Posted on | June 6, 2014 | 94 Comments
Maybe you missed the story about a Utah high school that Photoshopped yearbook photos of girls to make them more “appropriate.” Most people who even noticed the story just shrugged: Whatever.
Yet this story inspired Everybody’s Favorite Feminist™ Amanda Marcotte to go off on a tangent about “modesty” as a weapon of patriarchal social control of women’s bodies:
It’s a belief that because women, especially young women, have bodies that represent “sex” in a straight male-dominated society, then those bodies are eligible for more social control than the bodies of men.
While this school is extreme, anyone who went to a high school with a dress code knows that girls get policed more than boys, often in ways that are sexually humiliating. . . . Hand-wringing articles bemoaning the supposed emergence of “hook-up culture” focus mostly, or exclusively, on scolding and feigning concern in the direction of girls, with boys being left to make their own choices without much concern or judgment.
Because of all this, young women are subject to way more punishment and control from legal and other authorities for their sexuality, starting with the popularity of laws requiring minor girls to notify parents if they want an abortion. . . .
This is a typical feminist non sequitur — from a discussion of school dress codes, suddenly Marcotte leaps to the topic of abortion and specifically parental notification laws. But these are minors, and as parental authorization is generally required for all medical treatment of minors, the onus must be on abortion advocates to demonstrate why abortion should be an exception to the general rule.
As for Marcotte’s rantings about “social control”: Shouldn’t we assume that the community supports the school’s attempt to enforce standards of appropriate clothing? Wouldn’t parents be upset if the school permitted girls to parade through the hallways wearing miniskirts, short-shorts, halter tops, et cetera? Isn’t it likely — doesn’t common sense suggest — that provocative clothing would be a distraction from the learning process? Common sense, however, is impermissible in feminist discourse, and logic is viewed with suspicion by feminists as a weapon of “straight male-dominated society.”
Logic: Children exist because of parents. Children are dependent and are under the supervisory authority of their parents. Therefore, if the parents in a community support the school system’s dress code, it’s not a problem. On the other hand, if parents don’t like the school system’s policies — about dress code or anything else — they are free to send their kids to private school or home-school them. And thus we return to Amanda Marcotte’s mystification about the Utah school:
The school appears to be
so out of step with standard American social norms that it’s hard to escape wondering if there wasn’t an attempt to impose a fundamentalist standard of modesty on the girls, regardless of their own religious beliefs.
In a community where most parents are religious, if the school system doesn’t “impose a fundamentalist standard of modesty on the girls,” guess what happens? Religious parents will pull their kids out of public school. What kind of education does Amanda Marcotte think those kids would get if they were home-schooled or sent to private religious schools? Also, who is “out of step with standard American social norms”?
“I don’t want a baby. . . . Nothing will make me want a baby. . . .
“This is why, if my birth control fails, I am totally having an abortion.”
– Amanda Marcotte, March 14
Is this fanatical hatred of babies what she means by “standard American social norms”? And how does the baby-killer Amanda Marcotte, who so deliberately substracts herself from the category of “parent,” presume to tell parents how to raise their kids?
Oh, there I go with logic again . . .