We knew we liked 17-year-old homeschooled senior Clare when she wrote a blog titled "Fuck the Patriarchy." We knew we loved her when we read her entire fierce and fearless takedown of sexism and sanctioned sleaze-bucketry.
We suggest you read Clare's whole sordid story, but here's the gist:
Our girl Clare got all dolled up for her homeschool prom in Richmond, Virginia, in a shimmery silver dress that—adhering to the dance's rules—was longer than fingertip length. By her own admission, she's tall (5'10") and relatively curvy, so the dress made her look older and, well, hot. Good for her.
Apparently, supervisors at the dance disagreed, with one calling her out for her inappropriately short dress, despite it passing the fingertip test and being longer than others at the dance. But here's the real kicker: when Clare went out on the dance floor in said dress, and got ogled by a bunch of creeper dad chaperones hanging out on the balcony, she was asked to leave because of the "impure thoughts" guys at the dance could have about her.
That's right: don't blame the middle-aged pervs ogling the high school girl . . . blame the high school girl for inviting the perviness!
We have our own thoughts about this—and they generally include expletives—but Clare said it best in her roundup of what made the situation so fucked. Among her concerns?
I was told that the way I dressed and moved my body was causing men to think inappropriately about me, implying that it is my responsibility to control other people’s thoughts and drives.
I felt violated by the sheer number of male parents that were assigned to do nothing for five hours other then watch girls in short dresses and heels dance to upbeat music. I think that it is sick and wrong that they assigned them to sit on a balcony above us and look down on us and single us out for our clothes or dancing.
Of course, men gaping at underage girls is nothing new (hello, horrifying Britney Spears concerts circa 2000). Nor is it uncommon for women to be blamed for "making" men think inappropriate thoughts. But neither of these situations are articulated outloud nearly enough in our culture. And that makes Clare's post an act of total bad-assery and bravery.
Fuck the patriarchy, indeed.