Skepchick Quickies 6.4


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Wow so much crazy in one post! The PeTA thing gets me the most. They give vegetarians and vegans a bad name, and most vegetarians and vegans disagree with their methods. They do great harm for their otherwise noble cause.
    Re: SC, why am I not surprised. Since moving to the south, I have totally seen through the thin veneer of civility they claim to have down here. In the end they are just as repressive as they ever were.

  2. I hope she sues the shit out of that fucking idot principal. My sister died electric blue streaks in her hair the day before graduation to match her dress. The school told her she would have to get it out of her hair. She smiled looked them directly in the eye and said “fuck you, I’ve finished all my credits and you can’t tell me what to do anymore.” I assume they looked out from the stage and saw me and my dad and the rest of my family and thought “These people hate us and are big enough to beat the crap out of us” and she walked and graduated.

  3. “Pro Life? Go Vegetarian.”

    So, PETA thinks plants aren’t alive?

    “Chelsea Sarvis’ high school won’t allow her to participate at graduation without the dress”

    I’d suggest pants with a long skirt velcroed over them, to be removed at the last possible moment. What could they do at that point, have security tackle her? That’d certainly make the news.

  4. @Steve:

    So, PETA thinks plants aren’t alive?

    No one said they were smart. They’re the wrong kind of alive. The non-cuddly kind.

    Chelsea needs to pull a Porky’s Revenge graduation scene.

  5. I read about the Sarvis thing on another blog already, and it seems that the real problem the principal had with her is that she’s a lesbian. If skirts are more proper for a graduation, then the school should make everyone wear them, including men (I actually think men should be allowed to wear skirts, but that’s a different issue). Also, I imagine that the graduates will be wearing long robes anyway, so the dress code shouldn’t matter that much. When I graduated from high school, the only requirement was to wear white because we had thin, cheap, white robes. Oh, and we had to wear nice shoes because that’s the only thing you could see.

  6. If she wants to wear pants, she should be allowed – it’s no big deal.

    I read the link, though, and find it more sad that a woman is so uncomfortable with her body (her words, not mine), that she is uncomfortable in a dress. I wear pants and dresses (or skirts) interchangeably and don’t fill any different about my body, or more or less comfortable in either get-up.

  7. @ geek goddess

    I am totally comfortable in my body and only wear a dress or skirt under duress. Not being comfortable in one’s body can result in one not wanting to wear a dress, but it isn’t the only reason one would not want to wear a dress. I just find them bloody uncomfortable.

    I’m pretty sure I had to wear a dress and heels under my graduation robe (1988). At the time I thought nothing of the gender stereotype.

    My husband, on the other hand, who graduated a year ahead of me, took his disdain for the dress code one step further. Under his robe he proudly wore flip-flops….

    And nothing else.

  8. @geek goddess: I don’t see it as being uncomfortable with one’s body, but as wanting to perform one’s gender in the way that is most comfortable.

    If you’re not a feminine person then skirts aren’t going to be comfortable for you.

  9. @Laura W

    Understand your viewpoint. I just don’t see anything uncomfortable about dresses per se. I’ve purchased both pants and dresses that turned out to be uncomfortable due to fit or styling, and donate them. But unless it doesn’t fit properly, I am skeptical of the claim that dresses in and of themselves are inherently more ‘uncomfortable’ than pants.

  10. I wish Simon Singh the best, and I hope the British libel laws will be changed. Scientists and journalists should have every right to discuss the efficacy of products and practices that are sold to the public.

  11. The graduation dress code story caused a disturbing flash back that involved a guy with shoulder length hair brushed back and parted in the middle, wearing blue bell bottoms with platform shoes and a polyester scenery shirt under his graduation robe. All offending photographic evidence has thankfully been destroyed. (and f**k PETA…, again)

  12. @geek goddess: I find myself very, very uncomfortable in dresses. It’s not so much that I’m uncomfortable with my body, but that I feel uncomfortable in a dress. That’s what I think she meant. It’s not unusual, nor do I think it’s sad. Women don’t have to feel comfortable in a dress. That’s just silly.

  13. @geek goddess:

    I just don’t see anything uncomfortable about dresses per se.

