Throwing Shade

From South Mississippi to White House, women face more scrutiny — for everything

Kaylee Salazar poses in Ocean Springs on her wedding day.
Kaylee Salazar poses in Ocean Springs on her wedding day.

On July 13, Sun Herald reporter Anita Lee wrote about a civil lawsuit against the Pass Christian School District and the state Department of Education. The lawsuit claims Pass High failed to protect a 15-year-old female student from sexual assault on April 20, 2015.

There were many shocking details that allegedly occurred as listed in the suit, but one of the most disturbing things I read is that the lawsuit said the girl had to spend the rest of the school year in the principal’s office “for her own safety.” Her alleged attacker returned to school later in the school year, the lawsuit says.

A girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted completed a school year in isolation while her alleged attacker was allowed back inside the classroom to complete a normal routine. A teenager was stripped of nearly a year of her high school career because she told someone that she had been (allegedly) assaulted on campus, a place where she is supposed to be constantly supervised by educators.

In our society, it seems to be all too often that women are punished for no reason at all. And as a man, that is infuriating.

Dress code dilemma

I’ve seen parents post to Facebook multiple times, upset with a school’s dress code. Their daughter’s shirt has to be cut a certain way, and her shorts or skirt must hit her knees or close to it. Anything shorter, they have said, would be a “distraction” to other students.

Are we teaching children to dress conservatively or modestly for the sake of learning, or are we teaching girls to cover themselves up because their body is too much of a “distraction” for students?

And it doesn’t end there.

Women are still constantly judged by their appearances well beyond the classroom.

Free the nipple?

Men can take their shirts off at any time, and we often see chiseled abs and rock-hard pecs on our television screens.

But if a woman tries to free the nipple, it is almost always censored. And heaven forbid if a woman wants to breast-feed her child without covering the child’s face, which could restrict air flow.

I’m still trying to understand why people are so offended by something so natural and God-given as a nipple. If you find a logical answer, please tweet me.

Wedding dress woes

Earlier this year, my cousin tied the knot with her longtime beau in Biloxi. They live in Ocean Springs and have a beautiful daughter together.

She describes herself as a wildflower and has encouraged others to march to the beat of their own drum. She says what she wants, does what she wants and wears what she wants. And on her wedding day, that did not change. Her signature look of choice is a crop top and a pair of high-waisted shorts. She works hard on her physique and loves to show it off.

It came as no surprise to the people closest to her that she would choose to wear a crop top as part of her wedding dress.

She was a stunning bohemian bride, and many friends and family complimented her and told her how stunning she looked, and that is the absolute truth. There is no other dress I could have ever seen on my cousin, who is more like my little sister.

However, I was shocked at the few negative comments people had on her wedding day. Yes, people went up to her at her wedding to give her their two cents. Other people also have told me they could not believe she would wear a crop top to her wedding.

And here we go again, criticizing a beautiful woman for being true to herself and being proud of her body. She chose to be herself on her special day, and there are always a few people who will try rain on someone’s parade.

And don’t even get me started on people bashing Melania Trump or Hillary Clinton for their clothing choices. Apparently, when a woman is prominent in the news or media, people only seem to care about what they wear, how much they spent on a jacket, or how much skin they showed on the cover of a magazine.

They are doctors and lawyers and activists and writers and dancers and construction workers and singers. They are waitresses and stay-at-home-parents and students. They are teens. They are lovers and fighters. They are half of the world’s population, and we constantly expect them to dress, act and post (to social media) as we see fit. Girls should be running the world, but are we, in fact, running them?