lauren3210: (merthur)
[personal profile] lauren3210
Do you ever get so angry that you feel completely impotent with rage, and you end up wanting to cry with frustration? Because sometimes I do. Most of the time I can shrug things off and not let them bother me, because I'm able to tell myself that there's nothing I can do to change the situation and that getting upset only hurts myself, so why bother. But then, there are times when I get so angry that my hands shake and my palms itch with the need to strangle someone with my bare hands. Read on for the source of my rage:


So, my daughter turned 15 last week, and on Saturday, she got an ear piercing. It looks like this:



And the first thing her school does is tell her that if she doesn't remove it immediately, she will be pulled out of her lessons until she does. And yes, okay, the school does have a rule about no piercings, but then they also have a rule about no make up, and they're not pulling students out of class who are wearing inch thick foundation and bright red lipstick and fake eyelashes. There's also a rule about no hair dye, but they're not pulling students out of class who have bleached blonde hair. No, they're only deciding to enforce this arbitrary rule on my daughter, because my daughter doesn't conform to conventional female norms. And so I'm going to the mattresses over this, because my daughter's right to bodily autonomy is more important to us both than their need to assert power and control over people who have no choice but to obey.

I am so fucking angry about this, because I tried to be polite, I really did. I called the school and asked to speak to her head of house, and I said that it's only for a few weeks, until the piercing is healed, so could she just cover it with her hair until the point comes where she can remove it for the school day. It's a cartilage piercing, which means that if she takes it out before it's healed, she won't be able to get it again, so they are in effect forcing my daughter to choose between her education and her right to make choices about her own body, and I absolutely refuse to let them do that to her.

The thing is, I know some people will be thinking, why let her get it done if we knew that there was a rule against it at her school. But the thing is, I'm raising 3 girls, and she is just the first one to get to the age where she is beginning to realise that the rest of society believe they have the right to dictate what she does with her own body. She will be judged on what she chooses to wear, what she chooses to do for a living, when/if she loses her virginity. Every single decision she makes with regard to herself will be judged by everyone else, because society believes that their opinion is more important than what my daughter wants to do with her own body. This is just the first of many decisions that she will make about herself that others will comment upon, and I think it's incredibly important that she stand up for her decision, and that I support it. It's important for her self-worth, for her self-confidence, that she knows that only she has the right to dictate what she does with her own body, and that it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks about it, she can do whatever the fuck she wants to herself and doesn't have to answer to anyone else. Her body, her choice, in all things, including body modifications.

GCSEs can be retaken, if it comes to that, but the blow to her bodily autonomy, to her self-worth as a female, would be much harder to overcome. So come at me, you craptastic excuse for an educational establishment. I only get more eloquent the angrier I get, and you're in for a smackdown of epic proportions to be honest.



I've been watching Supernatural since its inception, and it's always had its problems. There was the racist truck episode (they literally wrote an entire episode about a black man who was killed for dating a white woman coming back to haunt the white men who lynched him and painted him as the bad guy jesus fucking christ), and so many female characters fridged just for the advancement of ~manpain. They frequently "no homo" any possible subtext, and queer characters and poor people are often the butt of jokes. Basically, the only way to not be offended while watching this show is if you're a middle class straight white dude. But then, in season 7, they brought in a character called Charlie. Charlie is a geek, she's a computer hacker who takes advice from her bobblehead Hermione, goes to cons and cosplays in a field where she's the elven queen in charge of the fight against the evil goblins, and she goes running off into the land of Oz with Dorothy because yep, she's also a lesbian. Because she's a lesbian, she's allowed to live at the end of her first episode, because otherwise she would have had to have been paired off with one of the brothers and eventually killed to further their plot, because that's what happens to all of their love interests. So she's in half a dozen episodes, and the entire - and mainly female - fandom latches onto her, because she's like the literal embodiment of everything the show has been lacking so far. So what do they do? THEY KILL HER OFF. They also do it off screen, because apparently she's not even important enough to show her ugly and unnecessary death, and once again, it's all to further the plots of the straight white dudes.

Just, FUCK YOU, writers. Contrary to your misogynistic viewpoint, female characters are actually able to have storylines that aren't about men. Female characters aren't useless unless they're connected romantically to a male character. The fact that you did this 10 seasons into this show just proves that even over the span of a decade, you can't learn the simple fact that a bunch of straight white men are just not interesting to watch. WE DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR MANPAIN. Ugh.


Phew, I feel slightly better now! Sorry for the rant, guys, hopefully y'all are having a better day than I am! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-07 02:47 pm (UTC)
gracerene: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gracerene
I totally feel you on the anger thing, and I'm sorry your dealing with evil school admins. :(

Hope everything works out!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-07 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauren3210.livejournal.com
Thanks, darling, me too! <3

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-07 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dicta-contrion.livejournal.com
Right. Fucking. On.

Really really hope the school admins hear you on this one. I think I'm often in the minority here, but I so agree with your logic. If you teach children, especially girls, that bodily autonomy (of the sort that doesn't hurt anyone else) is not something they have, that other people have the right to decide what they do with their bodies, where does that stop? Nowhere good, I'm thinking. So yes, totally think it's worth the fight, and oooooh it's extra it's maddening that they're not enforcing the rules for people who are trying to be more stereotypically feminine with the makeup and such. Huge, huge thumbs down at that.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-07 07:20 pm (UTC)
snowgall: (Default)
From: [personal profile] snowgall
Yes, all of this. I would tend to be more sympathetic to the school IF (and it's a big 'if') they were consistent about how they enforced their rules AND if there were similarly restrictive rules for boys and not just girls. Then it would just be a case of a very conservative dress code that everybody has to deal with in the same way. But when you selectively enforce just parts of a dress code, and specifically those parts which dictate how feminine girls should look, then no. Fuck no.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-07 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauren3210.livejournal.com
Yes exactly. I'm a Feminist, so I am all in support of girls being whatever they want to be, whether that be stereotypically feminine or the complete opposite. But if my daughter is being discriminated against just because she doesn't conform to supposed feminine ideals, then I am just never going to be here for that. Her school dress code is fairly strict, but if they can let the fake eyelashes and bleached blonde hair slide, then they can let my daughter's - really quite unobtrusive - piercing slide as well.

