Thursday, June 11, 2015

Jenée Desmond-Harris on Young Feminists Obliterating "Sexist Silliness of School Dress Codes That Seem to Focus on Hiding Girls' Bodies So That They Aren't a 'Distraction' to Their Male Classmates"

At Vox, Jenée Desmond-Harris points to one of the ways that cultural conversations are being shifted as people long excluded from the public conversations that define a culture's identity employ tools of social media to crash these conversations: as she notes, Chloe Cross and other young women are changing public conversations that persistently reproach women and girls for dressing in a "distracting" way that elicits male lust, while they totally ignore male responsibility to grow up, gain some self-control, and stop turning women into objects and playthings.

Chloe Cross recently used her high school yearbook quote to highlight the "sexist silliness of school dress codes that seem to focus on hiding girls' bodies so that they aren't a 'distraction' to their male classmates." The photo at the head of the posting, from Cross's high school yearbook by way of her Instagram account, has gone viral and has spurred other young women to post similar statements at Twitter hashtags #standinsolidarity and #croptopday. Julie Zeilinger at Mic has gathered some of these statements in an article commenting on the influence of Cross's yearbook picture.

As Desmond-Harris notes, in March, Laci Green posted the following video to YouTube skewering the double standards of high school dress codes, with their implicit assumption that young women's exposed shoulders or thighs have the power completely to destroy a young man's education:

If I can ever get around to formulating my thoughts about our recent discussion re: whether abuse of women and children is embedded in some forms of religion (I call them rigid and patriarchal forms), I'll comment on these issues and the glaring double standard of cultures that hold women responsible for dressing "provocatively," while doing absolutely nothing to challenge male assumptions about the right of men to control, use, and even assault women.

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