“Fuck the Patriarchy” – guest post by Clare

Another week, another story of everyday sexism. My sister (a different one — she’s 17 and doing dual enrollment at the local community college to finish up her last year of high school via homeschooling and will start college on the east coast this coming fall) was supposed to go to prom this past weekend, but everything went terribly wrong. When I saw her Facebook status about it (which used the particularly perfect phrase “rape culture activists”), I asked if she wanted to share her story with you here, and she took a little time this evening to write up this fantastic post for you all. This story is actually pretty common — things like this happened a lot in the homeschool ballroom dance + grassroots theater circles in Richmond. But I’ll let her speak for herself. I’m so proud of her.


So, I’m a high school senior, a homeschooler, and a girl, and something really awful happened to me last night, and it made me really mad. Not so much because it was something that did permanent damage to me, but because it is something I have seen happen over, and over and over to people I love and care for very much, and on what better day then mother’s day could I make a stand for the mothers, and the sisters, and the daughters and the friends who have been victims of this painful, traumatizing evil. So here is my story.

Last night was my senior prom. I live in Richmond, VA and several weeks ago my boyfriend got our tickets to the Richmond Homeschool Prom. The theme was “Twilight in Paris.” I got my dress, my shoes, we got our flowers and we waited eagerly for Saturday to arrive. My dress was gorgeous, silver, and sparkly and I got it at Macy’s and was very excited to find it after searching over 6 stores for this dress. The only dress code specified on the registration form was that “Ladies, please keep your dresses fingertip length or longer.” Like a good little homeschooler, I made sure that the dress was fingertip length on me; I even tried it on with my shoes, just to be sure. It was fingertip length, I was ecstatic, and I laid down several weeks worth of tip money I had been saving up to buy it.

the dress
the dress

Fast forward to prom night. I’m all dolled up, channeling my inner Marilyn Monroe with my blonde hair and bright red lipstick. I’m a tall and fairly curvy girl and you know something? I looked hot. Not trashy, but you definitely would look twice when I walked through a doorway.IMG_20140510_185847


And you know what happened? I got kicked out of prom because of it. Stay with me, I’ll explain. I showed up at prom with my boyfriend, and I was wearing the really cute silver dress that was fingertip length on me, and on my way in Mrs. D (one of the two ladies organizing the prom this year) stopped me and said, “honey, that dress is too short.” I said, “what is the rule?” she said, “fingertip length” and I put my arms down by my sides and showed her that it was fingertip length. After which she made a face at me and was like, “well make sure it stays pulled down, it’s too short.” I want you to know that she is a very short woman, and I assumed that she probably just didn’t understand that when you’re 5’9″ and leggy, everything looks shorter on you then it would on anyone else, even if it’s still inside the dress code. So, I tried to help her understand by saying, “I just have long legs, everything looks short on me, but it is fingertip length I just showed you.” To which she responded begrudgingly “Okay but you need to be careful and just keep pulling it down, but not too far!” I was annoyed with her pettiness, especially because I had so carefully complied to their rules, but I said “Yes ma’am,” and went into the ballroom.

When I got into the ballroom I laughed, because I was surrounded by girls in much shorter dresses then me, albeit they were shorter, and therefore stood out less in the crowd, but it was still frustrating. I joined my group of friends, (there were six of us), and told them what happened, they were all appalled, especially considering we’ve been attending this prom all four years of high school and usually wore much shorter dresses then we chose this year. We were also a little grossed out by all the dads on the balcony above the dance floor, ogling and talking amongst themselves. We weren’t dancing, but swaying with the music and talking and enjoying ourselves, when Mrs. D again approached me, and gestured me off the dance floor. She took me into a corner in the hall way, with another woman, (who I’m assuming was a parent/chaperone) and told me that some of the dads who were chaperoning had complained that my dancing was too provocative, and that I was going to cause the young men at the prom to think impure thoughts. At this point I said to her that I hadn’t been dancing at all! Much less seductively, and that even if I had been being inappropriate, they should issue a warning instead of just kicking me out.

Then she proceeded to reiterate that my dress was too short and I that I was going to have to leave. I again showed her and the lady with her that the dress met dress code standards, the only thing the dress code said was it had to be fingertip length, and they never had us sign any sort of agreement to abide by that rule in the first place, and second of all my dress was in compliance with the one rule. Mrs. D said again “The dress is too short” and I asked the chaperone standing next to her what the rule was and she reiterated that it had to be fingertip length, I showed her my fingers and said ” Is this fingertip length?” and she said “yes, but I can’t make that call it’s on Mrs. D.” Then I told them I was trying to understand what they were kicking me out for since my dress complied with dress code and everyone I had been standing with would vouch that I hadn’t been dancing inappropriately. (At this point one of the girls in my group came back and said that she’d been by my side the whole 15 minutes we’d been there and I hadn’t even danced more then 2 seconds and it was completely appropriate.)

At which point they told her that she wasn’t welcome in the conversation and when I protested and asked that she be able to stay to verify what they were saying to me they got very rude and said if she didn’t leave they would kick her out too. Then she went and told my date what was going on and he got very upset , and came over and was respectfully asking them to explain to him the situation, and they told him that it was none of his business and they were kicking me out and he needed to leave. At which point he said “That’s fine, she wasn’t doing anything wrong but if you’re kicking her out then the group that she came with is leaving too and you’ll need to refund all of our tickets.” And Mrs. D said “No, we will refund Clare’s ticket but nobody else’s” And then my date got very angry (but was still being respectful not raising his voice or anything). And he explained that we all drove together and if I had to leave everyone else would be forced to leave with me and therefore they needed to refund everyone. I want to reiterate that my date was being very respectful, but he was also obviously frustrated with her for refusing to communicate with us in a mature or respectful way. Then she got very rude, repeatedly saying “I will not debate with you about this,” when my date was simply asking questions to help him understand the situation, and Mrs. D sent the chaperone to get security at which point both my date and I respectfully demanded to speak with the lady in charge of prom, and Mrs. D refused to let us.

Security came and my group went to get their stuff, I was crying and I asked the security guy if my dress was compliant with the dress code and if he had noticed any inappropriateness in my behavior and he said he didn’t think I did anything to get kicked out but it wasn’t his call. He helped me get my stuff and walked me to the front door, my date was still talking to Mrs. D and demanding our groups refund. She said, “Ok, I’ll give you all your refund if you go to the front and leave now,” and so the group walked to the front where I was, and only I was given my refund ($25). The group I was with got very upset because they had been promised their refund since we had all come together and if I was leaving they had to leave too, at which point we were told that the leadership would converse and make sure we all got our refunds, later that night when one of the girls in our groups mom called and asked how they were going to refund her, they stated “We aren’t going to do refunds.”

When we walked out of the prom, frustrated and angry and feeling very disrespected and violated, some of the people in my group shouted profanities at the security guards, and I personally flipped them off. I putting this part in the story because I want everyone who reads this to know that we shouldn’t have reacted so immaturely to their unfair and disrespectful actions, and we’re all adult enough to admit that. But what I want to know is if the people involved in this situation at the Richmond Homeschool Prom are adult enough to own up to their wrong actions as well. And refund my group as they verbally promised to do, and issue an apology for kicking me out of my senior prom because their husbands felt as though my body was something they had a right to control.

What happened last night was so wrong for so many different reasons:

  • I was told that the way I dressed and moved my body was causing men to think inappropriately about me, implying that it is my responsibility to control other people’s thoughts and drives.
  • I was talked to disrespectfully, ganged up on and treated as less then a person by people in authority, and when I requested to have one of my peers present to validate later what was said in this “meeting” I was denied that right and my friends were threatened for sticking up for me.
  • We were verbally promised a full refund for our group, we received only a refund for my ticket, they need to refund 5 more tickets for our group.
  • I felt violated by the sheer number of male parents that were assigned to do nothing for five hours other then watch girls in short dresses and heels dance to upbeat music. I think that it is sick and wrong that they assigned them to sit on a balcony above us and look down on us and single us out for our clothes or dancing.
  • I never signed any documentation agreeing to adhere to any sort of dress code, and the dress code that was verbally communicated to me was followed to the letter, and yet I was still kicked out.
  • I was informed by more then one friend who stayed at the prom throughout the course of the evening that there was some truly dirty dancing, and that there were several couples making out and grinding on the dance floor, and yet out of a group of 500 people, only one person, (me) got thrown out for inappropriate dancing.

The whole situation made me feel violated, walked over and ostracized. My group of five people had to leave the prom because I stuck out, I have long legs and I was wearing a sparkly dress, I didn’t look like most of the 13-15 year old girls there, I looked like a woman. And goddamn it, I am so tired of people who abuse their power to make women feel violated and ashamed because she has an ass, or has breasts, or has long legs.

This is a message to the women who understand that sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you pin a dress, you’re still going to have cleavage show when you bend over. This is a message to girls built like me, who can’t find jeans that fit because your ass is just too damn big! The girls with long legs, who are forced to prove that their dresses fit the dress code, just because they have more leg showing then most girls.

This is what I want to say. You are beautiful, no matter how you are built, no matter how you chose to dress or dance or what words you chose to say in the heat of the moment. And even more important then knowing that the fact that your looks, and your body and how you dress doesn’t get to define whether or not you’re beautiful, you have to know, that people are responsible for their own thoughts, desires and actions, and it doesn’t fucking matter if you’re just swaying along with music, or if you’re grinding up on your date, or not even dancing. You are a person, with a soul, and with potential and with purpose, and the way that other people treat you, should never be based on how you dance, or dress or talk. You are a person, I am a person, is it really too much to ask that we be treated like people? Talked to as equals? As responsible adults who get to have opinions and likes and dislikes too? How is it that what I look like and how I dress constitutes the level of respect you give me? How is it that you refused to refund me when I asked for it, but when my male date asked for it, you agreed to refund my ticket to him? I’m only 17, but I can see there’s something wrong about this, please, please tell me I’m not the only one who think it doesn’t matter how people are dressed or how they move their bodies, we should still treat them with respect and decency. And enough with the slut shaming. Please. Goddamn I’m not responsible for some perverted 45 year old dad lusting after me because I have a sparkly dress on and a big ass for a teenager. And if you think I am, then maybe you’re part of the problem.

Clare is doing well and is supported by a good group of friends. She will respond to comments as she can, but this week is her finals week and she may not be readily available.

838 thoughts on ““Fuck the Patriarchy” – guest post by Clare

  1. It is particularly infuriating when women are the ones enforcing harmful and inconsistent standards on other women. Clare, I hope you and your boyfriend and friends have a chance to get dressed up again and do something better than Patriarchy Prom.

      1. LOL Typical. When people like you have nothing intelligent or particularly pertinent to say in response to someone else’s post, you debase the conversation with name calling or insults. I think we all know who the real moron is. “Patriarchy Prom” is not only accurate to the story, but witty and pithy as well. Nice job Kate. 🙂

    1. I saw this story on Gawker and I was ANGRY because a relative who told me they like my graduation dress that hits just above the knee, told me I looked like a slut and not to wear it anymore after I sat down and it rose to reveal my MID-THIGH.

      They didn’t show your face but the fingertip test pic you took but I clicked on the link and after seeing you and your boyfriend, I knew exactly what the REAL problem was!

      I’m a black girl and I would give you MY view. I really don’t think it was because they were ogling at you in that dress….you are pretty but nothing to ogle over. I think it was because your date is BLACK and they felt very uncomfortable watching you grinding on him…sad but TRUE. You are a very tall blonde white girl with a short (but appropriate) dress dancing on a black guy. They noticed! I doubt they would have kicked you out if your date were a white guy or better yet if YOU were a black girl. This is waaay worst and you AND your boyfriend deserve and apology!

      1. I confess I had the same reaction. I don’t think this was just about sexism (although it was definitely about that, too).

