An Open Letter About Feminism

To the teacher at my high school who sent me to the office for wearing shoes that are “for the bar.”

I felt very judged when you insisted that my shoes were only appropriate for a bar or recreation. When you asked if I would wear these to work, I replied yes, because the place where I work is a completely non-judgemental environment. The people who I’ve worked with and know me well know that I am nothing but mature and responsible. My clothing choices are not an invitation for harassment, sex or judgemental comments as you have shared with me. They’re just things I wear.

There is nothing in the schools dress code about wearing shoes other than requiring shoes for safety reasons, which made me think about how women and girls are judged at school to the point of being sent down to the office for clothing or footwear. This takes away precious education time that many girls don’t even have the right to go to school and I’m not missing mine to take care of my family or walk hours in the sun to bring water back home. No, I’m missing class because someone didn’t like my fashion choice.

After talking to the principal about the rules for our dress code, it was explained to me that any disputes are settled by the administrative staff. Meaning not only am I being scolded for something not even in our schools written dress code, but for anyone else in the school, if the male vice- and male principal don’t like what someone is wearing or find it inappropriate, its a no-go.

Now I am a logical person and the safety issue for the height of my shoes are the sole reason I won’t be wearing them at school. But what about the girls who have been told that short-shorts, shirts that have one shoulder or show a little bit of belly also been scolded? Because they’re distracting to men? Now that goes to demonstrate that our school values mens’ education more than that of women because these girls are now missing class time so they won’t be a distraction to boys.

I am not proud of my schools dress code and I hope you aren’t either. Instead of teaching girls to cover up so we aren’t a distraction, maybe we should be teaching boys that clothes don’t mean that women are looking for something or are a certain type of person. They’re just clothes.

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3 thoughts on “An Open Letter About Feminism

  1. Go Savannah!! This is so true, and then when the boys show up in muscle shirts nothing is done even thou right in the dress code it says they are not allowed. Go you for speaking your mind and standing up for rights!!

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  2. Beautifully written response. That is very unfair you were treated this way and I commend you for being so courageous to speak out against! I’m enlightened to see young women identifying as feminists!!! Keep fighting for what you believe and never back down!!

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