By Darlene Vanasco
The other day daughter got detention.
Daughter got detention because she was deemed “a distraction” as she walked through the front doors of her school.
It is Monday morning and daughter is getting ready for school.
“How do I look?” she asks.
I think: I wonder what the day’s outfit will bring. Probably something black.
I turn. “Nice.” I say to the black skirt and little sweater top and tights.
“I am not a big fan of the tights though.” I say.
This has absolutely no effect on the final outcome of THE OUTFIT.
But I say it anyway.
I do not like THE TIGHTS. I do not like the tights because they have a built in darker part that looks like you are wearing thigh high socks over them. Kind of like LINGERIE.
And off she goes to school.
An hour later and I get a text: I got detention and it is not fair!
I text: What did you get detention for?
She texts: Outfit. But my skirt is longer than fingertip length and my belly is not showing.
Hmmm. These are the school rules for dress code. Daughter has not violated any of these.
I text: Well, what did they say?
Daughter texts: Ms. "T" stood at the entrance and pulled five girls off the line and said we were a DISTRACTION and then gave us all detention.
Ok, that is crazy. Right? One cannot just arbitrarily pull random subjectively selected students off a line and hand out detention with no clear violation of the school dress code cited. Tights or no tights.
I text: Ok. We will talk later. I will email the school.
Really I am disgusted. It does not matter that I do not agree with all of daughter’s 17 year-old outfitting choices. This practice of randomly selecting girls and deeming them A DISTRACTION at school is sexist and just plain wrong. Ms. "T" actually LINED THEM UP against a wall in an apparent LINE OF SHAME as other students entered the building, staring at them.
Here, now, taking a big step in a very wrong direction as evidenced by many harmful practices of oppression of women throughout the world.
Do the boys get yanked off the line and given detention for being a distraction?
Really, in 2015 is it the girl’s responsibility through their outfitting to ensure people are paying attention in school?
I don’t think so reader.
No, I do not.
Darlene is a teacher-mother-designer-writer who is recently transplanted to Philadelphia from Brooklyn. Her writings on mothering and growing up female emerged as a sanity-saving device and productive alternative to crying on the kitchen floor. She can be found at email@example.com or you can read the antidotal stories of insanity, reality and progress on her blog: violet915.wordpress.com