Honors student and high school senior Macy Edgerly was sent home from Orangefield High School in Orange County, Texas, for a dress code violation on April 2. The thousands of people who shared the viral photos of her ‘inappropriate’ clothing still can’t figure out what this teen did wrong.
Macy was sent home for wearing what appear to be tight, knee-length exercise pants with an oversized shirt (an outfit I wear every day as a mother of two, I might add). In the picture, Macy’s backside is fully covered. In fact, the only body parts showing are her calves and forearms.
After this unfair dismissal from school, Macy’s sister Erica took to Facebook with the following message, “Today, my sister was sent home from school for wearing the clothes in the picture below. And I’m sorry, but I have to stand up for my family and for women who are degraded and judged for their bodies and clothing every day. People wonder why women feel insecure about their bodies or what they wear…”
“And it’s because you’re told your clothing is inappropriate when you’re completely fully clothed, even when you’re not showing cleavage or anything. How about instead of body shaming women, school systems should start teaching 15-18 year old boys to stop degrading women with their eyes and contributing to the rape culture of today’s society.”
What Erica said is so brilliant, so spot on and so important for all of us to hear that I want to find her parents and congratulate them for raising such a smart, well-spoken daughter. It’s no wonder her Facebook post has over 77,000 shares and counting.
Erica essentially made my point for me: Macy’s dress code violation was a blatant double standard. I have yet to find in the history of the internet and in all of my time as a parenting writer a case where a boy was sent home for wearing what Macy wore to school — a modest outfit that resembles a man’s baseball uniform.
A high school boy wouldn’t have been sent home for wearing this.
Just as upsetting is the victim-blaming message the school sent: It is not a girl’s responsibility to dress in a way that does not distract boys. It is a boy’s responsibility to keep his eyes and hands to himself, no matter what a girl is wearing. We teach our sons the basics of morality, like not to lie and steal. Surely we can teach our sons not to objectify women based on what they wear?
Orangefield High School has yet to comment on the bizarre reason Macy was sent home from school. But parents, consider this story a blessing in disguise because it’s an eye-opener. Degrading double standards like this are still happening every day at your kids’ schools. And as we all know, change starts at home.
We can teach our daughters self-respect with the knowledge that they don’t have to dress to protect boys from temptation. We can instill in our sons self-control and respect for women, regardless of what they wear, to put a stop to this rape culture mentality in high schools.