This girl needs to learn how to pick her battles and her mom needs some parenting lessons.
"A fourth-grader is protesting a rule by her school principal that bans the kinds of miniskirts she likes to wear. Zoe Hinkle, 10, and her mother, Leslie, say there’s nothing wrong with the skirt. It has shorts sewn into it underneath, Leslie says."
The editorial staff at the Pitt News summed up my feelings well.
"Zoe isn’t rallying to keep an arts program alive. She isn’t holding signs demanding healthier food in the cafeteria or better cages for class gerbils."
"Nope. This little girl is rallying for the right to wear her miniskirts to class. She got in trouble for having skirts that were too short last fall, and this spring the principal, Claire Miller, informed the school’s girls that their skirts must fall below the knee."
"Zoe’s mother sees nothing wrong with her daughter’s fashionable outfits, most of which come from Limited Too. The skirts, she says, have shorts sewn in under them and none of her daughter’s clothing is provocative."
"People can judge this for themselves; a photograph of the miniskirted girl is available on the Tribune-Review’s Web site. Although she is only 10 – still years away from being a teen-ager – she is dressed to fit in at any college party."
"No one is an adult at 10-years-old. Children do not get to make all of their own decisions and do not always understand the implications of their actions. Zoe’s mother, and the mothers of many of these girls, should know better than to dress their children in the sort of clothing that may elicit stares from older men. They owe it to their daughters to explain what the consequences of wearing certain styles can be."
"Instead of getting hyped up about proving how right she is, Zoe and her peers should be learning to respect the authority of school officials. It’s difficult to know where to draw the line when it comes to dress codes – every school measures things differently – but the principal has made this decision in the best interest of the students she is responsible for."
"Whether the idea to rally was Zoe’s idea or her mother’s, the fact remains that it is a misguided attempt. That a young child values her rights this much is admirable – but these rights do not extend to school grounds. If the principal says knee-length or longer then that’s the rule, regardless of the Constitution."
"Let the girls — whose parents are cool with them wearing short skirts — buy the skirts in whatever length they wish because that is freedom of expression. But a good life lesson is this, you don’t always get to wear what you want. For instance, I would like to wear jeans and flipflops to work and for this reason alone I have begun a campaign to get hired at American Eagle. But currently, I must dress in business attire because that is what I am told to do. Now sure, I can show my hot self up at work tomorrow in my torn jeans and my cute little flipflops, but I’ll probably get reprimanded for it."
"So if that were my daughter I would tell her this: leave your miniskirts for your weekends at the mall but if your school says it is too short, tough cookies, sweetie. Life is unfair. Now get to school."
She also links to a video of the protest’s aftermath. Miss Hinkle was a bit distraught at the low turnout and cried "like someone ran over her puppy", saying, "This is something really big and really important. I thought I was going to have a good protest. I worked so hard."
Really important? Local blogger Alektra disagrees.
"YOU’RE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! WHAT DO YOU NEED A MINISKIRT FOR?…Maybe, Ms. Hinkle, you should teach your daughter to stop protesting good school rules and stop letting your daughter follow overly sexual trends when she’s TEN. Maybe she could, oh, I don’t know, study or do the things you talked about on TV – ballet and ice skating. Just don’t tell me that you really plan to send your daughter into school in a tutu and tights and expect the other kids not to be distracted from THEIR studies."
"In today’s society, our children are forced to grow up rapidly. We feel that it is totally inappropriate that a figure of authority has the right to instill the perception upon a then 9-year-old that she should think of herself in a sexual context."
"The reality of the world will come in due time and we, as parents of a teenager, are well armed to handle that certainty. We do not feel that it is the job of an elementary school principal to take it upon herself to decide when adolescents become young adults."
Huh? There are lots of forces in society pressuring kids to grow up too fast, most of which are related to the media. Zoe no doubt learned how to dress provacatively from watching girls and women do likewise on TV and in movies. I’m sure she experiences a lot of peer pressure to fit in, too. Instead of protesting the principal for taking a stand to protect those in his charge, why don’t you work toward making women realize that they are not defined by their sexiness or lack thereof, Mrs. Hinkle? Do you want Zoe to end up like these girls? A recent study showed that hypersexualized media lead kids to explore their sexuality at earlier ages.
"Sexually charged music, magazines, TV and movies push youngsters into intercourse at an earlier age, perhaps by acting as kind of virtual peer that tells them everyone else is doing it, a study said Monday."
"In general it found that the highest exposure levels led to more sexual activity, with white teens in the group 2.2 times more likely to have had intercourse at ages 14 to 16 than similar youngsters who had the least exposure."
"The teenage pregnancy rate in the United States is three to 10 times higher than that found in other industrialized nations, making that and exposure to sexually transmitted infections a major public health concern, the study said.
"At the same time parents tend not to talk about sex with their children in a timely and comprehensive way, leaving a vacuum in which the media may become a powerful sex educator, providing ‘frequent and compelling portraits of sex as fun and risk free.’"
"Youngsters ‘may begin to believe the world view portrayed and may begin to adopt the media’s social norms as their own. Some, especially those who have fewer alternative sources of sexual norms, such as parents or friends, may use the media as a kind of sexual superpeer that encourages them to be sexually active,’ the report added."
Contrast this inane protest with the Abercrombie & Fitch girlcott. Was it a little frivolous? Perhaps. The cause of combatting sexism and glorification of promiscuity was good, though. These little brats don’t realize that they’re buying into the same misogynistic agenda. The crybaby’s setting herself to be a sex object for the rest of her life. I pity her and I would love to slap the taste out of her mom’s mouth.