17-year-old Clare, a high schooler in Richmond, Virginia whose last name and alma mater has thus far remained shielded, was booted from her school prom for wearing a dress that allegedly caused "impure thoughts" among some dads in attendance. This despite the outfit adhering to the school's dress code. Clare, who says her body is more womanly than most at her age, writes the following in a blog post dubbed "F*** the Patriarchy":
I showed up at prom with my boyfriend, and I was wearing the really cute silver dress that was fingertip length on me, and on my way in Mrs. D (one of the two ladies organizing the prom this year) stopped me and said, 'honey, that dress is too short.' I tried to help her understand by saying, 'I just have long legs, everything looks short on me.'
When Mrs. D again approached me [again], she...told me that some of the dads who were chaperoning had complained that my dancing was too provocative.
Clare was then told to leave the dance. She concludes with this:
Enough with the slut shaming. Please. Goddamn, 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.
Below: Clare's date was told "I will not debate with you about this" by a school official when he attempted to defend her dress.
The response in the progressive blogosphere has been fierce. And fiercely supportive of Clare. Tara Culp-Ressler at ThinkProgress writes:
Clare's story is just the latest installment in a long line of examples of schools telling girls to cover up so they don't distract their male peers. That attitude teaches 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.
Callie Beusman at Jezebel - where you knew this story would land, and roughly - adds this massive missive:
This whole thing is infuriating, particularly because it so well encapsulates the absurdity inherent in how our culture conceptualizes propriety. In this situation, a bunch of fully-grown men were gawking at a teenager's body, and she's the one accused of being 'inappropriate'? Seriously?
Beusman reports on one bright spot in the whole affair: the Facebook page for the prom was deleted after a flood of criticism targeting its organizers became overwhelming.
"Turns out that being a big, sexist hypocrite is never a good look," Beusman opines.Via Wine & Marble, ThinkProgress, and Jezebel.