A friend shared a photo today of the daughter of her friend. you see, her daughter had on boots, black leggings, a collared button up shirt with a long sweater dress over it. The dress was about midthigh. She was dressed more modestly than I have seen little old ladies dress at church! The only skin showing was her neck/face and hands. This young girl was sent home from school because school officials felt her outfit was distracting to the boys. I'm waiting to find out if I can share the photo, and if I can I plan to do so here just to show how modest this girl was dressed.
Now the point of this post is not how she was dressed. Not at all. The point I want to make is this: A girl's education is just as important as a boy's. Is it not distracting for a girl to be sent home or pulled from class to change? WHY is the education of a male more important or more valued than that of a female? Each time a girl is sent home or forced to take time away from her own education in order to appease a patriarchal notion that her attire is the cause for her male peers to not perform up to standard more value is placed on her body than her mind. She is being told, if not in words, that the way she looks is more important than the way she thinks.
I am the mother of a son. Only a son. He is no more deserving of an education because he is male. And if he were to attend a school that placed his educational needs above those of the female students, laying the blame for his lack of performance on the hem of his female counterparts, I would be beyond livid. Why? Because that would suggest that he were so shallow, so poorly taught, and so disrespectful (both of others and himself) that he would allow the dress of another to become such a distract that it would interrupt his class day to such an extreme that it would become a necessity to force the "offender" to change clothes.
I teach my son to have more respect for others than that. I teach my son to have more respect for himself than that. How about instead of sending our girls home, denying them an equal education, why don't we take the opportunity to teach our boys a lesson in RESPECT! Perhaps if we placed more value on our girls, then we wouldn't have to worry about the length of their skirts causing them to be raped. (Please note the sarcasm.) If we placed more emphasis on their inner worth, rather than the way they look we could cut down on eating disorders and senses of poor self image.
I'm not saying young girls should dress in attire where body parts are hanging out, but the last time I checked a boy's pants down around his thighs has not been a cause for him to be sent home because he was a distraction to the girls. Nor has it ever been publicized as a reason he was raped. We should build up and foster positivity in our girls to build their sense of self, their self esteem, so they do not feel the need to gain validation from outside sources. On the flip side, we need to teach our boys to respect ladies and keep their eyes to themselves. If I wear a lower cut shirt or tight fitting jeans because I personally like them, and a guy's eyes stray my way I most certainly am not the cause of his sin, as I have heard time and time again. No...he is the cause. Simple as that. What happened when Adam blamed Eve for his sin? She was punished for her own sin, but he was punished for his....not her.
So please, if you are the parent of a son and a daughter, look at your kids and ask yourself if your son's education and well-being are more important than your daughter's because that is the exact message that is being sent every single day.