Shannon column: Cleavage wars or how deep is the valley?
Here we have another age–old conflict with no end in sight. Combatants are dug in and take no prisoners. The justifications behind the conflict have been heard repeatedly. The grievances and provocations are ancient. The danger for collateral damage is very real. And there’s already evidence of crossing a red–line border.
And I’m not even talking about Syria – unless your local high school is named Bashar al-Assad High. This grinding, Ypres–like conflict is over what girls wear to school, and it has chewed up generations with no end in sight.
It’s such a fact of life, one wonders why the WoePost even bothers?
Yet there it was on the front page of the murder section: “Is a crop top empowering for girls? How parents navigate what’s ‘appropriate’ for high school.”
Notice how Little Miss StuffIt isn’t even in the picture. It’s the parent’s job to “navigate” what the school will tolerate. What the parents will tolerate isn’t part of the equation.
That wasn’t how it worked at the Shannon household. Clothes that didn’t make our daughter look like a slut were fine with us and we never had any complaints from school.
That’s not the situation at the Bloomer’s. “‘I’m not letting you leave the house looking like that,’ said her mother, Tara Bloomer, telling her daughter that she looked like an ‘easy girl.’ A ‘prostitute.’ Seeing his daughter walk down the driveway, Sky’s father, Bryan Bloomer, tried asking her to change. But the teenager didn’t budge. She got into her friend’s car and left for school.”
Parents who raise their children, instead of living in an uneasy truce, will notice a number of problems immediately. Clothing choice isn’t the main one, it’s only the most recent one.
The first was naming your daughter “Sky.” The second was creating a discipline structure at home that persuades your daughter she can leave the house wearing something you forbid and not suffer consequences. And finally, who’s buying the Cleavage Collection?
Our daughter went through a brief cardio workout before leaving for school. She raised her hands over her head and then reached down to touch her toes. If no belly buttons or bloomers were visible, she was good to go. The rules were followed because following the rules was enforced from a very early age.
I get the feeling at the Bloomer household parents tried to encourage Sky to “make good choices.”
The really sad part of the daughter’s defiance is she thinks she’s being empowered. Dad tries to reason with her, “Truly powerful and intelligent women don’t have to show off everything they have.” “Okay, misogynist,” she replies. Then Sky proceeds to dress to please every mouth–breathing misogynist waiting at school for that day’s performance.
The equally dizzy Post reporter claims, “Teenage girls today are using the language of female empowerment to defend their outfit choices to the adults around them, claiming autonomy over their bodies and calling out clothing restrictions they see as sexist.” Only teens have been “calling out restrictions” since the ‘60s and it has not proved persuasive with anyone besides reporters and professors.
High school boys don’t look at a girl dressed like a hoochie–mama and think, “Wow, does that girl look empowered!”
Instead they look at her and hope she drops her pencil.
Another airhead decided to really punish the leering guys by not leaving anything to the imagination. “A 17-year-old senior at Blair High School, started wearing more revealing clothes last school year after a breakup with a boyfriend who was ‘very controlling and very manipulative,’ she said. ‘I wanted to rebel against him. That was one way I did it.’
She stopped wearing bras and started wearing ‘a lot of semi-see-through tops, a lot of camisoles,’ ‘My midriff is almost always showing to some extent.’”
It’s no surprise she misses the point that her “rebellion” is defined by someone else’s standards.
She also knows her outfits are tacky. “Even if we’re dressed completely respectably, we still face the same stuff we would face if we’re dressed half-naked. We still get assaulted, we still get belittled, and we have our intelligence knocked.”
Maybe, but respectability lowers the odds.
I have a question for weakling parents and their daughters: How many successful business women — outside of Stormy Daniels — dress like that in the workplace?
All the teenage exhibitionists fall back on that old chestnut “creativity” and “self–expression” to justify dressing like they’re going to a trafficking audition. But why does “creativity” always involve subtracting clothes and never adding?
Parents who allow their daughters to leave the house wearing an “Ask Me About My Boobs” top aren’t doing their child any favors. In these situations when the chicken finally comes home to roost it’s often accompanied by a little chick.
Copyright 2019 Michael Shannon, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of “A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” He can be reached at email@example.com.
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