Hey Think Progress – Enough With the Pathetic Attempts to Exploit Women’s Rights Advocacy!

Let me go on record as saying that not all the stories over at Think Progress are complete trash, but recently I’ve noticed a disturbing trend with their over the top reporting of girls being sent home from school for violating dress codes.

They’ve tried to spin these stories as “society’s unfair attack against women” or “schools trying to shame women for showing off their bodies.”

It’s absolutely pathetic.  It’s teenage girls violating written policy on what is appropriate to be worn at school.  

One of their most recent articles covers girls in Canada who were sent home because their bra straps were showing.  But to read that article, they made it into some massive conspiracy by the school to shame women for daring to show off their body.  And for the second time in less than a week (they covered another story that I actually wrote about as well concerning a girl who was sent home for wearing shorts that were too short) they tried to spin this story into a “women being punished because males can’t control their sexual urges” kind of thing.

Here’s something that people can complain about all they want, but it’s never going to change: Teenage boys are going to be distracted by females they find attractive.  And the less clothing those females are wearing, the more distracted they’re going to be.

That’s not “being sexist,” that’s just nature – many males are attracted to females.

But the way Think Progress tried to play up the “Canadian summer” with girls just trying to wear something that helped them get relief from the sweltering heat with highs near 70 literally made me laugh.

Oh, and they made a very small mention that males have also been sent home for wearing sleeveless shirts.  Though, of course, they tried to play up the notion that women were the ones being much more unfairly targeted.

Maybe because females tend to wear sleeveless shirts more than males?  Just saying.

Think Progress also tried to imply that these dress codes are tied into the “rape culture” and “violence against women.”

But beyond the ridiculous argument that these dress codes are meant to “shame women,” the reason why these girls were sent home is because they broke the rules.  These dress codes are well established, easily found and known to most students.  When they go to school knowingly violating that dress code they risk being sent home.  If they don’t want to be sent home, don’t break the rules.  Schools are meant to prepare young people for the real world and in the real world you’re usually required to follow a dress code when you go to work.

When I was in school we had the same dress code I see these teenage girls complaining about and Think Progress trying to sensationalize.  Shorts had to be a certain length for all students and no students were allowed to wear sleeveless shirts.  Heck, for a few years we weren’t allowed to wear shorts at all.

And I live in Texas where in May, early June, August and September (the hotter months we’re in school) it’s not uncommon at all for highs to range anywhere from 90-110 degrees.  So excuse me if I laugh a little at the “sweltering heat” of Canada with those scorching highs almost reaching 70 freaking degrees.

Heck, during two years when I was in high school they made males tuck in their shirts and if our pants were too baggy we were sent home.  Women weren’t even required to tuck in shirts.  Because that’s how dress codes work.  Some rules are targeted more toward males while others toward females.  The reason why more of these dress code violations seem targeted at women is because women are more likely to wear very short shorts, very skimpy tops or spandex pants.

Teenage males usually follow a “style” that doesn’t show off a lot of skin.  That’s essentially what these dress codes are targeting – revealing clothing.  I can pretty much guarantee you if a male showed up to one of these schools wearing a sleeveless tank top and “daisy duke” shorts they would be sent home too.

If these girls were being sent home for unreasonable dress code rules, I’d be one of the first people on their side saying that the rules were clearly sexist and biased.  But they’re not.  These rules are, from what I can tell, common in nearly every public school here in the United States and probably Canada as well.

The fact that Think Progress is promoting the opinions of 14 and 15-year-old girls on this dress code issue is somewhat laughable as well.  You know what I thought was ridiculous when I was 14 and 15?  That I had to wait until I was 16 to drive (though now that I’m older I realize 16 is probably way too young for most teenagers to be driving) and that it was dumb that I had to wait until I was 21 to drink.  Of course many 14 and 15-year-old girls think it’s perfectly acceptable for them to wear super short shorts to and skimpy tank tops to school – they’re 14 and 15-year-olds!

Not that I’m saying young adults that age can’t have valid points, but these arguments that fairly standard (and not at all unreasonable) dress codes are “shaming and targeting women” are absolutely ludicrous.

These dress codes aren’t unreasonable, uncommon or “trying to shame women.”  They’re simply establishing a slightly more professional sense of etiquette for how students are dressed while they’re in school, in order to help foster a better learning environment.

Think Progress, while a site that I have found some great information on before, should be ashamed of themselves for trying to exploit equality for women with these extremely sensationalized stories about teenage girls who simply don’t want to follow very standard school dress codes.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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