Thursday, November 11, 2010

Short skirts

A 14 year old pupil of Newlands College has been told by a teacher to pull down her skirt because she "looked like a slut". Her parents are angry that the teacher said this. The skirt was about 10cm (4 inches) above the regulation height - school guidelines require girls' skirts to touch the ground when they kneel. Newlands College is co-educational so I ask you, when this girl bends over to pick up her pen what view is going to be given the boys around her? Click here to see the Stuff article with the photo of the uniform in question.

The thing is, should we be surprised at the 14 year old girl prepared to modify her uniform when the sexualised images of teenagers is always around us? Isn't this girl merely following the trend set by Miley Cyrus? Well no. I went to a girls' school many moons ago and the trend for the summer dress was to make it as short as possible, well as short as one could get away with. By today's standard we were pretty well covered, certainly we could bend over without displaying our smalls. But the simple reality was we shortened our skirts for one simple, primal reason - male attention.

Walking past the local boys' school was frankly more fun when we could feel them tracking us with hungry eyes.

At 14 we wanted to be "hot", our hormones were in overdrive. Which is why parents needed to be vigilant, they needed to be the adults and to stamp down on behavior that was leading us into early sexual relationships. Why are this girl's parents supporting her to wear her skirt so short, to allow her to look sexually available? Rather than back up the authority of the teacher they are backing up a young teenage girl who is defying school rules. It's not a good message.