      2. I thought the exact same thing. I lived in Richmond and somethings apparently don’t change. Your post is great and well written. Keep up the good work 🙂

      3. Mila maybe dont make everything about race. You seriously are part of the problem if youre going to go there.

        1. I think telling a black woman she’s responsible for racism is hum… A BIG part of the problem!

          1. Well, thinking someone is racist based on the color of their skin (which none of dad’s skin color was revealed) is exactly what racism is. Racism is stereotyping someone based on the color of their skin….

            Anyone ever think this other lady and Mrs. D maybe used the dad’s as scape goats because Mrs. D didn’t like her dress and thought it was too short, and the dad’s were the ones on the dance floor/balcony, they would be the people to report “dirty dancing” so to try to use that excuse to kick you out they would need to say the dad’s said.

            Not saying it isn’t possible, it certainly is, that the dad’s said that. However it is also highly probable the “mom” or whoever the other lady was, didn’t like your dress, and they used the chaperone’s who happened to be male as scape goats.

          2. Unfortunately, you are not correct. Isms denote a power imbalance. Those in the out-group, in this case, African American women, cannot be racist because they are not part of the power structure. They can be prejudiced, but they cannot be racist as the outgroup.

          3. Thank you Mr. Dictionary..Definition of Racism…

            rac·ism [rey-siz-uhm] Show IPA
            a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural orindividual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right torule others.
            a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
            hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

          4. the f*** are you even trying to type in the last paragraph? i guess i cant come at you with the typical, “you have no understanding of what it’s like to feel disadvantaged or secondary when entering nearly every situation” because…you don’t know how to spell, space, nor use a computer. GET AT ME INTOLERANT MAHHHS.

          5. Ehhh…wrong, politically indoctrinated tool. That is a liberal academic excuse to allow minorities to be racists. Racism has NOTHING to do with being in a majority. ANYONE can be a racist in ANY situation. In this case, racism is a suspicious but unproven suspect… nothing more. Seriously…you should be ashamed of your gullibility to academic politically correct dogmatic redefinitions.

          6. Wait, I’m sorry, the definition of a ‘racist’ is one who speculates about possible racism in our society?

            That is funny, because there is so much actual discrimination against black people in our society, that it seems weird that we can’t speculate about racism.

            I mean, really, someone speculating that racism may have played a part here–what do you stop when you call that ‘racist’? You stop people talking about racism.

            Preventing or attacking people who speculate about racism puts you in a pretty bad spot on the moral high ground. Calling them a racist just makes you look stupid. There is nothing inherently racist in speculating about racism or identifying it when you see it.

            I’ll leave you with the dictionary definition of racism.

            ‘the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

            prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.’

          7. “thinking someone is racist based on the color of their skin….is exactly what racism is”

            read a book, or an article, or anything that doesn’t constantly confirm your own views, dawg.

          8. and ya, fer sure. women mostly victimize men!

            o….wait…that’s the situation in almost um…no cases.

            but let’s keep pitching one gender vs. the other, like you want! that’s the best way to perpetuate a divisive, rape-admitting culture. Sounds good!!!!

          9. No Tom, I’m sorry but it’s not. And racism is not only based on skin color, this, my friend, is a very USA-centered vision of racism. Thinking all white people are racist is a prejudice, but it’s not racism.

          10. What, what?

            No, racism isn’t just making an assumption; sorry, I hate it when I see that terrible use of English.

            From the dictionary.

            ‘the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
            – prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.’

            Considering that study after study show a strong implicit/subconscious racism, even in very tolerant people (see the new study by Dovidio/Kawakami in January, published in Science), then it IS NOT a leap to assume that people at a prom were racist.

            Black people suggesting that racism may have been a factor is not IN ANY WAY racist; it doesn’t even meet the dictionary definition, and, based on dozens of research papers, they are probably right.

            I think of myself as a very tolerant person (for a white person), but trust me, I don’t kid myself on the racist thoughts that I still hold, without meaning to at all. The only thing that I and any other white person can do is listen up when black people tell us we’re being racist, and try to learn. I’ve found they are correct 100% of the time.

          11. Ugh. As a minority, your post makes me want to throw up. People like you are a huge reason racism still exists today.

          12. uhh nope pretty sure you’re comment right here is a BIG part of the problem.

          13. Hammy, if I look for racism, and that I find racism, it’s still a problem. Even if it’s just part of it.

          14. Clair that’s is just stupid! So Black people are not responsible for racism as well as other races? Some of the comments on this page make me want to puke! I almost feel sorry for people like you who are just so dumb!

          15. Well thanks for you concern!
            But before calling me dumb, I think you should try to study the USA’s history, you know, slavery, segregation, lynching…

          16. Pick up a dictionary. This is what is wrong with our country. People like you want to make up definitions to suit what you want. The truth is that the others were right. by saying whites are raciest you are indeed being raciest by the dictionary definition. oh! and the USA was only one of many places that had slavery and segregation. and they lynched far more than just blacks. our school systems teach a horribly skewed version of our world history and they do it because it promotes segregation. In highschool they introduced a black history class in our school. I dont believe they should teach about slavery without a bit about all the other slavery throughout history around the world. Because they teach it like it only ever happened to blacks in america. We never had so many hateful black raciest kids in our school until that class started. Suddenly it was “you white mother fuckers need to go back to england” I was just walking to class. and I cant tell you how inaccurate that statement is to boot. But they teach a biased version of slavery in those classes instead of the facts that all blacks do not come from africa and all whites are not from england. Black history has great artists, musicians and leaders. Why are they not teaching about that? And gods forbid if they teach about some of the white people who made it there life’s mission to help some of those people be recognized for there talent. You know a paragraph later I think this annoys me. 🙂
            racism or racialism (ˈreɪsɪzəm, ˈreɪʃəˌlɪzəm) — n1.the belief that races have distinctive cultural
            characteristics determined by hereditary factors
            and thatthis endows some races with an intrinsic
            superiority over others2.abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members
            of another race on the basis of such a belief

          17. The USA did not invent slavery. The USA also ended slavery and much of the world subsequently followed our lead. And many whites were lynched side by side with blacks by the KKK for the sin of allowing blacks to hold office and vote.

          18. Sorry, but you are “reckless” with history on one point. If you look, you will find the US was “late” to the game about ending slavery. 1315, France; 1335, Sweden; 1435, Catholic Church; 1542, Portugal; 1807, England; 1814, Netherlands, 1818, France (again); and a long string of countries continue up til 1865, when the US finally outlaws it. Post 1865, there are actions in the middle east and Africa but the record is surprising–it isn’t outlawed in Saudi Arabia until 1962, for example. Probably not “following our lead” there, though.

          19. Depends on what you call racism. Anyone can have racial prejudice, but as for racism, it’s a global oppression system.

        2. It’s another potential reason for their mistreatment though. As a couple, they were singled out.

        3. I agree. If they had thought it was racism then I’m sure she would have brought it up. I get tired of people playing the race card every time there is a little bit of drama.

      4. Agreed, Mila. And, how disgraceful. Many homeschooling graduation programs have speakers that absolutely rail about Obama and what he has done to this country. All imaginary, of course, because he has done so much good. Can’t get past the color of his skin.

      5. As soon as I saw the picture, I thought the same thing. Don’t know if that is the case but I suspect it is a strong possibility.

      6. Really? I’m a man with kids her age and would definitely look and think, “there’s a pretty girl in a nice dress”. That’s all it is. If men are staring at her then kick their perverted asses out of the prom, not her. What a stupid world we live in.

        1. It is very odd that we can’t see a normal pic of Clare in her dress. Why does she only have that one pic in her bare feet with her head out of the picture? How can we assess the appropriateness of the dress if we can’t see a normal pic of her wearing it? Very strange indeed.

          1. What does that matter? We can see that the dress meets code and that’s she’s lovely. Her breasts aren’t hanging out and her ass is covered. Why do you need to see the whole product? She didn’t deserve to be treated like trash!

          2. Uhmm, cause just maybe it might be someone else in the pic wearing the dress? I just love armchair quarterbacks, none of us was there so we are merely stating an opinion, but I guess we’re all entitled to one.

          3. if you look at all of the pictures and the one with the dress as well you can see that the shoulder straps are the same as the body of the dress you can also see the french manicure both on her hand and feet which you later see when she touches her cheek

          4. It is an opinion to speculate that this is another person wearing the dress?
            Really? It just sounds a bit stupid, no offense intended. Why speculate that? Why bother? Read the story, think about what is said, and then wait for the prom’s response if you aren’t sure about the truth. Don’t make inane speculations.

          5. My guess is that her skirt was riding up on her and her ass wasn’t covered. Don’t you think she has numerous photos of herself in heels wearing the dress? The omission of a photo showing what she actually looked like is suspicious and suggests she is hiding something.

          6. Sinbad, why do you get to ‘assess’ the appropriateness? If you believe her that it adhered to the rule, then your assessment doesn’t matter. I think you’re just being a creeper.

          7. Your assessment still doesn’t matter; until the prom group issues a statement, you’re just some dude speculating on the internet about something that already happened.

          8. AGREED! it looks like she’s pulling the dress down from the picture above… also the picture is shot from a high angle alluding to a possible cover up.

          9. So her dress is too short and that means the prom people were right, it is all her fault that people were having “impure” thoughts, since she was causing all that fuss she shouldn’t have had a chance to call her parent’s or a family member either to be there, didn’t deserve a warning or a chance to change. Yes, blaming a 17 year old girl who every day is bombarded with the adds showing sexy half dressed women and told that is what people want to see her in, makes perfect sense. This is how the thought of dressing like a slut means you want to get raped is still around. Stop drooling over the sexy adds you see all the time or buying products that promote that type of dress or you are just as much part of the problem of “inappropriate” clothing as any one else. If her dress length is what you have an issue with then I hope you never act out the “impure” thoughts that must be filling your head.

          10. I didn’t realize she had to succumb to your small mindedness as well. Who died and made you purveyor of appropriateness. Does “missed the point” get through to you and your fellow “likers.”

          11. Because the only time it met dress code was when she stretched it down for this picture.

          12. I do believe she was getting ready and you know you can’t always get a good pic that includes a tall person close up. But it seems like you just want to find something to complain about.

        2. have you seen the layout of the room? she couldn’t have both her entire body straight and her head in the mirror reflexion all at once even if she wanted to

        3. I hate fundamentalist fucktards. You go to the beach in a bikini. He’ll, aren’t you an SI model? That right there was the “problem.” Because, you know, girls who make money doing photoshoots are whores. They are all porn stars, especially the ones for SI, and Maxim, right?
          I don’t even read that type of trash (which is the source of most of this misogynistic thinking, so think twice about that next shoot), but I hate that you were kicked out because they thought you were a pornstarlet. You are the product of your own industry, Hannah. If you want to change that, you have a long swim against the current. But I will support that. Not enough models stand up for being objectified, at least not vocally enough. You need to work on your communication skills, than not then, and stop being ranty. Also, omit cursing and control your finger gestures and anger in public. Learn about nonviolent intervention and most of all, respect that other people have authority over you and will abuse it. They will. And you can’t stop it. Let it go at the time then hit the internet and YES! Release their name. Make sure you don’t libel them (get a video or audio recording), but led the crowd do the rest. That is what the bloggess does and she is brilliant. Just tie that legal line. Learn the rules of the game and then use all the loopholes. DOWN WITH FUNDAMENTALIST FUCKTARDS!

      7. White woman here and the same thing popped into my mind when I saw the picture. The dress struck me as basically what every other teenage girl wears to a formal. There was nothing extreme about your makeup. In other words, I doubt you were any more or less provocative than most of the other girls there. So unless there was something extreme in your behavior (and I believe you when you say there wasn’t), you have to wonder exactly why you caught their eye. (You guys make a cute couple, by the way.)

