Middle School Yearbook Photoshopped "Feminist" From A Student's T-Shirt, Because The Patriarchy Starts Early
Apparently, feminism is still a dirty word in some parts of the country, because a middle school in Ohio removed the word "feminist" from a student's shirt in a yearbook photo. Thanks to the Internet, however, the administration's overzealous photoshopping is getting more attention than anyone could have expected. It all began when Sophie Turner, a 13-year-old eight grade student at Clermont Northeastern Middle School, wore a black T-shirt emblazoned with the word "feminist" for a school photo, the Independent reports. Although her mother, Christine Thomas, claims that the student had worn the shirt before without comment, they were astonished to receive this year's class photo and find that the word had been digitally removed at the request of the school's principal, Kendra Young. She did so because she wanted to avoid ruffling feathers among parents, according to the Independent. "Also, what is the next T-shirt going to be?" she added. The Thomases quickly confronted Young about the censorship, after which the principal agreed to hold sessions discussing the meaning of feminism as well as "what it is not." By then, however, Thomas's situation had begun gaining traction on social media after she took to Twitter to voice her outrage.
She also created the hashtags #KEEPFEMINISIMINSCHOOLS and "IDESERVEFREEDOMOFEXPRESSION as a way for others to show their support.
Prettty amazing for someone who hasn't even started high school yet, isn't it? Thomas is far from the only student to protest double standards based on gender in schools, however. Just last year, the students of Maggie L. Walker Governor's School protested the administration's decision to ban all girls from wearing shorts for a day in the most hilarious way possible: all the male students showed up wearing short-shorts. Earlier this month, in a move similar to Thomas, a high school student and her sister took to Facebook to protest the decision to send her home for wearing a long shirt and leggings to school and wound up with 80,000 supporters online. Back in September, students all over the United States created the hashtag #iammorethanadistraction to protest "slut-shaming" dress codes.
In fact, every other week seems to bring news of students protesting sexism in their schools. Exciting as it may be to see students who haven't even gotten their driver's licenses taking a stand against sexism, though, I'm waiting for the day when it isn't news anymore, because there isn't anything to protest. In the meantime, let's hope that Thomas and her fellow feminists stay in the news until their voices are heard.
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