Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the dress codes, mourning on camera, prostitution and contraceptives edition

It's Tuesday again, you guys. Let's do this thing. I was going to talk about Common Core here, but that's turning into a monster post of its own.

Ridiculous Dress Codes
There have been a few stories in the news this week about kids in school being made to stay home or shamed because of their physical appearance. The first is a controversy over leggings. Well, to be more specific, the issue that is actually coming up is that some girls are being told that their leggings are inappropriate, namely the more shapely girls, the heavier girls, and the ones who are more developed. School officials claim that their appearance is distracting.

I don't actually have a problem with them banning leggings, if they so chose, though it would set up issues in the delineation of where leggings end and stretchy pants begins. My issue is that only certain girls are being targeted here, blamed for their appearance. Really, it has nothing to do with the pants. It has to do with fat shaming, puberty shaming, and is all based on some assumption that the boys simply won't be able to focus with tight pants nearby if the wearer has a body deemed distracting by school officials.

It's all wrong. All of it. Most middle school boys would be distracted by girls wearing a paper bag. Trust me. I know. I have one. Whether that distraction rises to the level of a problem is something that the BOYS will have to learn to suppress and manage, not the girls. Period. If the school wants to implement restriction on specific types of clothing, they have to apply to everyone equally and cannot be used as a weapon against the girls who happen to be curvier.

The other issue, one in the news here locally, is of a girl who was told she couldn't come to school after shaving her head as a sign of support for a friend undergoing cancer treatment. The school claims that her shaved head violates the dress code. No, I'm not kidding.

Supposedly she was allowed to return to school today, only after her parents went to the media with the story.

I would like to sit the school administrators down and explain a few things to them.

1. They are discouraging empathy, which is totally and completely screwed up.

2. If they think a shaved head is distracting, they should try being a kid with a sick friend.

3. It they think a shaved head is distracting, they should try being a kid with cancer.

4. If they think they are doing the right thing enforcing the rules here, they are so far beyond wrong that I don't even have words for it, and if they reversed their decision only because her parents went to the media, they should be ashamed of themselves. 

Media Coverage of Mourning Families
Flight 370 disappeared over two weeks ago, and after weeks of speculation and searching the world, the Malaysian Prime Minister announced that they have determined the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean far off the coast of Australia.

For the moment, I am going to assume that even though none of the wreckage has been located yet, that the news is indeed accurate. Satellite imagery was used to determine the approximate location of impact. (I'm so not doing that conspiracy thing here...if you want to do that, there are ample places online to feed that desire).

What is bothering me, aside from the 24 hour coverage of basically nothing - no new updates, tons of speculation, allegations of cover ups, alien abduction theories and even some who claim that the plane went straight to heaven (I'll let you all guess who said that...), is the heartbreaking coverage of the families once they were given this information. Gratuitous camera coverage, unrelenting questions, wailing and screaming. Leave these people alone. They have been waiting, clinging to hope for weeks, and they need time to process this information without a microphone in their faces.

Sometimes I really loathe the media. This is one of them.

Police Who Want to Keep Having Sex With Prostitutes
I'm going to admit something. It takes a lot to make me say wow these days, but this story did just that. This week a story broke about an exemption to laws against prostitution, an exemption that applies, to of all people, police officers. 

In Hawaii, state law allows undercover officers to sleep with prostitutes legally, claiming that such activities may be necessary in the course of the investigation. Some state legislators want to overturn the exemption, but some within the law enforcement community are arguing they should get to keep this loophole.

The discussion of the issue is made infinitely more complicated by the fact that there are people who feel that sex workers, if they choose to live their lives this way, should be permitted to do so. There is certainly an argument to be made that there are prostitutes that have chosen the lifestyle for their own reasons, and aren't victims in the same way that other women forced into the field are. For the purposes of this law, though, it is simpler to categorize them all as potential victims of a law that allows the very people who are supposed to be protecting them to perpetuate their victimization, particularly since the police involved are hiding both their identities and their motivations.

There are arguments far more compelling for why officers in undercover situations should be exempted from drug use laws, but the acts involved in prostitution aren't likely to be something witnessed or required for acceptance into the group being investigated.

The law goes before committee later this week.

Oral Argument Today Before SCOTUS
Today is the day that oral argument is being presented to the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood contraceptives cases.

The cases are making me nervous because the potential consequences of these rulings might reach much further than the cases themselves.

You should care about what happens today. We all should.


  1. On the supreme court rulings

    The businesses and their cases are frauds. All of them offered PLan B and Ella BEFORE the ACA came along. This is right-wing political grandstanding to find loopholes in the ACA.

    This isn't religious freedom, it's a con game.

  2. Great Informative Blog and discussion of Ridiculous Dress Codes for students; Media Coverage of Mourning Families (Malaysia Flight 370); Police Who Want to Keep Having Sex With Prostitutes; and that oral argument is being presented to the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood contraceptives cases.


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