Picking Soft Targets Again, Jessica?

Jessica Valenti in CiF on burkhas…wait, sorry, my mistake, school uniform:

In the last few weeks, almost 200 students – almost all of them female – at Tottenville High School in Staten Island, New York have been given detention over dress code violations.


But what makes an outfit inappropriate? A peek of shoulder? An inch of midriff? Or maybe it’s just being young and female that school administrators find offensive.

I live and work in Essex, love, and believe you me, a ‘peek of shoulder’ or ‘inch of midriff’ would be regarded as shockingly Victorian.

In a statement, Tottenville High School Superintendent Aimee Horowitz said in schools that don’t have uniform requirements “students have the right to determine their own dress except where such dress creates a distraction, is dangerous or interferes with the learning and teaching process.”

Who could possibly argue with that?

The idea of female bodies as “distracting” isn’t a new idea in the dress code debate.

Oh, indeed. Often, it’s just their hair

Let’s be honest: rules for boys that prohibit certain kinds of jewelry or hoodies have nothing to do with their sexuality, whereas rules that seek to literally cover women’s bodies absolutely do.

Right on, Jessica! And as soon as you’ve sorted out the awful patriarchy insisting on not showing bum cleavage above the skirt, I’m sure you’ll turn your attention to other matters…

The rules are so disproportionate, they could be a violation of Title IX, the federal law that ensures non-discrimination in educational environments.

Once again, we are reminded that US law is dafter than our own (even if only by a little).

While school administrators figure out how a rule that pulls predominantly girls out of class isn’t sexist, young women are fighting back. Students in Tottenville continue to come to school dressed to break the discriminatory code, and not too far away in New Jersey, a group of young middle school activists are organizing using the hashtag #IAmMoreThanADistraction.

If those young women keep it up, before too long, it will be their principal singled out as the real distraction.

You go, girl! Fight those important (safe!) First World battles…

7 comments for “Picking Soft Targets Again, Jessica?

  1. Lord T
    September 24, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Nice to see the kids getting involved with the nanny state rules. I’ve always given mine some words to use when they have had issues. Plus I back them up when I can. The teachers were wary of me when I turned up and they had complaints.

  2. Errol
    September 24, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    The purpose of ‘school uniform’ is ‘uniformity’. The clue is in the name. If the Left disagree with this – and her argument is so wooly and poorly constructed I don’t really know what she’s whinging about -the simple truth is that pupils in a school wear what the school tells them to.

    They don’t harp on about ‘rights’ because they have none: their first duty is a responsibility to their peers and teachers who, by ignoring the dress code they insult.

    • Charlie
      September 27, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Children do have rights , in that, they too have a Right to Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Thought, Freedom of assembly etc


      By ignoring these Rights people exploit the children

      • October 5, 2014 at 6:31 am

        Wearing a uniform is not really what I think of when I hear ‘exploitation’.

        Thanks to Rotherham!

  3. ivan
    September 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    When I first read the title I thought you were going to comment about the mail article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2766796/Muslim-teenager-barred-lessons-school-turning-new-school-term-wearing-face-veil.html and had a comment prepared about the girl having a rather unfair advantage when taking exams (that comment was censored by the mail).

    I suppose this storm in a tea cup started with some girl being upset at home and wanting to rebel against the system, any system, and the school said no. Now the other kids have joined is as it appears to be a way of deflecting scrutiny of their grades, ‘I got banned, how do you expect my grades to be better?’. Maybe the headline should be ‘failing students disrupt class and school’.

    • October 5, 2014 at 6:32 am

      I have covered that one elsewhere, if you’ll forgive the pun!

  4. Sackerson
    September 24, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Don’t say no to children, it’s the law.

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