        And yes, it is SO creepy that a bunch of middle-aged men were looking down at teenage girls dancing and trying to figure out what might make teenage boys think impure thoughts. At my high school prom, there were very few male, if any, chaperones.

        I’m sorry you had such a horrible experience, but I’m glad that you had friends who had your back and that your story is getting the attention it deserves.

      8. I have to admit that as soon as I saw the picture of Clare with her date, I also thought, “THIS is the real reason they threw her out.” But on second reflection, I wonder if it wasn’t just the woman’s judgmental attitude the moment she saw Clare that was to blame. Casting the blame on the fathers chaperoning the event is merely a smoke screen for her own impure thoughts.

        Also, I have been on the “skirt too short” end of the stick before. If I was bending over and moving around a lot, my skirt definitely would’ve been too short and would’ve grown shorter with all that movement, but my job required me to do nothing other than stand in the same spot all day, not perform the acts of a contortionist. Still, my female supervisor told me the men in the store had complained that my skirt was far too revealing and I needed to change. I refused to do so unless she agreed I wouldn’t have to clock out to go home and change, thus losing my scheduled shift hours and pay. She refused, so I went over her head to her own supervisor, a male, who said he found nothing inappropriate about the length of my skirt, and if the males working in the store found it too distracting, then perhaps it was they who should go home for the day and not me. She, of course, was very angry about his siding with me and continued to persist, but he refused to budge, telling her his decision was final and sending me back out on the floor.

        I came out triumphant, but to this day it reminds me that not all misogynistic injustices are carried out only by men.

        1. No I really believe your first impression was correct, how many other couples were of mixed ancestry? I feel this was the reason and this makes my blood BOIL the hypocrites that bullied her out should be but will not be ashamed of themselves.

      9. Really? You were at her prom and saw this “grinding?” I do agree they deserve an apology.

      10. Don’t kid yourself, Mila. She is tall, beautiful, smart, and worth “ogling’ over. This, coming from a “black guy” (as if that changes anything)

        Also, without knowing if there were any other interracial couples at the dance, or if they were the only one, it is hard to leap to that as a probable cause. Although, It was also my first thought upon seeing the picture of them together.

        I’m glad to read that she and her friends stood up for their own “values” and did not compromise. These kids are exactly the types we want shaping the future of this country. Their parents should be very proud.

      11. She pointed out that she was not even dancing, much less grinding as you put it. I am often the first to assume race is an issue bc I live in Florida where it often is the issue – but here i disagree for reasons other than the aformentioned misunderstanding. I think that the women were jealous and bitter who singled her out from the girls that were in too skimpy clothing dancing sexually. As the person who experienced the event, Clare pointed point that she has a leggy attention grabbing form and the men on the balcony were noticably oggling, so noticable that Mrs. D and company decided to harrass her. Women are so affected by the patriarchy that many dont even see it and we attack each other because society has us convinced that we are competing with each other based on our appearance alone. A middle age woman observing her own husband or men just like hime salivating over a teenage girl triggers that fight response. Not only that but women see men’s sexism as inevitable, natural, and ubiquitous. We approach the perversion as if it cannot be changed and hence blame the girls and women who excite it, as if females should “know better”. This is not a new sentiment by any means, indicators of this attitude are evidenced throughout our pop culture. Female characters in most books, tv,

        1. Men will lust. Men will watch. Believe me, *so do the women*. It’s not turned into a physical action until THE MAN ACTS ON IT, at which point HE IS WHOLLY RESPONSIBLE for his actions. Nothing wrong with looking, but assault and harassment are to be repudiated at first opportunity.

          And it is NOT the woman’s fault, to be sure, just because of what she wears (or doesn’t), or how she walks/sits/etc.

          1. I don’t think he means to suggest they can’t; I think he is saying that men & women have thoughts, and it is fine. What is inappropriate is acting on those thoughts. I think he only uses the male pronoun there to stress that women are not to blame when men commit sexual assault.

            Basically, he is saying it is never the victim’s fault; that all men and women have lustful thoughts, but it is never ever the fault of the victim when someone acts on those thoughts.

      12. Mila…I was thinking the exact same thing. While the 45 year old guy may have been perverted I am willing to bet big money he is also a racist and bigot.

      13. I only read the cached version of this, but the date as described was wearing something else. I thought the man driving the car was another friend.

      14. I completely agree with you. She looked beautiful in her dress and I’m so sorry immature adults ruined the day for her.

      15. Here’s the problem, Mila…we just can’t tell. But let me offer this: Your generation really doesn’t give a snit about race. And that’s a great thing.

        1. ya. but no. gnna be a problem in our generation as well. which is a travesty. won’t be something, I think, that is resolved by the mere passage of time. gtta be a conversation. Cooooooooool. Haaaaaiiiir.

      16. Mila, Clare is a tall, leggy blonde with a pretty face, of course these men were ogling at her. And if you don’t realize that, then you are not in touch with what most men do. Personally, I did notice that her boyfriend is black, but my gut reaction was that Mrs. D was just really jealous of her, she was jealous that this girl was getting attention that she never got. Mrs. D probably saw the 45 year old men ogling at Clare and realized that no one ever looks at her that way. Maybe she herself felt attracted to Clare and that scared the shit out of her. I don’t know, but to react this way, Mrs. D had to have felt threatened in a very personal way. I am very schooled in psychology, this goes much deeper than Clare’s boyfriend being black. And Clare is very intelligent and aware, she would of mentioned that in her article if that was the case. No, Mrs. D felt threatened on a deep, personal level and that is the reason she refused to even let them speak to the highest person in charge.

        1. I’m with the plaintiff Clare in every respect. But f*** off with your psychological projection. You 100% don’t know what was thought by any figure with agency in the event described. And you’re an infant if you think you do. Take your “she would of” elsewhere…

          1. actually nvm don’t take it anywhere. sorry, “elsewhere,” for threatening you with inanity.

        2. I agree with you. I don’t the ‘patriarchy’ made the woman throw Claire out of the prom. I think the nasty woman chaperone decided that all by herself.

      17. I agree that this is the real reason that she got kicked out. Racist white people had two major elections to train themselves to hide their obvious motives when it comes to skin color.
        Lets hope that she becomes a doctor or lawyer, makes lots of money and disallow any inequality she sees in her life.

      18. That’s funny. I never would have thought of it being a racist issue, maybe because where I live and the way we are raised it isn’t.

      19. That is what I thought too, .I have faced similar attitudes about bi-racial dating in the past.I know it is 2014, but I have a feeling that is what the issue was.

    2. I love how people blame the nebulous “Patriarchy” for everything. Like a bunch of men sit around a table and decide how to oppress women.

      Women are their own worst enemies in matters of equality, sexuality, self-image, confidence.

      Patriarchy like this is gleefully enabled via Matriarchy. More misogyny is perpetrated against women, by other women, than men could ever hope to achieve. Like crabs in a bucket, they’ll pull each other down rather than allow one to escape.

  2. First things first, you look beautiful in those pictures, and your boyfriend looks dapper as all get out. Not many dudes could pull off that hat, but he nailed it. As for middle aged ladies enforcing unwritten rules and being generally horrible people, I have no insight. I’m neither middle aged nor a lady. The creepy men though, I have a little experience with. (Unfortunately, several family members know of this blog and I post under my real name. This may lead to awkward phone calls. Whatever.) This is going to get a little off topic, and if I drift too far, feel free to delete the comment.

    There is an idea, not just in conservative Christianity, that women are responsible for men’s lustful thoughts. It’s been referenced several times on this blog. Growing up, I certainly heard it quite a bit, although never in its extreme form. It was always phrased that women should “help their brothers out,” and not provide opportunity for them to sin. As things get farther out, this idea gets a bit scarier as Clare mentioned above: “I was told that the way I dressed and moved my body was causing men to think inappropriately about me.” This idea is bunk. As a man, if I’m failing to lust, I WILL find a way to think inappropriately about you regardless of what you are wearing. The actual woman is almost irrelevant here. The problem is in my head, and the type of thoughts running through there. I’ve worked with this for almost 15 years now, and I’m fairly confident that I’m pretty normal in this respect. At the end of the day, the issue is not between me and the woman I’m lusting after, it’s between me and God. It’s because, at some level; I want to lust after her, I don’t really see it as wrong, and I figure God will just forgive me afterwards anyway. In short, I’m not seeing lust as a sin. Afterwards is different; afterwards I can get angry; afterwards I can lash out at the innocent object of my lust.
    In some sense though, the “patriarchy” is right. To an extent, men are programmed to do this. I’m pretty sure that this attitude is not something I can change in myself. I can read this blog till the end of time, stand up for my sisters, reject obvious patriarchy, whatever. But it won’t matter. That seed is still there, still lusting. After 15ish years, I’m completely positive that the only answer is God. I failed miserably for well over a decade. Went to the conferences – didn’t help. Had the prayer partners – no change. Memorized the verses, did everything, and nothing worked. In the end (actually, is it ever the end?), what changed, was going to God. Really broken for the first time. Surrendered as much as was possible (too little). Dad took that and ran with it. I’m not perfect by any means, and I don’t completely know what was different that time, but that’s where the change finally started.

    Anyway, as filtered through my experience, that’s why I’m not certain getting mad about creepy men helps anything. Until God works there, until they really surrender this, nothing you do or say will work. You cannot shame away lust.

    1. I’d like to disagree with you a bit there about “creepy men”. I believe that saying things like “men are programmed to do this” and “…this attitude is not something I can change in myself” only gives them an excuse to stop trying. I also believe you are confusing feeling lust and acting on it. No one is angry at these men for feeling lustful; that’s something they have to work on themselves, if they even recognize its harm. What we are angry about, and rightfully so, is their actions as a result of that lust; namely, getting angry at/blaming the person (not “object”, geez) that they are lusting after and/or attempting to control the person in any way. I think our patriarchal and victim-blaming culture allows males from a young age to believe that what they’re feeling and doing is not only right, but expected and encouraged. Once that’s ingrained, it’s difficult to get out via any means, especially when society at large does nothing to help and in fact only worsens the situation.

      Calling out men on their actions not only forces them to realize that what they’re doing is wrong (a huge problem), but also forces them to know that it will NOT be tolerated and they will NOT get away with it. We may not be responsible for any change they work on themselves, but we do have a responsibility to call out this sort of behavior when it’s seen. Anger is a normal, if not generally helpful, reaction that needs to be tempered, and hate must certainly never come into the equation, but stern and firm calling out is extremely important. Standing our ground is important. You may assert that only God can get rid of lust in the male mind (and hey, maybe for you that’s all that’s working, but that may not be true of everyone else), but I fully believe everyone is capable on their own of NOT acting on their lust (unless perhaps they actually have a mental disorder, which is a completely different story). The only difference is that men have been told and shown from day 1 that what they’re doing will be defended and encouraged, and that absolutely has to stop.

    2. I’d like to disagree with you a bit there about “creepy men”. I believe that saying things like “men are programmed to do this” and “…this attitude is not something I can change in myself” only gives them an excuse to stop trying. I also believe you are confusing feeling lust and acting on it. No one is angry at these men for feeling lustful; that’s something they have to work on themselves, if they even recognize its harm. What we are angry about, and rightfully so, is their actions as a result of that lust; namely, getting angry at/blaming the person (not “object”, geez) that they are lusting after and/or attempting to control the person in any way. I think our patriarchal and victim-blaming culture allows males from a young age to believe that what they’re feeling and doing is not only right, but expected and encouraged. Once that’s ingrained, it’s difficult to get out via any means, especially when society at large does nothing to help and in fact only worsens the situation.

