shamed her into leaving early.
Clare saved up for a beautiful silver sparkly dress that came up to her mid thigh and past her fingertips when she had her arms down at her sides, which was the only specification of her prom’s dress code. Looking beautiful in a red lip and with friends by her side, Clare was stopped at the door and was reluctantly let in to prom after showing that the dress passed the dress code regulations.
Clare and her friends enjoyed about 15 minutes of dancing until she was pulled aside by a chaperone who claimed that “some of the dads who were chaperoning had complained that my dancing was too provocative, and I was going to cause the young men at prom to think impure thoughts.” Um, ew. No dads should be thinking impure thoughts about a 17-year-old girl at prom. Gag.
Clare’s friends and date rushed to her side and the chaperones immediately became rude, claiming that the whole group would be kicked out of prom. They promised the whole group refunds for their prom tickets but later retracted that statement and only promised one to Clare.
"Enough with the slut shaming," Clare wrote in her blog post. "I'm not responsible for some perverted 45-year-old dad lusting after me because I have a sparkly dress on and a big ass for a teenager. And if you think I am, then maybe you're part of the problem."
Clare recalled her entire prom experience on her sister’s blog, hoping to garner some attention and raise awareness of slut shaming in the high school setting. Girl’s got guts.
Stories of the absurdity of high school dress codes have been cropping up more and more in the news lately, raising awareness for just how dumb and sexist they really are. If what a girl is wearing is so sexually distracting to boys at schools and school functions, we need to address the boys -- not the girl’s apparel. Teaching girls that they should tailor what they wear to appease men’s sexual appetite is a product of rape culture, and girls like Clare are not taking it sitting down.
Images Courtesy of Wine and Marble and Tumblr
Mary Rockcastle is a florist, illustrator, and craftswoman living in Rochester, New York. She’s the sole founder of Little Lamb Studios, and #1 biggest fan of all dogs.