Your Leggings Are Harlots!!!
Middle schoolers, hide your leg-shapes! Do not let your male classmates see your leg-shapes! Tell your male classmates that your legs are shaped like anything—potatoes, treble clefs, quiches—but legs. Legs are dangerous!
This is what Haven Middle School in Evanston, Illinois, thinks. Leggings and yoga pants have been banned because they are inappropriate and distracting to the boys. Leaving aside the issue of modesty clauses (why not just have all females wear ham costumes to school?), middle school might be the ONLY time those of us with capital-H Hips can get away with wearing leggings.
In response, the students (and some supportive parents) have planned a protest, and a collective of parents have sent a message to the school principal, outlining the problem with the no-leggings policy:
This policy clearly shifts the blame for boy's behavior or lack of academic concentration, directly onto the girls.
We are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids. Under no circumstances should girls be told that their clothing is responsible for boy's bad behaviors. This kind of message lands itself squarely on a continuum that blames girls and women for assault by men. It also sends the message to boys that their behaviours are excusable, or understandable given what the girls are wearing. And if the sight of a girl's leg is too much for boys at Haven to handle, then your school has a much bigger problem to deal with.
We really hope that you will consider the impact of these policies and how they contribute to rape culture. Girls should be able to feel safe and unashamed about what they wear. And boys need to be corrected and taught when they harass girls.
Do you think it's wrong to tell girls to cover up because they are at risk of distracting the boys?