      Calling out men on their actions not only forces them to realize that what they’re doing is wrong (a huge problem), but also forces them to know that it will NOT be tolerated and they will NOT get away with it. We may not be responsible for any change they work on themselves, but we do have a responsibility to call out this sort of behavior when it’s seen. Anger is a normal, if not generally helpful, reaction that needs to be tempered, and hate must certainly never come into the equation, but stern and firm calling out is extremely important. Standing our ground is important. You may assert that only God can get rid of lust in the male mind (and hey, maybe for you that’s all that’s working, but that may not be true of everyone else), but I fully believe everyone is capable on their own of NOT acting on their lust (unless perhaps they actually have a mental disorder, which is a completely different story). The only difference is that men have been told and shown from day 1 that what they’re doing will be defended and encouraged, and that absolutely has to stop.

      1. Two points:
        I believe that you are correct about the anger. That does need to be called out, and it can be suppressed if people think it is socially unacceptable. Looking back over what I wrote, I do seem to imply that this issue should simply be ignored. It shouldn’t. Attacking the victim-shaming and controlling behavior is a noble thing and needs to be done.

        The thought I was attempting to make was about lust. I can’t speak to female lust; I’m not a girl. That being said, I completely disagree. I don’t think it is something everyone can handle on their own. The person is involved certainly, but God supplies the power. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, but to will and to work for his good pleasure.” For that matter, I’m not sure it would even be a good thing to take on this sin on my own. I’m not called to perfect myself alone in anticipation of heaven. I can’t do that by myself. Jesus working in me can, and together we can transform who I am. I’m sorry you got the feeling that I was trying to let men off the hook, or give them an excuse to stop working. That was not my intention. Rather, I was attempting to propose that the core of lust cannot be handled without Jesus any more than anything can be handled without him.

        1. I hate to double post, but I just had a thought that might better explain what I was trying to say. Perhaps you don’t struggle with lust. That’s great, more power to you. However, think of the sin(s) that you do struggle with. Try to just stop. To just not sin anymore in that way. To stop, and not fall into the trap of legalism and pride. I’ve never heard of anyone doing it without Jesus.

          1. Dude, I’m a totally lecherous bastard, and I can out-ogle anybody you care to name. But switching it off just takes a sense of humor, self-awareness, and maturity. It isn’t spiritual rocket science: it’s knowing my place in the world and letting go of delusions.

            If I’d been at that dance, I probably would have gotten more than my share of eyeful of Clare: but I don’t have to have self-esteem problems to know that a hot, intelligent, self-aware, eighteen year old with a hip boyfriend is going to have her own ideas about life and happiness that do not include me. (See “American Beauty” for a nice fleshing-out of the premise that serious lust comes at the expense first of our sense of the reality of another person.)

            Some people need to 12-step to get to that point, maybe, and I wish them well. But let’s not overcomplicate it: the inability to put desire in perspective is a maturity problem, pure and simple. If you want to cast that as spiritual, be my guest. But ten minutes’ conversation with a girl like Clare in the presence of her friends and boyfriend will do more to set your lust in perspective than all the prayer you care to do, if you’re serious about treating her like a person.

            If you’re not serious, all the prayer in the world isn’t going to help anyway. You nail it when you write: “The problem is in my head, and the type of thoughts running through there.”

      2. I think the problem is that boys are taught that it’s wrong for them to find women attractive, even though it’s normal and healthy. So far from being told that they are entitled to view women as sexual objects, they are taught to feel shame for finding women attractive. But finding women attractive is unavoidable (for a straight guy) so they need to find a way to cope with the shame which is unfairly foisted on them. In the church, the model men are taught for coping with their shame is to attempt to control women because perhaps if you can get the women to be less provocative, it will be easier for the men to avoid their shame about being sexual beings. It’s all very sick and twisted and incredibly harmful to all involved.

        So stand up for yourself and speak your truth, but cut the guys a little slack. They are in their own impossible, shame inducing conundrum. Now, the men who turn into enforcers, those guys are seriously sick. At some point they need to hear that they are hurting people and start facing their own shame.

        1. So far from being told that they are entitled to view women as sexual objects, they are taught to feel shame for finding women attractive. But finding women attractive is unavoidable (for a straight guy) so they need to find a way to cope with the shame which is unfairly foisted on them.

          This also sounds like a recipe for paraphilias (sexual fetishes). It’s going to come out somehow, and if the normal/healthy outlets are blocked, it’ll overflow through somewhere else.

          Christians are just as messed-up sexually as everyone else, they just got messed up in a different (and usually opposite) direction.

        2. LOL no. Our society teaches men that women’s bodies are public property and exist for men to ogle, paw, and rape.

    3. Thank you for standing your ground in utmost respect to those who are your elders. Your story seems honest and reflective to what you know to have happened that evening. You are a bright and wonderful person who got a raw deal. I cannot for the life of me figure why things were handled so badly as they were but I know you to be truthful and a Love bearer. Hopefully in time reconciliation can take place between you and the others with Mrs. D.

    4. “That seed is still there, still lusting. After 15ish years, I’m completely positive that the only answer is God. ”

      Did you try becoming a nudist? I hear it works wonders. Oglers don’t last long.

      1. As I mentioned, the issue is largely taken care of now. My tenses got a bit confused, making it look like this was still a major ongoing problem. That being said, your suggestion was awesome. That might very well have solved 17 year old me’s problems.

    5. The more you fight normal desire, the more power it has over you. Fighting it, resisting it, trying to overcome it, taking it to God, etc are all exactly the wrong way to deal with you’d normal reaction towards women. It’s a stage all men go through. If you learn to accept that you find women attractive and sometimes it’s embarrassing or inconvenient and THIS IS ACTUALLY A BLESSING FROM GOD, then you can move through the immature “hey look – boobies” phase of adolescence in to being a mature man who may notice but isn’t alarmed or derailed by it.

      This is one of the big problems with the whole purity obsession. It’s trains young men to see a natural part of development as dirty and sinful. Which is about as healthy as shaming a one year old for pooping on herself. And then it creates a permanent incentive to fixate on women’s bodies, thus creating men who have never matured past the normal “look – boobies” stage of adolescence. They are pretty much enforcing immaturity on men and then shaming them for it. It’s no wonder the male establishment has so much hostility towards women!

      Anyhow, stop with all the overcome it nonsense. It’s not something to overcome. It’s just part of being a sexual person that you need to pass through and mature into. A mature man can enjoy and notice when a woman is beautiful without it being a threat to his chastity or purity.

      1. Well said Rebecca. Perhaps if I’d encountered someone with your views I’d have stopped questioning before leaving Christianity completely.

        Here is a great video that talks about how the chastity/purity cycle gets imprinted on so many within fundamentalist religion. Understanding it was part of what helped me escape it and become a better person.


      2. On the whole, I agree with you, and you put it much better than I could have. With the last paragraph though, I would like to add a point of clarification. I did not intend to say that we need to overcome our sexual desires. As you so rightly note, those are God given and a beautiful thing. My point on overcoming was only about when those desires are twisted into something evil. Not noticing a woman is beautiful and appreciating that; not even realizing that your body desires her. Rather, I was opposing when those thoughts turn into the ogling and the lust. When they become looking “at a woman with lustful intent,” to borrow Jesus’ phrase. Overcoming only the phase you mentioned, before a man can enjoy and notice a beautiful woman without it threatening his chastity or purity.

      3. And then it creates a permanent incentive to fixate on women’s bodies, thus creating men who have never matured past the normal “look – boobies” stage of adolescence.
        AKA permanent Beavis & Buttheads.

    1. nothing in the post said anything about it being a “christian” event with “christian leaders” stop pushing your religion on people.

      1. I just assumed that it was Christian because what other type of group in the USA would have a situation like this? and I happen to know this family is Christian. Not trying to push my religion on anybody.

      2. 5 seconds on Google will tell you this event is held in a Methodist church.

        The phrase “impure thoughts” should be a hint. Only in a bible-belt backwater do they still use the phrase “Impure thoughts” un-ironically.

      1. Sadly, religion (the holier-than-thou, bible thumping kind) has a lot to do with this. Petty religious people hide behind their bibles because they think that gives them the right to pretend they are better than anyone else. It’s sad and it’s stupid. If I was the father of that young lady I would have taken her right back and made a huge stink, security or not.

      2. Well their standards of “modesty” and “helping” men avoid lust are derived from Christian theology and philosophy.

        As a Christian I do think some modesty is a good idea but many other Christians take this too far and teach that women are responsible for men’s lustful thoughts about them…which is behind what happened in this story. This is an idea also present in other religious systems too, unfortunately (Islam at least, maybe Hinduism too? I hear blaming women for rape is a big problem in India). It’s what the author of this blog is talking about when she refers to patriarchy and rape-culture.

  3. Clare, thank you so much for the share. The patriarchy is torn every time we dare to have a voice. Continue speaking, reflecting, and acting against injustice (in all forms and fashions, no pun intended).

  4. Clare — So sorry you had to go through such an outrageous ordeal. The adults in the situation should be ashamed of themselves. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you & your friends enjoy the rest of your senior year despite this terrible situation.

  5. Ultimately this is going to lead to a point where officially sanctioned proms are boycotted altogether, and eventually they’ll be outsourced to third party venues that the schools have no control over, and they’ll be democratically organized by student groups instead of parent groups.

    And that has pros and cons, but the unrelenting sexism AND racism will converge to a level where students will simply refuse to participate in parent and school sanctioned events.

    I am sorry that she had to have her special night ruined.

  6. I’m so sorry how you were treated. My daughter attended a very conservative college and that was their rule re: dresses as well. Since she too, has nice long legs and she was constantly ‘written’ up. Primarily by men. So this really resonates. Again, I’m so sorry.

  7. Clare, I am so impressed by your clear-headed and dignified response to a very unfair situation. I am sorry that your special night was ruined by some small-minded control freaks. Thank you for calling it out and I hope that, by bringing attention to what happened, you have made a difference for some younger girls. Best of luck to you at college.

  8. Nicely handled, Clare. You looked great, but if they can’t think about baseball, it’s proof that they have no business teaching their own kids the moral landscape.

  9. I have nothing against interracial couples, but do you think they might have had a problem with you being a pretty white girl with an African American male that made them more so upset instead of your dress and just used that as an excuse to kick you and your date out?

    1. I’m not going to lie that popped in my head as well and I’m all for interracial couples! Love has no limit. Only idiots like the chaperones at this prom seem to think so.

    2. I had the same thought. Especially with the “dancing” part. There could be a lot of levels of terrible going on here. :/

    3. Oh! I hadn’t even noticed her date in the pic because I was looking at her hair and makeup, but then I scrolled back up. I think you may be on to something.

    4. I hate to agree with this possible scenario….I, too, date an amazing & handsome black man for almost 6yrs now….we, too, have seen some intolerance for interracial couples, but we are well in our 40s so we’re old enough to mostly ignore gestures of their personal opinions & even just laugh at them for their inability to be loving people to ALL….thats THEIR problem…THEIR karma.
      They might’ve been “smart” to attack your dress-code-compliance & blame the anonymous men upstairs cuz could u imagine the amplified UPROAR online if they mentioned that you were kicked out for bringing someone of another race as your date??
      Be smart though….if ur dress was the only reason given, stick with THAT defense….dont bring unnamed theories into this conversation. If u keep defending that u were kicked out for ultimately dressing within their code given, 1 of them will finally bust out with a piece of truth IF the racial aspect was truly a cause of your dismissal….something like “that BLACK boy had his arm around her…kissed her….(whatever!)….”
      You are a STUNNING girl….could’ve also been those men’s wives that got u ejected so stick with the argument u were given til THEY mess up & the truth comes out…
      Anyway, u aren’t only a beautiful girl but also obviously very intelligent & you write so amazingly well…..maybe a career choice for u….

      1. I just want to say that I thought of that, too — especially a blonde young lady making a presence in a room with a very mature looking (not inappropriately — I assume he is around 17-18 also) black man, if at least subconsciously that was the issue the mouth-breathing, middle aged dads were having. I will point out that she said HE bought the tickets and brought HER to prom, which would say to me he is also homeschooled and part of their association.

