teens are pushing back against sexist dress codes

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Eight days before Shelton High School’s prom, students were shocked by an announcement: backless dresses and those with cutouts would be unacceptable, according to NBC Connecticut. Of course, no amendments were made to the event rules for men’s attire.

As Shelton High School Superintendent Freeman Burr told NBC on Tuesday, administrators want girls “to be dressed appropriately — appropriately with class and dignity, and also dressed in a tasteful way.” But who exactly is the dress code meant to benefit?

“As is the case with most dress codes, scandalized school administrations are reserving their ire for the female students — there is curiously no code about how much skin male prom-goers can show,” the Guardian‘s Jessica Valenti wrote Thursday. “And like most puritanical nonsense directed at young women these days — the concern is not for the girls, but for the lust their dresses might inspire in others.” Continue reading…

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nigerian army ‘rescues 200 girls and 93 women’ in strike against boko haram

Women and girls are still captives and prizes of war. When will this end?

Nigeria’s military has claimed to have rescued 200 girls and 93 women from a notorious Boko Haram stronghold, but an army official said they were not those kidnapped from Chibok a year ago.

“Troops have this afternoon captured & destroyed three camps of terrorists inside the Sambisa forest & rescued 200 girls & 93 women,” defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a text message on Tuesday, referring to the area in north-east Borno state where the Islamists have bases.

Olukolade gave no indication as to how long it would take for the hostages to be identified, although an army spokesman said they were not from Chibok.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abduction of 276 girls from a secondary school in Chibok, also in Borno, on 14 April last year. Fifty seven girls escaped within hours of the attack but 219 remained in captivity. Read more…

17 lies we need to stop teaching girls about sex

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280f815bc714c1e8ed1186ea9c1f20b7Whether it’s the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus‘ influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it’s clear that society has a fascination with young women’s sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today’s girls about sex?

Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won’t die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn’t helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools’ sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is “done to them.”

Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone. But first, we’re going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality. Continue reading…

conservative woman suggests we stop rape by teaching girls to dress modestly

Will nail polish prevent date rapeSource article: http://tinyurl.com/oeyyzvy

Setting aside the fact that Laura Ingraham works for Fox News, this is yet another example of why it’s so important to educate everyone about rape culture. This is one facet of it right here – victim blaming. Supporting this idea that girls and women are someone able to control potential rapists by what they wear. The idea that women and girls are at all responsible for the actions of others. I fail to understand how we can say this in an easier-to-understand way. Women and girls are not responsible for preventing their rapes; potential rapists are responsible for not raping.

Take this scenario for instance: A young man goes out to a bar with several friends after a hard week and gets drunk. So drunk that, as he’s waiting for a taxi to take him home, he doesn’t realize that his wallet has been stolen. Is it his fault  his wallet was stolen? Was he asking for it because he was drunk? Was he asking for it because of what he was wearing? Was he asking for it because of where he was at that time of night? Was he asking for it because of his behavior and general demeanor? Of course not. The only person at fault is the thief. These questions sound ridiculous in this situation and yet these are the exact things that are asked of rape victims by people who have no concept of what rape and rape culture are. The fact that so large a group of people in our world not only do not find these questions deplorable in context of rape, but also deliberately ask them, and in turn encourage misinformation, is rape culture.