Here’s How One Sixth Grader Is Rebelling Against Her School’s Sexist Dress Code
11-year-old takes a stand against sexism.
A girl can only measure the width of her spaghetti straps so many times before she has to take action.
Or in the case of Molly Neuner from Portland, Maine, before she teams up with her mom to show the whole world she’s “not a distraction” to the boys.
Molly’s mom, Christina Neuner, told NBC that her sixth-grade daughter was called to the front of the class, along with her friend, so the teacher could inspect their clothes to see if they followed the dress code. The straps on Molly’s sporty tank top weren’t two fingers wide, so she was warned about detention in the case of future incidents.
Adding insult to injury, Neuner says, this happened right after the dress code at her daughter’s school was reviewed.
“In that meeting there were many questions about the girls rules and when one of the students asked why the girls had so many rule[s] they were told that it was because they were a distraction to the boys…” she writes. “We need to teach our beautiful, young, innocent daughters that their bodies are beautiful and powerful and their own to display or portray in any way they wish WITHOUT consequence.”
The mother-daughter team had a discussion about rape culture and the idea that “girls should cover up,” and 11-year-old Molly came up with an idea. After finding the Instagram hashtag, they wrote #IAMNOTADISTRACTION on Molly’s arm in permanent marker.
“So I decided to wear that and totally break the dress code, and I didn’t care what the teachers or anyone said because it’s my body, my choice,” Molly told Mic. She rounded up her friends to join her.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the school will review the dress code again at the end of the year.
“I was super proud that I helped make a difference and helped teachers realize that this is an issue, and I was proud of all the other girls that came and wrote on their arms,” Molly told Mic.
That reminds us of another awesome teenager who made her sister a white T-shirt that explains what’s wrong with a dress code that disproportionately affects girls, including the fact that it “promotes the objectification and sexualization of young bodies.” This came after the 13-year-old was scolded at school for her supposedly inappropriate new shirt.
And don’t think sexist dress codes are limited to children in school, either. British Columbia only recently stopped companies from being able to force women to heels to work.