        At my daughter’s prom 3 weeks ago (in the upper Midwest, not in the South) I had to stop taking video of the grand march (where all the couples come across the stage so everyone can see how beautiful they look) because a family sitting behind me was making snarky comments about dresses and everything else. Our girls mostly had Vanna White-looking sequined dresses in hot pink and lime green that were backless, low cut and everything else. I personally didn’t like them, but I didn’t find them inappropriate, really. They made the girls with more classy and original dresses look all the better.

        The people behind me were upset with interracial couples — black boys and white girls, moreso than they were white boys and Latina girls.

        For one, I wished they would shut up and almost said something, but my daughter might never have forgiven me for making a scene. Also, in our small school of 400 or so, I don’t think we have a black girl right now, but we have a couple of black boys. Who are the boys supposed to date, even if we object to interracial relationships, which is, of course, wrong?

        I think we should all object to having to change our appropriate behavior when “someone” or “people” say they have an issue. I think “people” should stand up and say what they mean, and “someone” needs to let their face be shown and name be read if they really mean it. I’ve been told that “some parents” object to this or that relating to my kids or their activities together, and I urge those parents to call or email me directly or talk to me when they see me around.

        Adults should at the very least have to speak to young people with integrity and name their claim. Otherwise, how can we expect it of them.

      2. Yeah, that dress, while cute, is actually pretty modest. Singling it out makes no sense at all. So I have to wonder about a racial motivation in addition to the creepy misogyny. (They’re not mutually exclusive, after all.)

        Were there other “mixed race” couples at the dance?

    5. I have the same feeling, this is a lovely young woman, but nothing about her makes me want to stop and ogle. Nothing is busting out or overly accentuated, she looks nice. I attended dances in High School and even chaperoned a few (my son is 14) provocative dancing sometimes becomes an issue, but a kind request to “tone it down” is the most severe action I’ve ever seen taken and has always been effective. There really seams to be something else at play here.

    6. It’s funny, but I really didn’t consider this until I got to the end of the post when she mentioned others were actually “dirty dancing” after she left. So I think someone probably had a problem with it even though she and her date don’t think so.

    7. I went to my senior prom with a guy who was my best friend at the time. I’m white, he’s Chinese. We got some funny looks at the very nice restaurant where we had dinner before the dance, but that was as far as it went. He’s my husband now, and we still deal with the funny looks (I get the stinkeye whenever I go vote since I sure don’t look like a Chang). I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. Let them stare; love is beautiful and I won’t hide just because they’re uncomfortable. Don’t you hide either. You looked beautiful for your prom, your date was dashing, and there is nothing of which either of you should feel ashamed.

  10. First, can I just say, you ROCK that hair, Clare. I wish I could pull that off. 🙂

    Second, I’m proud of you for writing this, and for being able to so clearly articulate your concerns with the whole situation. I doubt I could have done half so well at 17.

    Preach on, sister!

  11. Go Clare!! I’m very sorry that such an event occurred, but I AM glad that you are mature and discerning enough to know what happened was wrong. Good luck with getting the further refunds!

  12. What I find most interesting here is the idea of ‘the fingertip test’, which is totally bogus. As a girl with a long body, big bum, and short arms (I am weirdly proportioned. I am ok with this.), a dress fingertip length would still show the majority of my arse. Would the prom organisers be ok with that? Passes the rules they’re imposing, but somehow I doubt they’d let me in. Similarly, girls with longer legs may well be wearing a dress which passes this rule, but by nature of having more leg to show than a shorter girl, are classed as showing too much. Not only does this rule try and police what women wear, it’s also hugely inconsistent because it doesn’t take into account the way that girls’ and women’s bodies are shaped differently, leading to situations like this where a dress passes this arbitrary rule but is still considered unacceptable.

    The lesson here? STOP TELLING WOMEN/GIRLS WHAT TO WEAR, LET THEM EXERCISE THEIR OWN JUDGEMENT (since most will be sensible anyway, and want to dress in a formal style for prom), AND LOOK DAMN GOOD DOING IT. Because seriously, that dress is awesome, your sister looked fabulous, and I hope she gets the chance to wear it again soon!

    1. I have a long torso, too, and got away with some pretty short skirts and dresses in high school because of the fingertip rule (I always wore anything that short with opaque tights, at least). It does seem pretty subjective.

    2. I have long legs and short torso. everything appears short on me because I too have long legs. you looked beautiful and I’m sorry your night was ruined by this. They need to just say the dresses need to be x inches from the knee.

  13. Hello. My name Nicholas Tabachuk.Jessye Rae Tabachuk husband. They believe that there is nothing that can be done legally because it is a home school event. But the truth is it became a non home school “private event.” This kind of thing makes me proud to be a Catholic, but aside from that point my family comes from a long line of business owners and law groups. The onslaught you incurred that night was not only a violation of your rights, but proves that adult men that were “chaperones” of the event were admitting to their arousal at the site of you. Which undoubtedly offended the wives and women that were chaperones as well. The fact you were singled out prior to any foul language or foul acts proves there was a vendetta formed from the very beginning. Aside from just the reimbursement for your groups tickets, there are several things that bed to be imbued as well. These things include the cost of the clothing for the evening, transportation, and any other funds incurred by your group. This list does not include the very obvious Ill willed intentions of the male chaperones at the prom and the emotional effect the men and this unknown “Mrs. D,” had on you as a result of their bullying tactics and megalomania behavior. I, taking psychology three years in college learned megalomania is a huge part of home schooling their children and sheltering them from the real world. It is not fair your name will be flung through the mud as if you brought methamphetamine and started an orgy. And the fact that you did not sign a document about their dress code, in which you did follow, leaves the door open for something huge. Now I can not get into those finer details on a public forum but if you contact my wife, I can go over these huge options with you. Some include action against the male chaperones. Some include action against this miss dee. But most of all this was not a private home school event once it was given a location and named a “prom.” So regardless of your later actions which hold no water where this can be taken, I believe you have a huge case on your hands. If others are willing to testify to the actions of other attendees and the non discipline from the male chaperones, than it grows even larger.

    1. I stopped reading after “This kind of thing makes me proud to be a Catholic”. How can anyone be proud to be a member of one of the most violent and morally depraved criminal organisations in the word.

      1. um excuse me.. Catholics aren’t violent and morally depraved criminals. Catholics donates more to charity than any other organization in the history of the world. Also, they operate 1 out of 4 hospitals in the world. Think before you post. You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ll pray to Mary for you(;

          1. Yes, and for sure, that means ALL Catholics are violent and morally depraved. Hmm, here people are debating the potential reasons for discrimination against this young girl, and you all are going to to paint all Catholics with the broad brush of violence and depravity? Good idea, let’s have someone who practices discriminatory thoughts weigh in on the way this girl was discriminated against. Sorry, Robert Lentink and Walrus – neither of you have any credibility.

          2. Robert didn’t say all Catholics are depraved. He said they belong to a depraved organization.

          3. You might want to google “sexual abuse” with any group or organization. Its not just Catholics. Every organizations has bad people involved. Like Islam. They have the real group that wants peace AND the extremest. Americans automatically claim the group is a terrorist group because of one sector. Use your brain.

          4. so its OK for priests as long as other people do it too? The church covered it up and gave the offenders more children to molest, you are as bad as they are for minimizing their crimes. The Catholic church is a criminal organization

          5. You cannot blame a whole organization for certain individuals actions. Thats like giving a detention to the whole class because two students acted up.

          6. The Catholic Church (including up to the ex-Pope in his function as the head of the Inquisition) systematically covered up the abuse. Instead of dealing with it and preventing future abuse, they shielded the abusers and moved them around. Or moved them to the Vatican to prevent their arrest. Or moved around money to prevent payouts to the victims. To this day they obstruct justice at every turn.

            Yes, other organizations have sexual abuse too. A few even cover it up. Like Penn State. But the law eventually holds them accountable. Not so with the Catholic Church. Because organized religion is above the law.

            Never mind the countless other crimes against humanity the Catholic Church has committed throughout its existence.

          7. wow the church did a great job keeping it covered up then since the whole damn world knows and its been on the news. hm.

          8. LOLOLOLOL… you mean, a whole organization that covered up the behavior of many individuals for millennia? (Yes, millennia. The first formal statement on sexual abuse of children by clerics was in 60 CE.)

        1. Seriously? AGAIN, YOUR READING SKILLS NEED HELP. Let me copy and paste what I just wrote above, not that I actually think anyone will understand it based on these comments…
          He called the Catholic CHURCH a violent and morally depraved criminal ORGANISATION. He said absolutely nothing about individual Catholics, he simply expressed an inability to understand how someone could be proud to be a part of an organisation that has a DENSE history of unsolicited religious wars, covering up the sexual assaults of children, propagating outright misogyny and bigotry, money laundering, YOU NAME IT.
          Unless of course you didn’t understand what he said because you don’t realize that the Catholic church is an organisation that profits from their bigotry and thievery.

          1. Okay sweets, your reading skills need help then too because i already replied to your other post before you copied and pasted it.

          2. No hun I replied to another comment above (by Woofgang), in which they clearly needed help understanding what Robert actually said, and my comment to you (the one directly above your comment) was a reply to your comment in which you also clearly need help understanding the words that were said in the original comment. The comment your originally replied to was not meant for you, it was meant for Woofgang. Internet forums van be difficult, but if you’re going to partake in them you should really learn how it actually works.
            The original poster did not say members of the Catholic church were morally depraved, etc. He was talking about the Vatican, the Catholic organisation. It’s just like saying that the U.S. government is greedy and morally depraved. Just because the government is greedy and morally depraved does not make every single person in the United States greedy and morally depraved.
            I can say that almost every single Pope that has ever taken seat in the Vatican has been a tyrant against progress and justice and morality. The current one is a step in the right direction but he still supports the same arcane views against women’s rights. How can you support an organisation that refuses to let women have any leadership and then comment on a post like this that is talking about the effects of patriarchal systems such as the gendered hierarchy within the Catholic church? THAT is what the original poster is saying. I don’t think you’re a terrible person if you’re Catholic (my mom, step-father and little sister are all Catholic), but the Catholic organisation is a corrupt, backwards one and has been for the entirety of its existence.

        2. All that charity comes with strings attached. Such as refusing to let babies be adopted by same-sex couples. All those charitable actions could be performed by secular organizations that aren’t eager to control people’s sexuality using the fear of an imaginary afterlife of torment as a stick.

      2. Oh please. There are bad people who happen to be Catholic. This does not mean Catholics are bad people. Or morally depraved. Or criminal. Use a little common sense.

        1. LOL your reading skills need help….
          He called the Catholic CHURCH a violent and morally depraved criminal ORGANISATION. He said absolutely nothing about individual Catholics, he simply expressed an inability to understand how someone could be proud to be a part of an organisation that has a DENSE history of unsolicited religious wars, covering up the sexual assaults of children, propagating outright misogyny and bigotry, money laundering, YOU NAME IT.
          Unless of course you didn’t understand what he said because you don’t realize that the Catholic church is an organisation that profits from their bigotry and thievery.

          1. yeah definitely. I’m partying it up over here with all of my churches stolen money. Maybe tomorrow my church as a whole will go molest people for fun. Get over the past and look at the now.

          2. YOU LITERALLY SAID in response to Rovert “There are bad people who happen to be Catholic. This does not mean Catholics are bad people. Or morally depraved. Or criminal.” and then I replied saying “He called the Catholic CHURCH a violent and morally depraved criminal ORGANISATION. He said absolutely nothing about individual Catholics…”
            My family is Catholic and they are amazing people, far from thieving and violent. But the VATICAN and the CATHOLIC ORGANISATION has a TAINTED HISTORY of violence and thievery.

