Prom is supposed to be about being young and happy. For girls, it’s about the dress, the shoes, the make-up, the friends and the date. In other words, it’s about having fun. Unless a bunch of patriarchal fuddy-duddies kick you out because they say you are acting like a slut.
Clare, a 17 year-old home schooled student from Virginia, was like most other teen girls and was excited about attending her prom but after she was asked to leave, she chronicled her experience on her sister’s blog called Wine & Marble in a post titled “F*ck The Patriarchy.”
She explained that she adhered to the “finger tip length” dress code but was met with a condescending attitude from some of the chaperones as she entered the dance. Clare also explained that because she is a leggy 5’9”, dresses often look shorter on her than they might on someone who isn’t as tall.
Clare and her friends were hanging out on the dance floor and says she and her date weren’t even dancing – that they were just “swaying with the music and talking and enjoying ourselves.” One of the chaperones pulled her off the dance floor and told her that some of the fathers were complaining that her dancing was too “provocative,” and that it caused some of the boys to have “impure thoughts.”
She argued that she wasn’t even doing anything and was promptly told her dress was too short and she needed to leave. She demanded to speak with the person in charge but the chaperones refused to let her. “I was told that the way I dressed and moved my body was causing men to think inappropriately about me, implying that it is my responsibility to control other people’s thoughts and drives,” Clare wrote. “I’m not responsible for some perverted 45 year old dad lusting after me because I have a sparkly dress on and a big ass for a teenager. And if you think I am, then maybe you’re part of the problem.”
More and more schools are telling girls to cover up so that the boys are not distracted. The underlying message from these adults is that boys have absolutely no self-control and the sight of a thigh may cause them to sexually assault a young girl. Girls are taught that it is their responsibility to prevent an assault and so many times if a rape occurs, it is the girl who is blamed.
“I am so tired of people who abuse their power to make women feel violated and ashamed because she has an ass, or has breasts, or has long legs,” Clare wrote. She explained that she decided to share her story because she is not the first young woman to experience this double-standard.
Richmond Homeschool Prom’s Facebook page quickly filled up with negative comments. It appears the page’s administrators deleted all the comments and shut down the page.
|Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) is the author of The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or follow her on FB HERE.|