Sixth grader Molly Neuner broke her school’s dress code on purpose to take a stand against sexism
On a Friday not long ago, sixth grader Molly Neuner went to a community meeting.
At that community meeting at King Middle School in Portland, Maine, half of her grade, both boys and girls, gathered to talk about the dress code.
That’s when Molly realized something: There were wildly different rules for the girls and the boys, with far more attention paid to what the girls were wearing than the boys.
“It made me feel uncomfortable, because I don’t want boys looking at me in weird ways and it was awkward. It made me feel sad, because I knew friends in that room who were lesbian or gay who were left out, and I saw another girl look down and looked upset because they said that.“
The following Monday, Molly experienced firsthand what it felt like to get called out at school because of her clothing, with a teacher telling her and a friend to stand up in front of the class and measure her shirt strap.
If she wore that shirt again, she was told, she’d get detention. When she came home and told her mother, Christina Neuner, this, that’s when the wheels started turning.
“I thought, ‘Oh hell no, this is not happening,’” Neuner said in an interview. “The next day, we started looking online at ‘girls and dress codes’ and saw it was a problem at other schools, and we found the #IAmNotADistraction campaign.”
So last Wednesday, Molly wore a tank top that she loved with lace at the top, but also one she knew would be breaking the dress code.
She paired it with the words #IAmNotADistraction written on her arm. Read more (4/17/17)
School dress codes aren’t only sexists, but there’s also racist and islamophobic.
I (First Nations, Mohawk) used to have hair past my chest but my middle school forced me to cut my hair because “boys couldn’t have hair past the tips of the ear” (I’m not a boy either, but they assigned me ‘boy’ as a gender) but even when I begged them to let me keep my hair because of spiritual beliefs, they forced me to cut it. A classic move of the white school system against native children. I got a referral everyday for the 65 days I refused to cut my hair. I cried for two weeks after the principal took scissors to my hair. I’m still growing it back.
My best friend (who is an aboriginal Egyptian) was once told to remove her hijab (also a gift I had given her) because “hats weren’t allowed” (a mixture of racism and islamophobia), she reluctantly took it off.
In middle school again, my friend Nemo ( First Nations, Navajo) was told she couldn’t wear her traditional clothing on her 13 birthday, celebrating her reaching puberty. She was sent home and forced to spend her birthday alone while her parents worked.
Tomorrow is my 18th birthday, an important life event in Mohawk culture (becoming an adult) and I want to wear my traditional clothes to school, especially because I’ll have to celebrate all alone this year since I live far away from my nation. Even though my school doesn’t have uniforms or a strict dress code, I’m afraid they’ll tell me that my clothes or very light face paint are “distracting” and tell me to take off my traditional jewellery (headband, choker, bracelets) or wash off the face paint.
I’m sure these are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to racism in the school dress code, and general school systems. White culture is enforced in everything from the dress code to the curriculum.
Another day, another story about a girl getting dress-coded at school for an outfit that looks, well, not worthy of getting dress-coded for. This time, it’s 17-year-old Sophia Abuabara, who attends Tom C. Clark High School in San Antonio, Texas.
She was wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt dress. Abuabara’s mother, Rosey Abuabara, took to Facebook and Instagram to write about the situation, first posting a picture of her daughter’s outfit, a black and white striped T-shirt dress that extends farther than her fingertips, withthe caption: “What is more important here?
My daughter’s skirt length, or her PHYSICS AP TEST SCORE? She also had an [Advanced Placement U.S. history] test, and a LATIN 3 test, back to back. Don’t understand how this is a dress code violation. She’s 5'9”. It’s hard to find anything that fits longer.“ Read more.(4/11/2017 11:01 AM)
We are not allowed to wear anything that could be perceived as offensive.
I am no longer permitted to wear anything containing an inverted cross, (but anything with a regular cross is fine because it is “religiously appropriate”) because that could be offensive.
I’m not allowed to wear a bunch of mcr tees because they portray death.
I’m not allowed to wear ripped jeans because they’re not, “ladylike attire.”
I’m not allowed to have tee shirts that say things like, “Your Presence Is Unappreciated.”
I’m not allowed to wear shorts that are shorter than just above the knee.
I’m not allowed to wear tank tops.
I’m not allowed to have visible bra straps.
So basically, I and many other girls going to my school, (a public one,) will now have to spend a large amount of time and effort, not to mention money, purchasing new, “school appropriate” clothing in order to now fit society’s image of “a proper girl.”
Did I mention, that the only thing the boys aren’t allowed to do is wear hats?
Well, I’m off to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on an entirely new wardrobe. Wish me luck.
Students at the selective U.K. Simon Langton Girl’s Grammar School are pushing back against an “oppressive and demeaning” dress code that bans sleeveless shirts, according to the Telegraph.
In a petition, sixth form students — who would be roughly 16 to 18 years old — are asking that they be allowed to wear tops that show shoulder. Maddi Lane, the student who started the petition, explained that they aren’t “trying to ‘flaunt’ anything,” according to the Telegraph, but “just want to feel comfortable in a school environment."
Britain, it bears noting, is in the middle of a heat wave. Read more. (5/28/2017 4:00 PM)
Imagine how many story plots would be severely altered if men were as easily distracted from their tasks by women’s knees, shoulders, elbows, existence in general, as they seem to be according to the American education system and its dress codes. “I have to throw this ring into the fires of Mordor because the fate of Middle Earth depends on—oh shIT AN ELF ANKLE I CAN’T GO ON CARRY ME SAMWISE”
okay but i am so done with the american education system
yesterday these fliers were put up in my school
today at least 20 girls that i saw (i heard over 50 from other people) got dress coded today
and apparently the girl who put up these got detention for it.
i saw girls crying because of getting pulled into the office after getting dress coded. so many girls had to change. so many girls. as this flier says, stop over-sexualizing girls’ body parts- like, oh my god SHOULDERS- BOYS- DISTRACTED- OH NO LEGS !11!!!!-
boys’ education seems to be more important than girls’ education. and i am absolutely FED UP with it. it’s going to be summer. do you know how hard it is to find ‘bermuda-length’ shorts for girls??? because that’s what the code is for my school at least.
something needs to change- lots of things have to change.
welcome to america and my school where you can take away a girl’s privilege to education because you can see their shoulders or their shorts are too short
tl;dr: the american education system is stupid and so is the dress code