Jun. 3rd, 2014

norcumi: (Snarl)
TW: rape, misogyny, assault.

My aunt drives me up a frikkin' wall. I need to stop reading facebook; it's pretty much there for the birthday alerts and that's it, but my aunt, man. She's the one who doesn't check Snopes, and starts freaking out about this latest craze, or that particular impossible thing, quick, send this on to five people or bad luck will befall you for YEAAAAAARS.

And granola. Health food stuff. Ok, you want to live healthy, by a specific definition of healthy (which may or may not apply to others), and spread gifs of inspirational sayings and how this guru can lead you to peace and prosperity and she's an ally for any cause that crosses her feed.

Today broke me. I've been getting more involved in feminist areas lately (no links; I'm too emotionally worn down to share, sorry), and the sheer expenditure of Care is exhausting. But today, my aunt posted a like of a link: Ridiculous: Teen Girl Claims She Was “Shamed” by School After Being Sent Home for Violating Dress Code, by the Forward freakin' Progressives (note to self: not living up to their name). The sheer amount of internalized misogyny and slut shaming just... broke me, and so I share with you the rant that might, hopefully, at least get some interesting reactions on my FB wall. Or better yet, get some twerps to unfriend me, which could be interesting fallout. Lifted verbatim:

So this passed through my feed and sent me into a frothy rage, since I've been like that lately on feminist issues. I of course can't find who it was who linked it in the first place, so I don't know if they were for this, or thought it was a load of manure.

Because it is. Hey, guess what, you get a rant today!

This author is absolutely out of line, and all the interesting bits of information are missing from the article. To save you time (feel free to check me, I'm not offended), there's a 15 year old who wore shorts to school that didn't pass the dress code - it's not said precisely HOW, though the author goes on about length requirements like "standing up and are your shorts longer than where your fingertips are", which seems to be a fairly common practice. The girl was told to change, she refused, and apparently this author thinks that her protesting this is whining and being out of line.

Bull. Shit. This article skips SO MANY interesting points I want to throw things, and my blood pressure can't handle researching this. First off! There's absolutely no comment about if this practice about length is actually in the school code, or if it's casual rule of thumb people use. If it's in the school's dress code, I'm displeased but can accept it with caveats. But the accusation that " So what if they made her stand up in class to see if her shorts were long enough, then informed her that she needed to change? Oh the horrors she must have experienced!" - YES! Guess what, you're talking about a FIFTEEN year old girl told to stand up in class, demonstrate to everyone that the teacher thinks that the presence of her bare legs are going to incite all the local boys in eyeball range into an unmitigated lust and leave them unable to learn anything, because ZOMG, NEKKID SKIIIIIN! This. Is. Slut Shaming. This is rape culture. This is saying she deserves whatever she gets because she was dressed (oh my, or NOT!!!) in a certain way, so for the good of the fellas in the classroom she needs to go and get proper, as our Victorian predecessors so deemed Reasonable.

Funny. I like to think guys are reasonable people, who have at least half a brain and can control themselves and learn in an environment where someone is trying to survive the heat like, oh, everyone else there. And innit funny how no one ever talks about how the lesbians in the room might feel about all dem legs shown off? They obviously won't be able to study either because of being overwhelmed by lust. But wait, no, it's going to be the implication to the outright statement in the article that "have we reached a level with the “PC police” where it’s wrong for males to even be sexually attracted to females anymore" - YES. YES YES YES YES IT IS when that becomes an excuse to tell anyone female that they need to be ASHAMED OF THEIR BODIES BECAUSE OF WHAT IT WILL LEAD OTHERS TO DO. HI THIS IS STILL RAPE CULTURE.

The article leaves out any comment about if others were told to do the finger-length check, because this is an occasionally subtle bit of misogyny. How many others had to go through this process? Were there any guys who had to check their shorts length? Or was it only the chicks? See, the ladies aren't going to get all flustered over a fella showing some leg, but the men are, so we need to be going around and looking at fifteen year old girls' legs, to figure this out in the first place.

