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Okay, it’s my turn.

This is what I wore to school today, the only difference was my hair was down, and my make up wasn’t smudged from crying. Today as I was delivering something to the administration office at my school, I was pulled aside, and told that I wasn’t within dress code. When I replied with, “I refuse to follow a dress code that is only enforced on one gender,” I was ostracized and told that I had to change. After arguing with the woman who was trying to get ME to give her MY shirt, (the one I am wearing above,) so I could put on a school-provided shirt that was, “within dress code,” I declared that my schools dress code was, “sexist bullshit,” which I was then taken directly to the assistant principals office and told I had to change, and when I asked why, they told me I could be a distraction to other students. I said that it was not my job for other students to keep their focus in class, and by saying that they are putting their actions and thoughts in my hands, which was not my responsibility since I can only assure what I do with myself. From here, one of the assistant principals told, “If you don’t like our rules, and you don’t want to follow them; leave. Drop out.” That alone is highly inappropriate. By the end of this conversation, they called my mom, and I got sent back to class after stubbornly complying with their idiotic dress code. Later today, my school had an assembly, and since I am a tech theater student, I volunteered to help pack up and bring back the sound equipment. During this time, it was very hot in the gym and outside, so I took the shirt they gave me off, and put my shirt on, because it was almost 100 degrees today, and I had to walk across campus carrying two decently weighted microphone stands. Afterwards, I left it off because it was too hot to wear. I was still sweating 15 minutes after I sat down. Shortly after I was called back into the office being told I had to have a consequence because I didn’t comply with their dress code. When I then refused to put it back on, because it was very hot, I was told I had to go home, because they, “can’t have someone breaking the rules on campus.” When they called my mother they left out very crucial parts of my side of the story, when in the beginning I said do not call my mother, because she was in the hospital with my little brother late last night, they replied with,  ”that’s not our problem.” I demanded to see the principal, and when I did, I was told that I couldn’t wear my shirt because I was showing skin, and if I show my mid-drift, that it will give leeway to students to wear, gang affiliated clothing, clothing with foul language, and things with paraphernalia on them. None of the administration at my school was even aware of rape culture, they didn’t know what it was. I was appalled by this, in tears for most of the day, out sheer frustration  and disbelief.  I refuse to stand in accordance with something that is sexist, misogynistic, and backwards. Boys at my school can wear shirts that wear shirts that say, “get in the kitchen,” and shirts with girls wearing less than I am, yet nothing is said to them. I have never seen a boy at my school get dress coded for any of this, or the other things they can get away with wearing. 

When I was sexually abused and raped, this was not what I was wearing; I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt with my hair in a ponytail and my glasses. I was seven. Were my clothes provocative then? Would it have been your problem then? My skin is not an opening for my legs, and even if it was, it’s not okay unless I said yes. My school is pushing the idea that one person is responsible for other’s actions. They are pushing that rape victims are responsible for their abusers actions. They are pushing the idea that rape culture is not only illegitimate, but also acceptable. My school is telling students that what they wear matters more than them being in school at the first place. My school wanted to send me home, because, “it may distract other students.” Instead of trying to teach me to change my clothing, teach the other students not to pay attention to others bodies. I was told today that my body is not my own. I was told I have no right to wear what I feel like, because other students can’t keep it in their pants. I was told that I can’t wear what I’m comfortable in, and have worked years of confidence into simply because, “it could distract or offend other students.”

Don’t sit there and tell me that rape culture doesn’t exist, when it is apparent in our lives everyday. Don’t tell me that it’s not real when I am catcalled, and told to, “put more clothes on.” My body means my choice. 

We still live in a world where sexism is alive. We live in a world where it’s acceptable for other’s to rape, unacceptable to be raped, and even more so to speak up about it.

Fuck. This. Shit.

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