Here is my story about an opportunity I had today to do just that..
A Catholic science teacher asked me this morning to talk to a girl who has been dressing scantily. She walked into a class full of freshmen boys yesterday who then proceeded to hoot and holler and harass her in front of the teacher and throughout the day. The proposed solution is for me to talk to her and tell her when she dresses that way she “drives boys crazy.” I asked if anyone talked to the boys about their behavior and it was like it hadn’t occurred to him; he said, “Oh, uh, no, I don’t think so.”
I explained to the science teacher that I can talk to her, but am not going to send that message, and why. And I want to talk to the boys, too. Christian math teacher jumps in to stalwartly defend the idea that young women are in control of boys’ actions. I tell him I want to live in a world where sexual harassment is not considered a natural hazard, and victims in general aren’t blamed for their own abuse, but we can at least try to create that culture here. He said, “That’s why I’m glad I’m having a boy” (his wife is pregnant). I told him, “Well you better raise your boy better than thinking what he does in the world is the fault of women and their wardrobe choices.” He stared at me a second and then left. I looked up and the science teacher had left the room as well.
I think I just figured out how to clear out the copy room at the busiest time of day.
This is a message young women are getting across the country - it’s completely unacceptable to go on with our days without resisting and directly interrupting the constant stream of blame on women for the effects of patriarchy! SPEAK UP!
—A high school teacher in California