I read that article with my face frowned up so badly I know I created at least 2 new wrinkles. I blame Slate for that.
In rejecting an outfit, I have never, ever communicated to my child that her dress was a “distraction” to others or that she bore responsibility if someone reacted in any way—favorably, rudely, distracted, or otherwise—to her body. That schools are passing on this very message to her and other female students—and simultaneously communicating to boys that their learning environment is being compromised by the sight of girls' limbs or cleavage—is unhealthy and unsound at best, illegal at worst.
I must have reread that passage three times trying to find it in me to have the outrage that mother feels about her daughter being yanked for those shorts. Well, I couldn't muster up a single seed. Her faux outrage on the possibility of pretend rights being stepped on just made me roll my eyes.
Ma'am...your daughter's shorts are too short. I don't know nothing about birthing no babies...but I know that baby's shorts are too short. And when I say that, I'm not adding a single other thing to it. I'm not saying she's going to mess around and get groped because we know the wrong type of male will grope a nun. I'm not saying it means she's going to be promiscuous when she grows up because plenty of people have removed long, flowy pants to get their groove on. All I'm saying, simply, is that your daughter's shorts are too short. It's not a political statement. It's not a sexist or feminist statement from where I'm coming from. It's a decency statement. I think it looks indecent when I see ANYONE with shorts on that short. Where I'm from, we call them coochie cutters and it's always said with our lip curled on one side. Buy her some longer shorts. Simple.
What say YOU? Do YOU think those shorts are too short? Would you let YOUR preteen daughter wear them? Do you think the mother is reaching, big time, in this article? Or do you understand where she's coming from and feels like dress codes are placing unwanted body stigmas on girls?