lakewood high school

Hot Town, Summer in the City

We here in the mid-Atlantic United States have moved straight from a harsh and unforgiving winter into hot hot summer.  You know what that means: out come the shorts, the tank tops, and the rampant sexism.

This week, I found inspiration in a flyer that, thanks to a mother who commented on my Role/Reboot piece, I now know was originally posted around Lakewood High School in Colorado.  Apparently, temperatures inside the high school had reached 80 degrees and in order to combat the heat, several girls violated the school’s dress code and were called into the office.

The strange double standards boys and girls face while dressing for summer are, as far as I’m concerned, directly connected to our sexualization of female bodies: Men freely walk around topless in the heat, but a mother breastfeeding on a park bench sends us into an uproar.  All of our lovely female curves are loaded with the implication that because they are on “display,” (never mind the comfort factor in sweltering temps), they openly invite criticism, deserve comment, or indicate a lack of self-respect. So absurd, but oh-so ingrained.

I’m happy to report that this piece now has over 3,000 “likes” which is a tremendous (and welcome!) surprise. I hope that some of you will share it around.

A Message to Teenage Girls About Summer Dress Codes — May 15, 2014 on Role/Reboot

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