          3. AGAIN, your ignorance and intolerance is showing. If you want to argue semantics, go ahead. What he said was offensive. Period. No less offensive than someone saying Muslims are a terrorist organization who are violent and discriminatory against women. I could use any religion or “organization” to make my point. An organization is in and of itself not violent or morally depraved. An organization is not a living thing. There may be people within that organization who behave that way – but I doubt that’s the charter or bylaws of the organization. What you can’t seem to comprehend is that the Vatican and the Catholic organization are defined by the people in the organization so when you generalize and make offensive remarks based on those stereotypes, it’s offensive and really just showcases ignorance.

            Regardless, the comments are ridiculous and have nothing to do with the blog and what happened to this teenager so let’s drop it.

        2. Did I write that Catholics are bad people? I said their organization, their governing body is criminal. History proves that, and it’s not an incident or two, A long long list of extremely bad things.

    2. I agree 100% with Nick and I would get in contact with his wife. This kind of behavior by the facilitators of this “prom” and the fact that you paid for tickets etc. makes it something that you can take legal actions on. The fact that they had male chaperones sitting in a balcony looking down on you like some piece of meat also is another base for a lovely suit. This was never about the rules, or even dancing. It was about the green eyed monster some of the women at the event had because you looked amazing and they wished they could look that way again or have those men looking at them that way. I would pursue this because they took from you what was supposed to be a wonderful night because of their own personal flaws. If someone had done that to either of my daughters I would have been all over it before the night was out going as far as to return to where the “prom” was located with attorney in tow for I have a feeling by the time I would get done berating Ms. D she would have no other option than to have me arrested for disorderly conduct.

    3. I agree 100% with Nick and I would get in contact with his wife. This kind of behavior by the facilitators of this “prom” and the fact that you paid for tickets etc. makes it something that you can take legal actions on. The fact that they had male chaperones sitting in a balcony looking down on you like some piece of meat also is another base for a lovely suit. This was never about the rules, or even dancing. It was about the green eyed monster some of the women at the event had because you looked amazing and they wished they could look that way again or have those men looking at them that way. I would pursue this because they took from you what was supposed to be a wonderful night because of their own personal flaws. If someone had done that to either of my daughters I would have been all over it before the night was out going as far as to return to where the “prom” was located with attorney in tow for I have a feeling by the time I would get done berating Ms. D she would have no other option than to have me arrested for disorderly conduct.

      1. That was something that stood out to me as being an uncomfortable situation. Having men standing above and look down on the group, as a women who is anything but small could see down my shirt and my chest unless I wore a turtle neck. I really think there was an issue with the adult men getting turned on by the young women and for one reason or another she was singled out and sent home. You are a strong young woman so don’t let this situation define you, use it to make you stronger.

    4. It was a private paid function, the group essentially stole their time and money from these teens. At the very least taking them to small claims court will cause them to have to expend time of their own, not to mention a hassle, maybe it will force them to pay up and refund the money, at most stop being so stupid.

    5. ” proves that adult men that were “chaperones” of the event were admitting to their arousal at the site of you”

      I know people want to play off the fact that the dirty old men are to blame, but what they actually stated was “that I was going to cause the young men at the prom to think impure thoughts.”

  14. I really hope all the parents raised one hell of a stink. Fight this. We are behind you with support and love.

  15. Creepy Homeschool Ogling Patriarchal Dad (CHOP’D) says:

    This episode with all its legalistic standards is hilariously paradoxical, considering what high school prom has come to offer: a sort of wedding, only without the wedding — dressy dress-up, a reception that gets you drunk, and an aftermath that gets you laid. And the Homeschool Prom is an attempt to make the homeschool experience ever so much more palatably “real”, which is to say, like public school. Why mandate dress length when the purpose is to cast off limits anyway?

    Five years ago, dresses would have been four fingers above the knee, with buttock-high out of the question. Why is fingertip length so important now? And whose fingertips, anyway? I’d love to get my fingertips where I could check how that dress lay against Clare’s ass. I’ve seen that ass, and I’m sure I would have approved.

    Do you find that creepy? Well, you are not responsible for my lusting by the way you dress and dance, nor I am not responsible for your creeped-outedness that arises from my pocket protector, my highwaters, and the band-aid glasses through which I check out the glittery asses of nubile teens who don’t know whether they are seeking approval or independence. I am not responsible for your feelings about my feelings about your ogleable ass, you strong, empowered, independent Rejectrix of the Patriarchy™, you.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t at the event in question, because as a CHOP’D who takes his patriarchal privileges very seriously, I would have been glad to be in a position to ogle some serious cleavage from that balcony. Maybe the kickers-out were not protecting themselves from lust so much as you from their creepy vibe. Here’s what may be a piece of news for you: a 45-year old man lusting after teen ass is no dirty old man, but a normal man. When you are 45 you will be glad of those inclinations, provided that your reactionary, F-the-Patriarchy™ post-homeschool, feminist re-education has not, even at this early date, guaranteed your induction two decades hence into the Spinsterhood Hall of Anonymity.

    I didn’t see many complaints about being eyed with desire by the boys, or about being eyed with jealousy by other girls. You love that dress, not because you love yourself in it, but because certain others love (or hate) you in it. But creepers wouldn’t ogle you if you were just like all the other girls, except that the drive to be different from all the other girls makes you just like all the other girls. You want to be singular without being singled out. You want to conform and yet stand out. You want the power that comes with being desired, but you want to be desired only by the ones you find desirable and be invisible to the rest. You want control over what everyone at Prom thinks and feels…Welcome to the Patriarchy™!

    Only, it’s the Matriarchy™, and it’s ten times the Bitch. Funny how the Patriarchy™ gets blamed when girls do stupid stuff: beat up your sister, or kick you out of prom, or wear glittery things for attention and then complain about the attention. Were the Patriarchy™ still in charge, Prom might still be denim jumpers and sneakers, but everyone would be quite content about it and have a great time. On the other hand, Clare, you could have suffered a fate much worse than what actually befell: they could have simply ignored you.


        1. “Mrs. D tried not to show it.. but deep down, she was bursting with gratitude.”

          All I can say is, she hid it well.

          (I know, I know, don’t feed the trolls…)

        2. Honey, I’m in my mid-40s and I’m rather grateful I’ve become “invisible.” Unwanted attention from creepy men isn’t flattering, no matter how much you convince yourself it is because you think that you have a right to comment on and grab women’s bodies in public.

    1. Yeah, any man who oogles teen ass without feeling like an idiot is really immature. Most men grow up enough not feel compelled to oogle at every nice ass they see. Even if they are slow to mature, the experience of finding yourself oogling some teen’s ass, telling yourself, “I’d tap that” is usually wake up call enough to nudge a man out of his adolescent immaturity.

      Since apparently your buddies are either as immature as you are, or they are too timid to tell you what a creeper you are to your face, allow me to inform you that I have it on good authority that it’s not actually normal for a grown man to oogle teen ass. No matter how nice it is. You’re supposed to feel silly when it happens. It’s not what all men do. It’s what creepy, immature men who have very little self awareness do.

    2. Hint: Imitating Doug Wilson really doesn’t make you as charming or clever as you think. Another hint: My conservative homeschooling parents were both Rejectors of Patriarchy, and my politics and faith are much more similar to theirs than is the case for most of my peers raised in patriarchal homes.

    3. On Display: The Patriarchy’s ACTUAL Opinion of Male Lust

      Creepy Homeschool Ogling Patriarchal Dad (CHOP’D) says:

      “I’d love to get my fingertips where I could check how that dress lay against Clare’s ass. I’ve seen that ass, and I’m sure I would have approved.”

      “Unfortunately, I wasn’t at the event in question, because as a CHOP’D who takes his patriarchal privileges very seriously, I would have been glad to be in a position to ogle some serious cleavage from that balcony.”

      “Here’s what may be a piece of news for you: a 45-year old man lusting after teen ass is no dirty old man, but a normal man.”

      “When you are 45 you will be glad of those inclinations, provided that your reactionary, F-the-Patriarchy™ post-homeschool, feminist re-education has not, even at this early date, guaranteed your induction two decades hence into the Spinsterhood Hall of Anonymity.”

      “You want the power that comes with being desired, but you want to be desired only by the ones you find desirable and be invisible to the rest.”

      “Were the Patriarchy™ still in charge, Prom might still be denim jumpers and sneakers, but everyone would be quite content about it and have a great time.”


      Read that over and over and over again. Is there shame for committing the sin of lust? Is there repentance? Is there any shred of acknowledgement of what the Patriarchy claims is a pervasive evil?

      The only men who are made to feel shame for their lust are young, attractive men.
      The older men feel perfectly free to lust because the lust of a young attractive man is usually welcomed by attractive young women.
      The lust of a disgusting, repressed geezer, on the other hand, is abhorred by young women.
      Therefore, it is a useful tool for controlling young attractive women.
      (What about those deemed unattractive? Who cares? Those women have none of the power over the feelings and actions of males that these men have a paralyzing fear of.)

      So here before us is the paradox of Patriarchy. Lust is evil in young, not-yet-mature men but perfectly fine in old, supposed-to-be-the-spiritual-leaders-but-obviously-has-tons-of-holes-in-their-umbrella men.

      A TEENAGE girl dressing in a way that was never specified as wrong by the Bible is evil, but the command from Jesus to men to not commit adultery by lusting in his heart over a woman does not pertain to older supposed-to-be-mature males who are usually MARRIED (and, therefore, in the only kind of status that is capable of committing adultery).

      THERE is Patriarchal logic. Right here. Yet we women are the emotional beings who need to be controlled?

      1. What are resources are you using? This simply could have been made up by you. Cite your sources! Didn’t you go to high school?

        1. Are you serious? Look up. It’s quotes pulled directly from the guy I’m responding to. Did YOU go to high school? :-/

          1. She reads half of what is on the screen and she only understands half of what she reads.

      2. You quoted the deleted troll as saying, “You want the power that comes with being desired…”

        Yeah, I’m sure that 11-year-old girls who’ve already developed large breasts feel really “powerful” when grown-ass men follow them down the street in their cars, yelling obscene come-ons.

  16. I’m so sorry. You’re so right about height being a factor — I’m 5’9″ too, and by the time I was 13 I had restaurant servers assuming I was over 25 and asking if I’d like anything from the cocktail menu.

    From what you describe, it’s the dads who should have been kicked out. If they’re up on the balcony, they’re not chaperoning anything.

    You looked gorgeous in the photos. I hope you get to wear the dress on a more fun occasion!

  17. Sorry your prom was a disaster. Its on them not you. As for you causing their impure thoughts, sounds like they’re from Saudi Arabia trying to force women into veils and a burqa. They have a problem.

    By legal definition if they lust after a child under 18 yrs of age, they are child molesters. They need help.

    1. I checked and can’t find a law about thought crime.

      The article doesn’t support any inappropriate behavior by the men at the prom. It was the women who did the shaming and exhibited the truly sexist behavior.

    2. Lusting after an adolescent happens. Some adolescents look like adults. What makes one a child molester is, you know, molesting a child. If these grown men had simply taken a discreet look, then checked themselves, there’d have been no problem.

  18. As another tall gorgeous woman, I am too often met by women who have a sense of inferiority, especially upon first meeting. Even though their feelings and beliefs about themselves are not my personal responsibility, I do love creating and nurturing the experience of the human connection. I wish for people to feel at ease with me. Hence, my desire to assure a woman that she has no need for her walls. Step beyond a womans walls, and you can relish in the pure sunshine that she may not even know shines from within her. I have found that the very best thing I can do to prove to women that they have no need for making assumptions in regards to me, is treat them with genuine resect and love. We are equals, after all. It is a true sadness to me when I encounter a woman who will not see herself as my peer. Jealousy and severe insecurity are too often the sources of lost opportunities for what may have been a beautiful friendship. Something tells me that Mrs. D had always dreamt of looking and feeling as gorgeous as you did that night, Clare. But on the occasion that she got that chance, someone somewhere . . . a parent, a significant other, a member of an organization, someone did everything in their power to shame her and try to make her believe that she was wrong to enjoy looking and feeling beautiful. It would seem that whomever that person(s) was tragically succeeded in their pursuits. A classic method for dealing with shame is to attempt to shame someone else by bringing them down to the level that they’ve been brought down to. This way they can take comfort in the fact that they are not alone in their misery. I do not wish to create excuses for Mrs. D, only to express that my heart goes out to her and those who would support her beliefs and actions. The epidemic regarding rape culture is highly promoted, vouched for, believed in, and fiercely stood by. Particularly by the victims thereof. I applaud you Clare for not only refusing to stand among the victims, but for also spreading awareness on the matter.

