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Enforcing School Dress Codes Teaches Girls to be Ashamed, Not 'Modest'

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  • Everyday school dress codes disproportionately target, shame, and punish girls – especially girls who are more developed than their peers.
  • Teen Girl Kicked Out Of Prom So Her Dress Wouldn’t Lead Boys To ‘Think Impure Thoughts’

Jessica Valenti, Guardian (UK) / AlterNet

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shutterstock_114300748.jpg Photo Credit: Aleshyn Andrei 

May 21, 2014  | Now that the warm weather is here, everyone is happily boxing away sweaters and breaking out their summer clothes. But as students across the country are bringing out their t-shirts and dresses, school administrators are ramping up their efforts to quash cleavage and "risqué" outfits.

According to educators and even some parents, young women's outfits – their bodies, really – are too distracting for men to be expected to comport themselves with dignity and respect. It's the season of the dress code - so instead of teaching girls math or literature, schools are enforcing arbitrary and sexist rules that teach them to be ashamed of their bodies.

Jessica Valenti is a daily columnist for the Guardian US. She is the author of four books on feminism, politics and culture, and founder of Feministing.com.

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Related:

Teen Girl Kicked Out Of Prom So Her Dress Wouldn’t Lead Boys To ‘Think Impure Thoughts’ Tara Culp-Ressler, Think Progress

  • Ultimately, telling girls that it’s their responsibility to prevent themselves from being ogled, rather than teaching boys to have the self-control to refrain from objectifying their classmates,  unfairly punishes women for their sexuality, and it’s exactly the type of framing that contributes to rape culture.
  • The Most Outrageous Ways Schools Are Trying To Enforce Gender Stereotypes

 

 

Teen Girl Kicked Out Of Prom So Her Dress Wouldn’t Lead Boys To ‘Think Impure Thoughts’

Sex%20%26%20Relationships%20Banner.jpg

  • Ultimately, telling girls that it’s their responsibility to prevent themselves from being ogled, rather than teaching boys to have the self-control to refrain from objectifying their classmates,  unfairly punishes women for their sexuality, and it’s exactly the type of framing that contributes to rape culture.
  • The Most Outrageous Ways Schools Are Trying To Enforce Gender Stereotypes

Tara Culp-Ressler, Think Progress

clare-e1400003181333-638x711.jpgClare’s prom dress Credit: Wine & Marble (Clare's Sister's Blog) 

May 13, 2014 | A 17-year-old high schooler from Virginia says she was kicked out of her prom because the parental chaperones were worried she was inspiring “impure thoughts” among the boys in attendance. Even though her dress adhered to the “fingertip length” dress code requirement, she was asked to leave.

Clare recounts her experience in a guest post on her sister’s blog. After Clare and her boyfriend bought tickets to the Richmond Homeschool Prom, she bought a new dress that she made sure was long enough according to the event’s “fingertip length” rule. But Clare is 5’9″, and even though the hem of her dress was within the guidelines, she says her long legs led some chaperones to assume she was breaking the dress code.

Tara Culp-Ressler is the Health Editor for Think Progress . Tara holds a B.A. in Communications from American University, where she wrote for the student newspaper and advocated for women's issues on campus.

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Related:

 

The Most Outrageous Ways Schools Are Trying To Enforce Gender Stereotypes

Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress

Pressuring kids to conform to traditional gender roles can have serious consequences. And reinforcing traditional gendered behavior can also teach kids to equate their gender with stereotypes that aren’t always healthy. 

 

The Overprotected Kid

  • A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.
  • The Most Outrageous Ways Schools Are Trying To Enforce Gender Stereotypes

Hanna Rosin, Atlantic

4eae27f5b.jpg The author’s 5-year-old son, Gideon, playing at the Land playground in North Wales. (Hanna Rosin)

March 19, 2014 | trio of boys tramps along the length of a wooden fence, back and forth, shouting like carnival barkers. “The Land! It opens in half an hour.” Down a path and across a grassy square, 5-year-old Dylan can hear them through the window of his nana’s front room. He tries to figure out what half an hour is and whether he can wait that long. When the heavy gate finally swings open, Dylan, the boys, and about a dozen other children race directly to their favorite spots, although it’s hard to see how they navigate so expertly amid the chaos. “Is this a junkyard?” asks my 5-year-old son, Gideon, who has come with me to visit. “Not exactly,” I tell him, although it’s inspired by one. The Land is a playground that takes up nearly an acre at the far end of a quiet housing development in North Wales. It’s only two years old but has no marks of newness and could just as well have been here for decades. The ground is muddy in spots and, at one end, slopes down steeply to a creek where a big, faded plastic boat that most people would have thrown away is wedged into the bank. The center of the playground is dominated by a high pile of tires that is growing ever smaller as a redheaded girl and her friend roll them down the hill and into the creek. “Why are you rolling tires into the water?” my son asks. “Because we are,” the girl replies.

It’s still morning, but someone has already started a fire in the tin drum in the corner, perhaps because it’s late fall and wet-cold, or more likely because the kids here love to start fires. Three boys lounge in the only unbroken chairs around it; they are the oldest ones here, so no one complains. One of them turns on the radio—Shaggy is playing (Honey came in and she caught me red-handed, creeping with the girl next door)—as the others feel in their pockets to make sure the candy bars and soda cans are still there. Nearby, a couple of boys are doing mad flips on a stack of filthy mattresses, which makes a fine trampoline. At the other end of the playground, a dozen or so of the younger kids dart in and out of large structures made up of wooden pallets stacked on top of one another. Occasionally a group knocks down a few pallets—just for the fun of it, or to build some new kind of slide or fort or unnamed structure. Come tomorrow and the Land might have a whole new topography.

Hanna Rosin, an Atlantic national correspondent, is the author of the book The End of Men based on her story in the July/August 2010 Atlantic.

Full story … 

 

Related:

The Most Outrageous Ways Schools Are Trying To Enforce Gender Stereotypes, Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress

Pressuring kids to conform to traditional gender roles can have serious consequences. And reinforcing traditional gendered behavior can also teach kids to equate their gender with stereotypes that aren’t always healthy. 

The Dumbing Down of America's Schools

One thing has been glaringly clear for a generation now, whatever the cause, America's children are trailing the world.  

Scott Baker, opednews.com

 

 

The Education Olympics (image by Huffington Post)

 

4/8/2014 | I admit, to being a bit "dumb about the subject of education" right off the bat.  My usual "playground" is writing articles on economics, science, and politics...well, when I went to school those were considered fair areas for study too.

 

But I've been reading the works of Susan Lee Schwartz on OpednewsAnd just as importantly, here in NYC, we are Ground Zero for "educational reform" as it's called by its supporters, and a sort of educational hollowing out, as its growing and vociferous group of critics contend. 

One thing has been glaringly clear for a generation now, whatever the cause,
America's children are trailing the world


Scott Baker is a Senior Editor/Economics Editor and Writer at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post

 

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