When an issue like this arises, it reminds us how clueless adminstrators at government-run schools, who are most often liberals/progressives, can be in making policies on issues like this. What starts as an attempt to ask students at school to dress in a less “sexually provocative” manner descends to a foolish debate over matters like the difference between “leggings” and “yoga pants” and it also bring the looney left feminist liberals with their latest theories as well.
The Evanston Review is reporting today that students at Haven Middle School are protesting the school's dress code that bans the wearing of “leggings,” “yoga pants,” and other types of clothing deemed to be too revealing or “sexually provocative” or otherwising causing distractions for the boys, or to the educational process in general. Student protesting the policies are holding up signs with the slogan, “Are my pants lowering your test scores?”
The Evanston Review also reports a meeting held by the school district over this issue, in which one parent showed them what her daughter was wearing when she was “dressed coded.” Here is what was reported:
One Haven Middle School mom brought a pair of yoga pants and Ugg boots to illustrate her point at a recent meeting on the school’s dress code, which has come under fire from parents and students who say its restrictions on leggings go too far.
She said that just that day, a teacher had asked her sixth-grade daughter to pull her pants out of her boots and over the top so the teacher could tell they weren’t leggings.
“What’s the gosh darn difference, please?” asked Elizabeth Smiley, holding up the leggings and boots. “The style is to tuck your pants into your boots.”
What probably started as a seeminly simple concept, has descended into this meaningless debate over how to define in policy, and how to tell the difference depending on how they are being worn, what the difference is between “leggings” and “yoga pants.” A former Supreme Court Justice, Potter Stewart, once said the way to define pornography was, he knew it when he saw it. Perhaps that's a novel solution to this problem as well. School administrators will know when they see them, what the difference is.
Boston.com, the web site of The Boston Globe, is reporting that Columbia College Women’s Studies professor Juliet Bond, who is also a parent, wrote a letter to the administrators at Haven Middle School about the “leggings” policy. Bond wrote, “Under no circumstances should girls be told that their clothing is responsible for [boys’] bad behaviors. This kind of message lands itself squarely on a continuum that blames girls and women for assault by men. It also sends the message to boys that their behaviours are excusable, or understandable given what the girls are wearing. And if the sight of a girl’s leg is too much for boys at Haven to handle, then your school has a much bigger problem to deal with.”
Bond further wrote in the letter to Haven Middle School administrators, “We really hope that you will consider the impact of these policies and how they contribute to rape culture.”
So the policy of schools that ban these particular styles of dress, if they do so on the claim that boys are being distracted by it, are contributing to “rape culture” whatever that is. “Rape culture” must be a term in extremist feminist theory. Who knew that rape had any culture, until a radical feminist says so.
The problem with the feminist theory is, quite simply, it's wrong. Girls aren't wearing “leggings” going to school to distract, or even appeal to, the boy students. Consider, at evidence, this line from the song “Wild Night” by Van Morrison, in which he sings, “All the girls walk by, Dressed up for each other. And the boys do the boogie-woogie, On the corner of the street.”
While the boys no doubt will like how they dress, the girls don't do it for them, they do it the other fellow members of their gender. If they are, as the song says, dressed up for each other, then clearly they are not doing this to distract the boys or eve to attract their attention. If those thing happen, and maybe they do, they are merely unintended consequences. And more ironic, is the notion that feminists now take seriously the notion that men can blame their behavior on how women dress, an idea previousy universally rejected (and rightly so) by feminists, is now advanced by them to help advance their agenda. Regardless of how they dress, women are not to be blamed for the bad behavor of some men, regardless of what is claimed, even if making such a claim supports an extremist feminist agenda.
The other issue with the claim is using the term “rape culture.” Rape is a crime that doesn't have any culture. Men who whistle at women and say they did it because of how they're dressed don't have culture. In the very few extremes where such men might actually commit the crime of rape against such women, it's neither about sex nor is it related to culture. It's entirely an absense of culture. But an extremist feminist wouldn't know the difference, because they don't have any culture either.
Remember the extremist feminist University of Michigan Law School Proffessor, Katherine McKinnon, who argued that “all sex is rape?” One has to wonder where she would weigh in on this “leggings/rape culture” controversy. If I had to guess, I would say McKinnon might say that the wearing of “leggings” is an act of rape perpetrated on women by the men who control the fashion industries and desire to see women dressed that way. McKinnon would likely say the same women who are brainwashed to think wearing “leggings” is expression of their choice as women are really being used by men who control the “rape culture.” Perhaps she would have a point, it was liberal Democrat men who invented the bogus “war on women” meme the left has since used as a demogogic sledge hammer to maul Republican candidates with.
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