Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dude Looks Like a Lady

Cobb Teen Told He Can't Dress Like a Female at School:

Jonathan Escobar says he chooses to wear clothes that express himself. Skinny jeans, wigs, "vintage" clothing and makeup are the staples of his wardrobe.

"I don't consider myself a cross-dresser," he said. "This is just who I am."

But the 16-year-old says an assistant principal at North Cobb High School told him last week he needed to dress more "manly" for school, or consider being home-schooled. He had only been a student at the school for three days.

"I told myself I can't accept this," said Escobar, who wore a pink wig to school last Wednesday.

Escobar said the assistant principal told him his style of dress had caused a fight between students at the school.

In the words of our former vice-president, so? What were they fighting over? Wanting to have the clothes or perhaps wanting him?

Sounds like perfectly normal high school behavior to me. But not, of course, to administration bureaucrats.

"You can't wear clothing that causes a disruption," said Jay Dillon, spokesman for Cobb County schools.

Dillon said he believed Escobar arrived at school in a dress and heels. But Escobar said he never wore a dress. He says he opted for "skinny" jeans all three days with flats.

The district lists the dress code on its homepage. The rule states that students should "refrain from any mode of dress which proves to contribute to any disruption of school functions."

Considering those in administration usually dress 15-20 years out of date, I wonder why "vintage clothing" is considered a "disruption to school functions." Frankly, I kinda like the hat. Very Marlo Thomas, circa "That Girl" era.

But this has nothing to do with clothing and everything to do with rigid, stereotypical gender roles and expectations.

On the one hand, perhaps the student is grandstanding and seeking the proverbial 15 minutes over nothing, and we should just ignore the story.

On the other hand, the idea that women's vintage hats and clothing on a male is considered "disruptive" in school, is another example of "zero tolerance" stupidity.

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