Thursday, 8 August 2013

Victim blaming?



It has hit the news today, that the school where Jeremy Forrest taught and then ran away with one of the pupils, have revised or tightened their school uniform policy to say that no tight trousers are to be worn and skirts must be a respectable length and no more than two inches above the knee. No Lycra is to be worn either. 

Insert aghast smiley face here.

Now what I don't know is when this policy came in. To me it sounds like pretty standard school uniform policy, BUT, (and like mine, it's a pretty big butt) this is the school where the teacher ran away with one of the pupils, she was was under the legal age of consent, she was a child, he was in a position of trust. Making it wrong, making it illegal.

In my opinion the school may have been better off announcing a policy where the teachers have to wear corduroy jackets with patches on the elbows and trousers that come up to their elbows. 

In other words, not concentrate on desexualising the CHILDREN, but making the teachers unattractive. 

Because this sure sounds like victim blaming to me. 

Teenagers develop crushes on teachers, SOME teachers, not all, overstep the boundaries of what is right, (and legal) who is in the wrong? 

Over the last couple of days I've seen too much of children not being protected by those who should protect them.

Including a 13 year old victim of abuse being described as "predatory" and her sexual history being used. 

How about we DON'T blame the children? We protect the children instead? 

A school uniform policy that makes sure that the children are not wearing tight or inappropriate clothing doesn't seem anything less than another way to victim blame to me.

What do you think? 

Let me know.


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7 comments

  1. We had similar restrictions at university years ago; when a girl was raped on campus, the university banned students from wearing fancy dress school uniforms (as it was thought this is the reason she was targeted) Be nice if convenient excuses for abuse were seen through as the pathetic attempts at defence they are and not used as a stick to beat victims with

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  2. Sounds like a good school uniform to me but yes, after recent events, victim blaming, and a bit creepy...hey kids, stop turning us on! How about teachers follow the rules and, ya know, not shag the pupils? What next, enforced burkhas for everyone? This also sends a really bad message out to male pupils a la "she was asking for it" for which so many women have marched against.

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  3. My school had a very strict uniform policy in the 80s, but it didn't stop 2 teachers dating, and later marrying, pupils. Of course in those days it was legal as long as pupils were over 16. You're right, Kelly; I find it alarming that the onus appears to be on children to restrain adults in both the cases you discuss.

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  4. It's insulting to the adults as well. They are basically saying they cannot control their baser instincts if they see a short/tight skirt. Also it does reinforce the idea that girls wearing certain clothes are 'asking for trouble'

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  5. The uniform policy in itself seems pretty reasonable for a school but given that it seems to have been revised recently it does seem as though it has been done in response to the Jeremy Forrest case, which completely sends out the wrong message to everyone involved. I find it completely baffling that anybody can hear about a case like this and think firstly of blaming the child/teenager. No matter how flirty/provocative/whatever a child is or isn't being it is still completely wrong to take advantage of them and as the adult in the situation they should be taking full responsibility for their actions.

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  6. I think all schools should have this policy regarding uniforms, after all it is a school not a party. But given that they've only just brought this in, it does seem very suspicious. One, it gives out the wrong signals to kids (short skirts are asking to get rape etc) and two, the teachers must be mortified because not all of them will look at kids in certain uniforms and get turned on.xox

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  7. Jesus, that's a whole bucket of wrong. I agree every school has to have a dress code but this seems like they're doing it to curry favour with the press and worried parents.

    Whoever is in charge of that school needs to understand the message they're sending out to young people. Do we as a society need to bolster up the popular myth that men 'can't help' themselves?! This is backwards. They are going to fuck up these kids heads!

    Puhlease. Way to reaffirm the message that women are tempters and men are never at fault for preying on them sexually. I could weep.

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