Why? Why did the teacher make this call in the first place? Are you saying the teacher was too distracted by the fifteen year old showing off too much leg? After all, as the author of this piece of filth declares, "short shorts on women are actually derived from styles women wear to show off skin – often to attract men" -- because the ONLY reason someone would wear something so scaaaaaandalous is because she wants dudes to check her out, not, ya know, because it's warm out. Or comfortable. Or because she likes it. It's alllll about the men. No. No, and no, and no. The male gaze is not the only thing there is. There is the fact that, for whatever reason, this girl wanted to wear a particular style of clothes that does not violate local nudity laws, it is TOTALLY ambiguous if it violates local school dress code, and it's absolutely unclear how balanced those dress codes are. Stop and think for a moment. How many dress codes are for guys, and how many for the ladies? Slouchy pants showing off your underwear - both genders, but who's going to get called on it, sent to the office or home to change? Offensive slogans/shirt designs - both genders, but funny how often I recall seeing hate speech against women on shirts back in the day. Length of pants and skirts - chicks. Transparency of clothes - chicks.

Honestly, I'm not sure I recall any other codes other than stuff involving jewelry in gym class; if there's something else it's too long ago for me.

The article continues to be offensive, by pointing out that "she’s trying to turn it into a “boys are the problem” argument", which no, she's not. She's even quoted in the article as saying "I was in violation for showing my legs. And that, point blank, is a problem for me" - not because of the boys, but because of the sexism in the system. How many fellas were told to stand up and do the same? How often would that happen?

Guess what? Article doesn't even go there, it just keeps calling this girl immature. Let's lift a whole paragraph and dismantle the sexism in it!

"Instead, what this girl tried to do was make this about “fixing boys’ behavior” (of seeing women as sexual objects) instead of what it is really about and that is schools having an established dress code to maintain a slightly more “professional” level of attire to be worn by students. Not only that, adhering to some kind of dress code teaches a small lesson that in the real world, you’re not allowed to wear whatever you want when you go to work."

Noooo, you don't get to decide what to wear to work, but let's look at the implications. If a man doesn't dress according to a work code, he's what, sloppy? Insolent? Doesn't care enough about his work to put in the effort? His pants are too short, he needs to go to a tailor. He's not wearing the right colors, or shorts instead of pants, he's unprofessional - and yet how many guys can skirt that line anyways, where a woman can't?

This woman's skirt is too short. She's slutty. Her shirt is too low. She's too casual (like a hooker). She's not sloppy, she's indifferent and not trying. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a double standard. Slut shaming yet again. The reason(s) WHY the dress code exists, and the implications of violations of them, are the key issue, not if a "teen" - which is always used as a pejorative in this article, yet another problem since while everyone knooooows that no one has ever had a reasonable opinion before turning 20 - decided to WHINE.

Women are not the problem. Men are not the problem. WHINING is not the problem.

The problem is a system of oppression, that says a woman who doesn't neatly fit within outdated lines of behavior or dress is responsible for the behavior of men who can take their behavior as a signal to misbehave, to treat women as chattel and targets of opportunity for crimes and hatred that by any other perpetrators, and to any other victims, would be hate crimes of monumental proportions. It happens all the time, everywhere. We all endorse it, one way or another at various times, by staying silent, by not speaking up, by saying she dressed like a slut so she got what was coming to her, or I'm not a girly girl as if that's some kind of crime. We do it by saying boys will be boys, and allowing them to get away with targeting women for whatever the hell today's atrocity is, of whatever size, great or small. We do it by thinking when a woman says no, or she's not interested, she's playing coy, and all you need to do to make your case is persist, and put in enough kindness tokens that sex comes out.

We do it by internalizing that women have radically different standards of expectations upon them, and that clothes and lack thereof can drive otherwise reasonable fellas to unthinkable acts - except it's so damn common, it's hardly unthinkable.

It's what we expect.

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