The mother of a teenage girl who was suspended for wearing ripped jeans is accusing her daughter’s high school of sexism.
Oh, and the angry mother? She just so happens to be the mayor of the county.
Melissa McKinlay, the mayor of Palm Beach County, Fla. took to Facebook to express her frustration after her daughter received a dress code violation for wearing ripped jeans to school.
“In the middle of a quiz in her IB History class, a male administrator came to (the) classroom, told her she needed to consider the guys in her class and their hormones when choosing her wardrobe,” McKinlay wrote.
The Forest Hill High School teen was given an in-school suspension for the remainder of the day. She missed her classes and was unable to finish her quiz.
“I’m sorry but EXCUSE ME? Perhaps she should have worn a different pair of jeans,” McKinlay continued. “But why should she have to worry about dressing a certain way to curtail a boy’s potential behaviour?”
This incident is just one of many where school staff punish and sexualize teenage girls under the guise of protecting them from male attention.
“A boy’s potential inability to control his hormones warrants my daughter’s inability to attend her classes today and miss valuable curriculum?” the outraged mom continued. “A male administrator yanked her out of a classroom because of a damn KNEE? Did he pull the boys out who were wearing shorts? They have TWO knees showing?”
McKinlay went on to accurately accuse the school of “sexism, victim blaming and girl shaming.”
The upset mother also said that she understood if her daughter was given a dress code violation for the ripped jeans, but the reason the administrator gave her daughter was inappropriate.
“If she needs a lunch detention for being slightly out of dress code, so be it.” She said. “But this? No. Not an appropriate response. EVER.”
After the event was published in her local newspaper, McKinlay received an onslaught of messages accusing her of being a “bad parent” for not teaching her daughter to “follow the rules.”
Mayor McKinlay attempted to set the record straight, and once again reiterate that her daughter should not have been told to consider her male classmate’s hormones when dressing.
“The lesson I taught her, as I have done countless times to women across this county thru my advocacy, is if a boy were to ever hurt her, harass her, assault her or rape her, it is NOT her fault and her outfit is NEVER to blame,” she said in a Facebook post. “I remain absolutely unapologetic for the life lessons I’ve taught her. And it is a shame the media and members of the public fail to recognize why I was upset. Imagine someone basically telling your child that if she was raped, it was her fault because she wore ripped jeans.”
Equating clothing with attracting unwanted male attention is the cornerstone of the “She was asking for it” mentality that has lead to millions of women being victims of sexual harassment and assault.
The real parties that need educating seem to be the men and women who seem intent on perpetuating rape culture’s backward belief that women’s bodies need to be policed by anyone other than themselves.