An American school has been forced to remove posters on prom dress code after the patronising and sexist messages caused outrage.
Students at Stanton College Preparatory School in Florida say the posters went up on Monday (27 March), depicting various prom dresses, alongside curt notes asking “Going to Stanton Prom?” and answering with “No you’re not” on those deemed unacceptable for being backless or having a thigh split.
The notice that caused the most upset was the one showing a picture of an ‘acceptable’ gown, under which were the words, “Going to Stanton Prom? Yes you are. Good girl.”
Not only did the messages understandably cause offence, but the posters appeared just five days before the prom.
Though it is unclear who produced them, and the school district stated the following day that the images were “not appropriate or an approved policy”, 18-year-old student Lily Willingham, who posted a picture of the posters on Twitter, told The Huffington Post that school administrators were thought to have been responsible.
Student body president Anthony Paul created the hashtag #SCPGoodGirl and urged students to attend school with feminist symbols duct-taped to their clothing. The school removed the posters and, according to Willingham, apologised.
ANTHONY PAUL SGA PREZ PSA: TO HELL W/ TOURIST DAY- WEAR A SHIRT AND DUCT TAPE THE FEMALE GENDER SIGN ON IT AND WEAR IT TO SCHOOL - RT THIS— anthony (@anthonyrpaul) March 27, 2017
She told the website she hoped the incident would bring attention to the “hyper-sexualisation” of women’s bodies: “There was immediate outrage due to not only to the fact that the dress code was introduced five days before prom, but also because of the sexist connotations […]
“Girls are made to feel responsible for what a boy ‘might do or feel’ in response to how we dress. Dress codes are grossly outdated for 2017.”
Watch: Stop telling women to cover up
Main image: twitter.com/lilwillingham