Stop listening to high school students tell you what ‘rape culture’ is

By Jessica Huseman
@JessicaHuseman
June 2, 2014

So there’s this brand-spanking new phenomenon rolling around the Internet and it looks like white, suburban teenagers bitching about things. And while that broad idea is probably as old as the creation of the party-line telephone, the topic of conversation has notably turned away from “so like, what did he say?” and morphed into asinine commentary on feminism and rape culture. Because, the best place to get feminist advice is definitely from a 15 year old who just learned about Harriet Beecher Stowe in history class and felt moved enough to read a Tumblr about overcoming the patriarchy. I mean, that goes without saying.

So when Lindsey Stocker of Quebec made international news after she slammed “the man” for sending her home because her jorts weren’t fingertip length, well, obviously we all had to have a conversation about the totally legitimate points she made about rape culture. Because, after all, dress codes can literally only be about one thing: Slut shaming girls. Obviously.

So, instead of Ms. Stocker protesting in a productive way, say via petition or attending one of the several parent-teacher conference meetings I’m sure her school has, she chose the mature and appropriate-for-a-15-year-old response of posting a passive aggressive sign on the wall of her school:

Lindsey Stocker Dress Code

Because, it is totally hot outside. This week it’s blazing average of about 74 degrees in Quebec. Which is obviously why Stocker chose to pair her shorts with this chunky pancho sweater thing that she probably got from her local vintage store. Because, how do you keep cool if not with jeans and wool? I mean, what is she supposed to wear? Get real, guys.

Lindsey Stocker Dress Code News Shot

But Stocker obviously rejects the fact that boys and girls must follow this rule, and that men also have dress codes they must follow.

“I was in violation for showing my legs,” she says. “And that, point blank, is a problem for me.”

Because like, point blank, having any restrictions on what I should wear is obviously perpetuating rape culture — and doesn’t, like, distract at all from a larger and more important conversation. You know, one about rape culture that actual women face, where actual problems affect their daily lives in much more destructive ways. And because, like, point blank, news shows showing pictures of pretty white girls in jorts and chunky sweaters don’t give people a completely absurd standard for what real people mean when they talk about “rape culture.”

Because, Lindsey, your shorts are rape culture — obviously. Not the hilariously ironic title that had to go with your Daily Mail article to get clicks. Oh, I’m sorry, that title is as follows: “Pictured in the ‘too-short’ shorts that got her suspended: Teen wears cut-offs that caused controversy at her Montreal high school.” Yeah, it really sucks that news organizations have to allude to the promise of a teenager in too-short-shorts to get people to listen to you, Lindsey. But let’s talk about your shorts and how your principal is promoting rape culture – not the media or anything like that.

Because, Glenn Beck making fun of the statistic that 1 in 5 college women will experience sexual abuse by dressing men up in drag and having them twirl their hair is not what we should be talking about. We should clearly be talking about perfectly reasonable dress codes, because that is the real product of rape culture. Not the victims of rape and sexual assault Glenn Beck just made fun of.

Because, a man who justified the killing of seven people because women refused to have sex with him isn’t the real “rape culture” story of the week, this damn issue with the jorts length is. We should all care very much about that sign you taped up, and about the 15 year olds who started a social media parade for it because, damn it, they want to wear shorts too. Look at the totally logical points that they are making:

Because, totally Hadley, that school dress code is “making us a rape culture.”

Obviously Hilda, obviously.

And totally Sarah, perfect example. That example is the perfect one to show the world how rational modern feminists are, and how totally rational arguments about other (say, more severe?) examples of rape culture are. It’s really the best example I can think of.

Because, if we can get the American public to believe that high school dress codes perpetuate “rape culture,” then we can obviously get them to realize how bad rape culture is, and how real of a problem it is for so many victims. Let’s distract them with an easy problem like jorts so that one day they will be ready to carry out the real tasks of solving rape culture in the United States. You gotta run before you can walk, right? It sounds like a great plan – one that only a 15 year old could have come up with.

So like, I totally agree with you guys. Point blank.

NOTE FROM POLITICALLY INCLINED: This article has gotten a lot of strong feedback on social media. Thanks! Jessica has written a follow up post about some of the comments here.

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Posted by on June 2, 2014. Filed under Media,Recent News,Top News,Women. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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