    And that’s great, but you’re not everyone. Not all women feel comfortable in dresses. I feel uncomfortable and out of place in a dress. I feel like an idiot, really. I wear pants. An occasional skirt, if the mood hits (it rarely does, but I did just buy a new skirt lol!). But dresses?! No thank you.

  14. @marilove: That can go for any item of clothing…sometimes stuff just doesn’t “feel” right, whatever it is.

    Back to the OP, let her wear whatever she wants. Who cares? Really, why is this important? Oy.

  15. @Amanda: I’m guessing that this is the real discomfort the poor girl has with wearing a dress. She’s the sort of girl who would wear a tuxedo to prom–that is, a girl who doesn’t present as very “girly”. Being forced into a more “girly” presentation might be as uncomfortable for her as it would for me (I am a 30-year-old male homo sapiens, for reference).

    And I have to agree with tiger kitty–why the heck does the school care so much about this?

  16. @tiger kitty: Exactly! Not all women like wearing pants. They feel uncomfortable in pants and prefer skirts/dresses. But we wouldn’t start questioning them about it, and tell them surely they are wrong, pants are comfortable!

  17. I think Chelsea should show up in a nice demure dress…and as she walks up to the stage, throw it off and walk the rest of the way in a bikini!

    Wouldn’t THAT set the dress code Nazis off? :-D

  18. I find that SC case utterly appalling, but I’m glad Chelsea challenged it. When I graduated from high school 20+ years ago I wore an Iron Maiden t-shirt and cut off fatigues under my gown. I can’t remember if I wore boots or sneakers. We didn’t have a dress code in my little Wisconsin hometown. :) The gown covers most things, anyway!

    Now that I have to attend annual commencements as faculty, I still don’t get too worked up over what I wear underneath. I just want to be comfortable, so I’m likely to wear shorts and a nice-ish t-shirt. At the most recent commencement I wore tri-colored Chuck Taylors (red, purple and green) and tie-dyed socks. It was a lovely effect with my black gown, I must say.

    I’m equally comfortable in skirts and pants. Dresses, not so much, as it’s hard to get them to fit me properly, but I still occasionally wear them. A long flowy cotton skirt is one of the best things to wear in hot weather–the up-the-skirt breeze is wonderfully cooling. Unless there’s a strong wind–I’m not fond of doing the Marilyn Monroe thing. Reminds me–one time I was wearing such a comfy skirt while on my way to teach at a local men’s prison. I had forgotten that the walk to the classroom building got quite breezy, and I had a helluva time trying to prevent a show. Needless to say, I’ve not worn such a skirt to the prisons since then. I do learn.

  19. I graduated in 2001 in Fayetteville, NC. Women were required to wear dresses, and they didn’t let you walk if you weren’t wearing pantyhose. THEY ACTUALLY FELT YOUR LEGS TO CHECK AS YOU WENT ON TO THE STAGE. They checked under your gown to make sure your dress fit the normal dress code, too (no spaghetti straps, everything covered, etc). For guys, I think they checked to make sure they were (1) clothed and (2) wearing a tie.

    I remember being very upset by the whole thing (and I *like* wearing a dress, just not pantyhose), but not feeling like I had any say in the matter. When I asked about not wearing pantyhose, I was treated as though I was asking solely to be defiant, when I was really just concerned about my comfort. I distinctly remember taking them off in the bathroom as soon as the several-hours-long ceremony was over.

    With over 400 graduates, I doubt anyone would have noticed if I didn’t wear hose. I wish I had had the guts to actually stand up against that bullshit.

  20. I graduated high school in San Diego in ’85, and at the time it was traditional to have a class trip to Disneyland. That year, however, they were trying to establish their reputaion as wholesome, family entertainment, and a big deal was being made about them throwing a gay couple out, or some such thing.

    So they laid out some requirements for the class trip: You had to go as a boy-girl couple, no singles, (and the tickets were $40 something apiece). The boys had to wear suits, and the girls had to wear gowns and heels. (That sounds like fun at Disneyland, doesn’t it ladies?). Oh, and you would be body searched for contraband when you got on the bus, when you got off the bus, and when you entered the park.

    I said fuck you and didn’t go, though I doubt they noticed.

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