  19. You were absolutely beautiful for prom night, and you have a great group of friends. Your generation is not going to put up with this garbage. I am 47. I was shamed as a college girl for wearing sweat pants in my own dorm. A guy from church had dropped by unannounced, and I had just returned from jogging. He wanted me to change. I felt as if I had done something bad, although logically how could i even know that after 9pm I would get a surprise visit, or that baggy gey sweatpants are sexy? (I don’t think they are. Or maybe i am just a godess.) My point is – I took all the shame on myself. Your generation is going a different direction and I am very glad for you.

  20. I would like to tell you that you are nothing short of amazing. I am proud of you for standing up for yourself and deeply ashamed of those at the prom who objectified you and shamed you. I’m sorry you didn’t get to stay and even sorrier that this happened not an hour from my doorstep. (To be entirely honest, I’m enraged!) I can tell you that in a few years time prom won’t even matter to you, but that’s NOT THE POINT. No one should make you feel ashamed for being a woman. No one should make you feel like your height, your curves, or anything else about your body is anything to hide. No one should shame you for wearing a pretty dress! I admire your confidence and I’m inspired by your willingness to tell your story. You are far classier than I, because I’m having trouble convincing myself not to call these people up and give them a piece of my mind!

  21. Clare, get an attorney and sue the living shit out of that lady, and everyone else involved. Make them pay dearly for ruining your only senior prom.

    1. Sue for what? On what grounds? While I am on Clare’s side morally, this was a private event. The rules of the game are different.

      1. Just because it is a private group doesn’t preclude it from being sued. Clare paid for a ticket. She detrimentally relied- by buying a dress, paying for a limo, etc- on the promise that she would be able to attend and enjoy this event, so long as she stuck to the rules. She was thrown out, but not for violating the rules. Unlike a baseball game, there was nothing on her ticket that stated the organizers could refuse admission for any or no reason. It’s like buying a ticket for a cruise, paying for airfare and travel, getting on the boat, and then once on, someone saying we’re kicking you off because the other passengers don’t like you. Don’t you think you could sue for your expenses in that scenario?

  22. Go to the police and file a sexual harassment complaint. If they balk, go to court and file for an order of protection against the parents serving as chaperones. The record will follow them the rest of their lives.

    1. do you know what an order of protection is? She isn’t stalked or threatened. The case would fall through and just be a waste of money.

        1. It would fall through. It was their organization. She can’t file a suit against something she chose to attend and chose to follow the rules to when she purchased a ticket. I have an officer living in my house and if he read this chain he would laugh at how silly this is. She would be turned away. The law can’t and wont help here.

          1. She did follow the rules. She may not have any kind of criminal case but I bet she could at least get a refund for her friends.

          2. I disagree with you. She chose to attend and follow the rules by purchasing their ticket. Number one, by accounts, she DID follow the rules. Mrs. D arbitrarily chose to make the rules only apply for one person. Wrongdoing. There is some discrimination going on here – pretty girl, blonde girl, silver dress, bi-racial couple, tall girl, ogling older men, who knows what the real reason is, but doesn’t sound like Mrs. D. can justify her decision. So you may think it’s silly, but a senior prom and it’s associated memories can’t be quantified easily. The money and time spent on the attire and associated expenses can – so I would say that girl and her group are entitled to recompensation. Sorry, but you’re absolutely wrong when you say the law can’t and won’t help. The law (as in a police officer) will not arrest anyone at this point, however this could easily go to civil court, and if won in civil court, a prosecutor could decide to file charges as discrimination is against the law. In fact, even without a civil lawsuit win, a prosecutor could decide they want to send a message that this kind of illegal discrimination won’t be accepted and file charges on their own. Unlikely, but it could happen.

          3. She can’t file suit for something she chose to attend? You are obviously no law expert.

          4. They didn’t break the law. I’ve had an officer reading over my shoulder this whole time and he agrees that yea, sucks, but the police and law wont do much..

          5. You are aware that having a police office reading over your shoulder means jack and shit, right? Is this police officer also a lawyer? Does he understand discrimination and civil suits around said discrimination? Criminal law is not the same as civil law.

  23. If anyone treated my daughter this way they would see the inside of a courtroom. Also, the whole affair strikes me as more of a jealous matriarchy than any other form of social lunacy.

  24. I bet it wasn’t even a dad who did this. Mrs. D saw a lovely young woman – like she never was. She sounds like a jealous ugly old biddy. At my old Christian school we had a woman who charged herself with monitoring the door to catch girls coming in with “inappropriate” clothing. Same tall, curvey, lovely girls seemed to get caught every day.

  25. I’m a guy. I’m a middle-aged guy. I’m a father, a brother, a son, a husband, and an uncle. Clare, you looked absolutely wonderful in the pictures you posted. Your face and hair are classic beauty, and, as mentioned in other posts, your date looks like he managed to channel an equivalent level of classic good looks to match you. By your own admission, I would have looked twice – maybe even thrice – when you walked into the room.

    Looking twice – or three times – is not the same as “ogling”. To be fair, we have no idea what the dads in the balcony were looking at or talking about. There is nothing in this article to indicate that the males – boys and men – at this prom did anything untoward or inappropriate.

    The unfortunate events that unfolded here were not the doings of men. It was a band of women who objected to Clare’s beauty, and who didn’t have the “balls” to stand up to Mrs. D(ictator). This isn’t “fuck the patriarchy”. This is “fuck the matriarchy”.

    1. @Ed – I had the same thought. But at this stage it is simply a conspiracy that “it was all the women”.

      But I know from my growing up this happened several times where it was strictly the women enforcing dress code on young women. It is not out of line with psychology that they would use what ever reason they could come up (real or imagined) as a reason to slut shame, and avoid the personal responsibility of the situation.

    2. Because they have the women doing the dirty work.

      When is it ever necessary for more than one or two chaperons to be so far removed from the children they are chaperoning? What would be the purpose?

      Yes, these older women derive some sort of benefit from all of this in that they feel a little more secure in their loss of beauty. But they wouldn’t be feeling that way if they had other things and accomplishments to concern themselves with.

      Also, it is the complete trashing of the interpretations of the Bible to falsely favor a certain way of life that just happens to place all power and control in the hands of the old men of the group that informs this behavior.

      (e.g. Matthew 5: “27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

      Lusting is not a sin. Only adultery is. Only married people can commit adultery. Therefore, only married people lusting after another are committing the sin of adultery. Unmarried people lusting after each other are fine, but you wouldn’t know that if you grew up learning the crap that I was taught.)

    3. Hahahaha, yeah, like there’s ever been any such thing as a “matriarchy.”

      Women can support patriarchy. In fact, systems of oppression don’t work without getting the cooperation of at least some of the oppressed people.

      You sound like the type of dude who claims that there can’t be any sexism or misogyny in the media because Cosmopolitan has women editors or some such crap.

  26. Clare, what makes you beautiful is not the shape of your body, or your hair or eyes, or the way that dress looks on you. For me, it is your ability to explain what happened and be aware of the issues behind a “short” dress. Your intellect and understanding of what happened makes you wiser than the bunch of sex-deprived adults that in the name of chaperoning are looking for fantasy material for their private times.

    Thank you for sharing.

  27. It’s simple. All the parents need to take the prom organizers, the ones not issuing the refunds, to small claims court separately, and then testify for each other. That way these fools have to go to court five separate times. Don’t just ask for the refunds though, demand damages for the costs associated with the dresses, suits, time spent finding the clothing, your hair costs, ect. Make them pay and shut them down.

    Further I’d push to have the disgusting ‘fathers’ publicly named, and identify them for exactly what they are, perverts that get turned on by underage ladies.

    1. Smart idea….should hopefully teach these adult bullies that they can’t get away with this crap!

    2. Brilliant. Seriously. I feel like you deserve a cookie for this because that would make their lives miserable for at least a little while.

      1. Are you being sarcastic or serious, for or against my proposal? Might be a bit too early for my mind to be working right.

        1. That’s not sarcasm. That’s why I had to throw the “seriously” in there. I hadn’t considered the legal side of things. Being a thorn in their sides would be awesome.

    3. Well, it’s not perverted to be ATTRACTED to attractive girls.

      It’s perverted to do anything other than SHOVE THAT HUMAN DESIRE DOWN DEEP and be a good social person who isnt a fucking creep. Its okay to think something is sexy as long as your behavior is appropriate for the situation. The behavior appropriate for the men upstairs was to SHUT THEIR OLD-ASS MOUTH. Humans are allowed to think and feel whatever they want, but it’s when their behavior reflects an inner moral failing and lack of discretion, that’s when they start ogling little girls like these perverted church dads.

      1. I agree with you other than the “perverted church dads” comment. Them being church dads has nothing to do with it. Are you’re saying Christian men are more likely to be perverted than non-Christian men?

        1. They aren’t more likely to be perverted, but I think it’s fairly well established that religious men are more likely to enforce dress codes on women than non-religious men…and that’s what I think he was really trying to get at here.

      2. Perverted Church dads… More like pedophiles that go to church and are allowed to chaperon a school function like a dance to just fuel the fire. Obviously these “Fathers” have some sort of problem. I agree that they, the fathers, Mrs D and anyone else included in this PLOT to kick you out of your prom, should be held accountable in court. Make them pay and oust them for being perverts… don’t forget to mention the word pedophile, as that will definitely draw attention to them and not you.

    4. While I don’t agree with the latter part of this—remember, the woman told her that the men said this, but this is a second hand report while you cannot be sure that all of them did this, and shaming an innocent person violates the idea we should be protecting rights rather than harming them, I’m in full support of litigation. With the coverage this is getting, I’m sure there’s a lawyer out there willing to take up the case, and I think there’s a defendable argument that the woman in question did not follow district protocols and that you suffered harms from her violation of those protocols and are due damages for her malfeasance. Now, depending on your local culture, this may make you a pariah but it may also create an important dialogue that would help prevent future occurrences of such behavior.

      1. Matt- your comment that racism can only occur from a majority was utterly insipid…but you are right on with this one…
        Normally, I’m more libertarian when it comes to lawsuits. But sometimes, you can’t put the dookey back in the donkey. In this case, we can”t figure out of it’s racism, lecherous fathers, or jealous wives. But it’s one of the three. Since we can’t have a re-do of the prom? Yeah…a good lawsuit might do wonders

      2. Did anyone even see the nasty chaperone woman running up and down the stairs in that brief 15 minutes? Did she have a walkie-talkie to communicate with the men? Why did no men participate in throwing Claire’s group out? I don’t think the fathers even knew what was happening…

    5. Seeing as though the tickets only cost $25, the filing fee for small claims court would exceed the amount they would likely win. The school (or whoever is responsible for the prom) would probably just settle and Clare’s party would just end up losing more money, without causing the responsible parties much, if any, hassle.

      1. You receive your filing and other, reasonable legal fees when you win. She’d break even, which is the point of court: to be made whole.

      2. I’ve been to small claims, you don’t just demand the $25 in this case, you demand they pay the filing fees. ANYTIME one loses a small claims court case, the loser pays the filing and court fees. Further, READ my WHOLE post, I said, TICKETS, DRESSES, AND ALL OTHER ASSOCIATED COSTS, should be demanded. Therefore you FAIL basic reading comprehension. Must be a homeschool parent.

