I’m seeing this all over my newsfeed today.

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Long story short, girl wears short shorts to school. Girl gets suspended temporily. Girl goes on a rant. Rant is picked up by a lot of feminists. Rant is picked up by a lot of newssites.

“When you send a girl home from school because her clothing is immodest, you are telling her that hiding her body is more important than education.”

Hold up a moment here. Now, I don’t know the ground situation in Montreal, where this happened. I sure as hell don’t know the temperature there (her excuse was that it was hot outside).

I come from a country where it’s generally over 30 degrees Celsius outside and all schoolgoers wear uniforms. Girls, boys – makes no difference: to be caught out of uniform, or in a uniform shorter than the specifications, is a serious thing. My views, therefore, are necessarily colored.

That said, let’s get on with it: this is just stupid. There are very real causes of gender discrimination, some of them extremely serious, and this is just not on that list.

People are focusing on the belief that this is sexist (thanks, in large part, to the girl’s posters: “‘Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects'”).

Why are boys even in this picture?

There is a dress code in that school. Apparently, when you stand up, if your arms hang longer than your shorts / skirts do, it’s too short. Which says nothing about it this being a female-only law – it applies to girls, boys and everything in between studying in that school.

So why is this about sexism? AlI see is girl using sexism as a weapon to bitch against the fact that, ultimately, the school made a right choice. So let me rephrase:

When you send a girl home from school because her clothing is immodest, you’re telling her that her education is more important than showing her body. And if, in all honesty, she believes that showing her body is more important to her than receiving an education, then she clearly needs to evaluate her priorities.

You see, this is not adult life we’re talking about. This is school. Let me sum up what a school is: an environment for, and primarily for, learning. In such an environment, the usual freedoms and laws of the world outside don’t apply. School is not about providing a distraction-free environment – short of putting everyone in a sensory deprivation tank, that’s impossible – but it’s about providing an environment sufficiently free of distractions that young people can be molded and educated and hopefully, go on to become somewhat responsible citizens.

Which means if you’re really intent on looking like you just woke up and came out of the bathroom, then yes, the school can kick you out until you measure up to its standards. It’s not sexism. It’s discipline. It’s about maintaining a baseline that, at some point, the school’s internal management has agreed to uphold. It’s cause and effect. There are rules. You follow the rules because they’re good practice for upholding some of the stuff you’ll need to when you grow up and have to choose between being a part of human civilization or going barbarian on the world. Don’t like it? Chose another school. Or stay at home. Simple.

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Nobody’s sexualizing the girl here – I don’t see any reports from the school calling her a slut or blaming her for distracting the guys: honestly, it’s not like she’s Miss Canada (or even close). We live in an age where it’s so much easier to get your kicks – porn sites exist for a reason. I can guarantee you’ll find women wearing far less while looking far better, if that be your taste – boys really don’t have much incentive to sexualize shorts anymore. Lindsey Stocker, a grade 11 student at Beaconsfield High School, is simply being a bitch.

Now if rules against short shorts are seen as sexist, they’re probably because most guys don’t wear short shorts, for the simple reason that certain apparatus, also hailed as the meat and potatoes, get in the way of really short shorts. Ergo, you’re more likely to see girls wearing short shorts than guys. (If you don’t believe this, do crawl out from under your rock and observe the world for a change). Ergo, the girl gets caught by dint of being the first human to wear shorts so short.

It’s quite simple, really.

‘I was in violation for showing my legs,’ says Stocker. ‘And that, point blank, is a problem for me.’

You really have to wonder at the general intelligence of someone who’ll give up education for the lonely privilege of wearing shorts to school. There’s a difference between fighting for a just cause (like the Voices of Women do) and fighting for a sincerely stupid oddity like this. First world problems, eh?

 

 

 

 

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