I've always had a bit of an issue with dress codes in schools anyway (seriously, my mum starts laughing whenever the subject comes up because she just knows I'm going to go off on a rant about it), because I really dislike what that does to young adults who are still learning who they are and how to express themselves. I feel it stymies individuality and propagates the need to conform to social ideals, and that all they're doing is churning out masses of young people who know nothing else than to toe the party line. In effect, it stymies progression and growth of society as a whole, because change comes about from people thinking differently and breaking away from the norm, and by forcing them to conform at that age actively discourages individual thought processes. Aaaand there's that rant I was talking about, lmao!

<3

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-07 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauren3210.livejournal.com
Exactly my thoughts. It's such a little thing in regards to the whole, a bloody piercing, but it's indicative of everything that is wrong in our society and its perception of women, especially young girls. If she gives up this one thing that she wants (her piercing) in order to keep something else (her education), what else will she think she might have to give up in order to have things that she should have a basic right to access? Will she think that giving up her virginity before she's ready is the price she'll have to pay in order to keep her boyfriend? Will she think that wearing putting up with a male boss's attentions a necessary evil if she wants to keep her job? Will she think that it's okay to be groped by her project partner at university if it means getting a good enough grade? (All things that have happened to me in the past, btw.) So yeah, it's important to me that she stands up for her right to her own body, and it's important to me that she sees me standing there with her and supporting her. Thanks for the support, sweetie! <3

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-07 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestlyn.livejournal.com
Wow, those are some pretty strict rules in that school. I don't envy you having to take them on. I suppose the admin figures if they allowed make-up, hair-dye, piercings and tats the whole place would turn into a freak show. I wonder if they similarly limit free speech and other human rights? Yeah, I would force their hand. If they have to have all these arbitrary rules, then they damn well need to enforce them all for everyone. They don't get to pick and choose which things take priority.

In the US, pretty much anything goes at school, but some places don't allow gang colors to be worn at school. The stuff that I think is over the top is suspending 6 yr olds because they chewed their sandwich into the shape of a gun. A squirt gun would probably get you tossed in juvenile detention for the rest of the school year. Or expelling people for having a nail file. I'm not into packing weapons to school, but some of this is just over-kill.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-07 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauren3210.livejournal.com
If I'm honest, I truly think that the only reason for all of these strict rules is because the people in position of power like having that power. It's all about control; they're their rules, and it's down to them who has to follow them and who don't (and they themselves certainly don't; some of the hairstyles I have seen on the teachers, wow). I'm pretty certain that my chances of beating this thing are good, because last year they tried to bring in a new rule that said girls were only allowed to wear white bras, because coloured ones were too distracting for the boys to get any work done. Like, fuck off you wankers. Thankfully, enough parents went into an uproar over this and the school were so shocked at having their rules tested that they removed it from the restrictions fairly quickly. (Not surprisingly, the school's admin is made up entirely of men. Gross.)

I know that in Britain at least, the idea of school uniform is to reduce bullying; if they're all wearing the same thing, then there's less chance of someone being singled out. And while I do get that, and appreciate its merit, I think there is a big difference between saying "everyone has to wear black trousers and a white shirt," and effectively announcing "we are in control over what you do with your bodies." Her everyday school uniform is the former, but the rule about piercings, make up, and hair, are the latter, and I won't have my daughter's choices about herself being dictated to like this. If I'm not allowed to do it (and I don't think I am), then they're certainly not.

<3

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-08 09:27 pm (UTC)
nia_kantorka: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nia_kantorka
I wanted to comment here since you've posted it. How did it go at your daughter's school, hon? Could you force an exception for her? You know, I think you are able to do so and get your point through. I really hope it worked out!

Ah, now I know why I'm not going to watch Supernatural. Two good looking guys can't make up for missing variety and too little brains of script writers.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-08 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauren3210.livejournal.com
Well, I spoke to her head of house, her head of year, and her form tutor, and they all agreed that she could keep it in until it has healed, at which point she should take it out for the school day. She all just advised that she keep it covered with her hair, to avoid anymore confrontations about it. So we thought it was done, until the head of music (ohmygod, so many heads of different things whaaaaaaat) asked her if she'd had it removed and then asked her to show him her ear so that he could see for himself. She told him "mymum says if I don't want to show you, I don't have to," to which he replied, "if a teacher asks you to show them something, you do it." Like, WHAT THE FUCK?? Would you like for her to show you her breasts while she's at it?? So I kind of lost my temper at that point, and I called the school to talk to this man, and I told him in no uncertain terms that he was not to go near my daughter again. He told me he was going to talk to the deputy head (yet another head ohmygoddddd) and I told him he absolutely should, because I'd like to talk to her myself about the way this man talks to young girls who are supposed to be in his care. He then spluttered a bit down the phone, and then hung up, and I haven't heard anything since, so we'll see. Maybe it's sorted? Everyone else I've spoken to about it have been completely open to discussion about it except this one man (who was the one to start the whole process to begin with). So... I don't know, lol!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-05-09 08:23 am (UTC)
nia_kantorka: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nia_kantorka
How can that teacher say such things? Argh, what an arse. I hope it's sorted and am glad that all the other heads have been open about it. And I asked myself if the're teachers at her school who aren't head of anything. The non-heads seem to be a minority. LOL
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