Friday, December 02, 2011

Catholic High School Taliban meets Lululemon

I went to a Catholic high school that had a uniform policy. It wasn't all jacket, ties, and plaid skirts, but more of a dress casual with monogrammed Docker type trousers and an assortment of shirts and sweaters. All in all not a terrible uniform policy although one did get tired of it because the subdued white, navy, maroon, mustard yellow colour selections matched the paint on the lockers. Yeah, it was weird.

It was the enforcement that sucked. You couldn't wear just any old pair of khakis, it had to be the one with 1x2cm school logo patch just above the rear pocket. If you didn't have this patch, but your pants were otherwise like every other pair of khakis out there, you found yourself in detention. What this meant was overzealous teachers looking at students' arses and asking them to life their shirts to make sure they were in uniform. 

It was a bit different for female students who had the option of wearing plaid skirts and many did. Their skirts couldn't sit higher than four inches above the knee. More than that, and they'd be in trouble. This was different from males because it represented an implicit sexualisation of the uniform and its wearer. Teachers would of course be quite happy to wander about staring at female student's legs to be sure the skirt was within the required range.

Now they're at it again.

Students at a Catholic high school in south Ottawa are protesting a dress code that requires a long shirt be worn with form-fitting yoga pants.
The pants are popular among girls at St. Joseph's High School in Barrhaven and they are not happy about the requirement that carries the threat of suspension.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board put the policy in place but St. Joseph's has started to enforce it.
"Everyone's like, the school's so lame I want to move out. Like, it's bad," said Crystal Gomes, who joined about 300 other students in signing a petition protesting the requirement.
"Everyone's just going to wear it anyway to see if the school's going to suspend us anyway," another girl told CBC News.
Emily Devenz walked into school in her favourite Lycra pants — without the required long shirt.
"I'm pretty angry about it because I'm one of the girls that wears Lulus every single day," Devenz said. "They already banned ripped jeans, skinny jeans and jeggings, so I was pretty upset because that kills my whole wardrobe."
Mothers who dropped off their teens at the school Wednesday joined the debate.
"I've seen it really form-fitting — that I can see the outline of everything on their body," one said. "It just adds too much temptation for the boys in the school."

So once again, a Catholic institution is telling young women they have to alter their attire and hide their bodies because the lads, once again, are held completely unaccountable for their potential actions.  Once again women are being told they are threatening, their sexuality is dangerous, and men are never to be trusted. Heterosexual men are being told they are powerless in the face of what this time? Lulufuckinglemon? And that they cannot be held responsible for what they might do upon seeing the female form described in black lycra! It is therefore up to women to make themselves as undesirable as possible in order to save the men from themselves.

The school has a bit of a problem here. I mean they seem to want to keep women looking unattractively virginal by restricting their attire. But they're stuck, because to go the full anti-Monty, they'd have to borrow from their conservative counterparts in Islam and issue some sort of Catholicised hijab (what that would look like, i can only guess). This clearly wouldn't fly for reasons of religous rivalry.  On the other hand, they can't make women look too androgynous because well, that would be giving a nod to the genderqueer community, and we all know about how the Church sees that sort of thing as big fat hellfire sin. So no joy there either.

Maybe there's a solution in the holy book. They could crucify random male students for their sins and those of the rest of the males and then allow the women to collect at the base of the cross and lament the poor lad, you know, true to their Biblical role. But clearly not while wearing yoga pants.


Anonymous said...

Maybe this needs updating

Southern Quebec said...

You're not paying attention, Boris. According to the Vatican's Chief Exorcist (WTF) good Catholics should not even be doing yoga! Practising yoga is Satanic. Who knew?

Unknown said...

Maybe the important point in this story is that the Board voted AGAINST one Trustee's motion to ban the skirts. Progress? Some emerging light?