    6. It strikes me as probable that no fathers were actually involved. Just the nasty woman who hated the dress. Sounds more like the matriarchy was the bad actor in this story.

  28. Clare, I’m truly sorry. I believe that you, your boyfriend, and your entire party were robbed of a wonderful evening (and over a hundred dollars). When older adults treat young adults with disrespect and disdain, they damage their own credibility. Stay true to yourself, and don’t accept the shame for other peoples actions.

  29. This is just ridiculous. I apologize for my gender.

    This really comes back to the rape argument. She was raped for being too tall, too short, too hot, too drunk, too dressy. Wear short skirts, you’re at fault. Wear revealing clothes, you’re at fault.

    I’m sorry, but the only people responsible for rape are rapists.

    In this instance, the only people who were acting inappropriately were those who couldn’t help but stare/ogle an underage girl.

    I have two boys, and I’m raising them to understand they are responsible for their own actions. They can’t blame others for the way they behave, no matter the circumstances. If those fathers had been raised in that same way, maybe they would have taken a closer look at themselves and realized that what they were doing wasn’t just creepy, it was disgusting and extremely inappropriate.

    I hope you’re able to get together with your friends and go out and have a good time in another way. Losing your senior prom is a big deal, but the memories with friends are the things you’ll reminisce on in future years. Go out and make those memories away from 40 year old perverts.

    1. She wasn’t raped. If she was, I would agree with your argument. But please realize she wasn’t raped. She simply kicked out.

      1. Did you read my entire comment? I merely stated that this is the same principle behind the idea of “rape culture”. I made an analogy, if you will. I’m aware she was not raped, and I’m in no way comparing the act of being kicked out to the act of rape (rape, in my mind, is almost as bad as murder, possibly as bad, possibly worse). The thought process behind blaming her for the men staring at her is the same EXACT thought process behind blaming the victim in rape. The mechanism for this thought is, in my mind, the heart of “rape culture”.

        This isn’t just sexism. This goes way beyond “I’m a man, you’re a woman, so I’m better than you”. This highlights a male dominated society in which men are, essentially, allowed to do what they want and women are held to a much higher standard of behavior. “That’s un-womanly”, “She is a slut for wearing that skirt,” “She’s just ASKING for it wearing that blouse”. Those are statements that are not only said all the time, but are considered okay for daytime television and PG movies (in one variation or another). This is a HUGE problem with society, and we’re ALL pre-programmed by society to have these thoughts, at least somewhat. Even women have those thoughts sometimes.

        It’s just disgusting that it’s 2014, and in some ways, the fight for equality with women is still just as necessary (and the situation just as bad) as it was 50 years ago.

        That was the point I was trying to make without having to actually spell it out word for word.

        1. I read the entire thing. And I was at the event where this “awful” act occurred. What people need to realize is that this is a private organization run my Christians and if they want to kick someone out because she looks to provocative, then they have every right to do so. The chaperons weren’t ogling over her. They were supposed to stand there and report anything. It isn’t like all the 40 year olds ran to the bathroom to jack off as soon as she walked it. This whole situation has been blown way out of proportion. Sure it sucks that she got kicked out since it was fingertip length but this situation has blown up too much.

          1. How could she have looked too provocative if the level of provocativeness, or “inappropriateness”, was supposed to be judged by the length of her dress which was within the given parameters?

            Your organization violated one of it’s own rules at the expense of others….

            But in the end, ya’ll seemed to have taught her and everyone else allot about yourselves… good on ya’

          2. Like I said, its a Christian organization that she paid to attend. By purchasing a ticket, she is implying that she is willing to abide to the rules of the people running the prom.

          3. By following rules means you have to listen to them if they ask you to leave.

          4. So…with your “logic”…they could ask anyone to leave, for no reason, and they must follow it because they are told so by adults? Look, you don’t seem all that bright, but let me help you out here. If someone asks you to leave for breaking a rule that you didn’t actually break, then you aren’t at fault for anything. It’s called common sense.

          5. so they could have asked everyone to leave and made quite the profit for the evening? please explain.

          6. And she did. But that doesn’t mean that they were right in asking her to leave. Look, you’re a kid, so I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you don’t know much about your constitution, or human rights legislation, but I will repeat that just because it is a private or religious organization does not mean they are exempt from prosecution for discrimination. Nor does it mean she was automatically in the wrong because she wore a tight dress. She followed the rules, she was kicked out, and it was because they made up rules against her.

          7. She did abide by the rules! Does the dress code also say something about tightness? No one has brought that up, except you and if you attended the prom, perhaps you can upload the rules so we can see if that’s even a point of contention.

          8. So…wait. She followed the rules, she was kicked out despite having followed the rules, and you think because it is a private function this is okay? If a rape occurs at a private function, is that okay? How about bullying, abuse, racism? If the KKK holds a private function where they burn an effigy of Obama, are they okay because it’s a private function? The answer is no. It is never, ever okay to belittle, demean, demoralize, gang up on or persecute anybody, regardless of the public or private nature in which it takes place. Period.

          9. Hold up, they didn’t burn her, rape her, or murder her. They simply asked her to leave. She was wearing a tight dress that could easily slide upwards. I’ve worn similar clothing before and it moves up. She was not being belittled. They seriously just made her leave. They are not breaking any laws by doing this. I was there and witnessed the dress. It was pretty, sure, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have the tendency to slide and reveal. If she wanted to be treated differently, she should have attended a different prom.

          10. Actually, by treating her different based on her gender and body, despite following the rules, that’s discrimination, and that *is* against the law. Denying her a witness is also illegal.

          11. This isn’t based on her gender or body. She simply was wearing a body con and they didn’t think it was appropriate. Were you there? Did you attend this event? Because it sounds like you know nothing about the organization.

          12. Why wasn’t it appropriate? Because it was tight? Because it was revealing? Did her boobs pop out? You have already stated that she followed the rules. Ergo she was discriminated against.

          13. This isn’t discrimination. Its a freaking homeschool prom. They chaperons have the right to say it looked too revealing. other girls were called out for inappropriateness too. same with the boys.

          14. “If she wanted to be treated differently, she should have attended a different prom.” You’re, I’m assuming, a student? Here’s the thing. Human rights law doesn’t stop as soon as you enter a private function. If she wanted to be treated with dignity and respect, she should expect to be treated as such wherever she goes, whether she walks in wearing a tight dress or nothing at all.
            Further, I sure hope you’re not suggesting that Christians (or any religious organization) have the right to discriminate against anybody simply because someone decided to interpret a book that way. Please remember your god hung out with lepers and whores.

          15. I wasn’t saying they are allowed to discriminate and you took what I said completely wrong. Of course she should be respected anywhere but at the same time, she should understand that she shouldn’t be wearing a tight dress to this prom. She wasn’t the only one who was called out. My friend was also called out because her top was slightly too revealing. she simply pulled up her dress and was done with it.

          16. Finger tip length is finger tip length. She met that test and it looks petty that she was thrown out because it rode up a bit while she was moving. Mrs. D must have been ogling her quite persistently if she noticed the dress ride up a few times.

            Look, either it’s finger tip length or it’s not. If this happened to you and you were kicked out, would you be so ambivalent about it now?

          17. Nice to know that as long as someone isn’t burnt, raped, or murdered, then people treating them poorly is no big deal.

        2. dear man I dont know on the internet.
          Please go and explain feminism to every man who does not understand it. No need to apologise for your gender. I never see men talking with this much clarity about such issues online (i hardly ever see men say positive things about feminism online).

      2. KPM, throughout this thread you are demonstrating quite handily that h0mesk00led kids do not necessarily get any better educated than public-school kids.

        Google the phrase “rape culture,” do a little reading, and then come back to this thread.

  30. Maybe this is a prejudice against the Old South, but might you have been kicked out because of your boyfriend? BTW, he and you were both dressed very nicely for a prom. Just a bunch of old racist slavers in the balcony.

    1. That is prejudice against the South. That might have been the way it used to be, but things change.

      I am from Texas and currently live in the North (temporarily). I am learning all sorts of new slurs I have never heard before and the true meaning of segregation.

      Also, all my Southern black friends who come up north always comment that they are treated worse when they go north (not that things are perfect in the South. It’s just that they express that they can’t wait to come back home where they don’t feel like an outcast).

      All the black/white couples that go north express how horribly they are treated in the the North vs. cities in the South. Those sorts of interracial couples have the stories with the largest disparities in how they are treated in cities in the South (Houston, Orlando) vs. cities in the North (Chicago, Boston). A German girl I knew who was dating a black man in Florida talked about visiting his parents in Chicago and how everyone but his family treated them like they were pariahs.

      Heck. Being mixed myself with Asian, White, and Hispanic, I have experienced an alienation that I have never felt back home. It’s not as bad as it is for those mixed with black and white but still.

      (Georgia might be an exception. I’ve heard some bad things happening in Georgia, but still not worse than things I’ve seen here in the North.)

      1. June,

        Texas is a long way from the capital of the old Confederacy. When you live in “The Commonwealth”, the first thing you notice (and one of the first things we were told by both white and African American friends and coworkers when we moved here 10 years ago) is “people stick to their own kind down here.” It may make whites feel good to say we live in a post racial world, but that’s at least another 25 years away.

        It may not be about race in Virginia, but it’s still all about race, except when it’s about race and patriarchy.

        1. Well…., this is a new one….. Texas isn’t a part of some “traditional” southern institution.

          I don’t know what “The Commonwealth” is (Is it Virginia?). I’ve heard that the eastern portions of Virginia have lost their Southern flare because of their proximity to D.C.

          Still, up here in Ohio, people don’t specifically state that they stick to their own kind, but they will definitely whip the N-word around in private conversations. And it is definitely segregated except specific neighborhoods in the center of their largest city. The racism is just done in private, rather than broadcasted.

          And if you look up the statistics, the most segregated cities are northern ones. And northern schools are far more segregated than anything the South has a comparable example to. That’s just base numbers alone.

      2. Northerner here who agrees that racism is certainly not limited to the South. I think it’s more blatant in the South, but blatant isn’t the whole story. I found out as an adult that I grew up next to at least one sundown town.

  31. Good for you, both for knowing how fucked up this is and for refusing to let it make you feel bad about yourself.

    This stuff has been happening for decades, but I feel like it’s been ramping up in the last few years. We’re so damn interested in policing the bodies of young women for so many reasons and it’s so, so damaging.

    Also, those grown men need something else to do with their goddamn time.

  32. The 600 LB Gorilla in the room may be that she was with a young black gentleman as her date. Were there a lot of bi racial couples at the date? If there were then I am wrong and glad to be so. Either way I feel badly for Clare and as a father of 5 daughters I am disgusted by the way she was treated. She sounds like a fine young lady with a bright future. Like many events during the teen years this will be a forgotten memory in the rear view mirror soon enough.

    1. The people from the North posting here need to understand that the majority of the South has moved on from all that you see portrayed in movies. We are also not like the North. It might be an issue where you live; but that doesn’t mean that it is where we live.

      1. I was not making a geographical statement. I live in NC. Racism is everywhere as far as I can tell and certainly knows no boundaries. It would seem to be that I was mistaken on that assumption which I certainly acknowledged as a possibility in my first post. It sounds more likely that like she ran in to some sexually uptight and frustrated adults that decided she was the flavor of the evening to take out their shortcomings on. As mentioned , whatever the reason, she was clearly wronged.

        1. Sure. I don’t know how it is in all of the South. I just know that racism is definitely more extensive up here than where I’m from. Black friends from down South who go north agree. And bi-racial couples who go north have agreed.
          Heck. There have been extensive studies on the fact that Northern schools and cities are the most segregated in the country. Just do a search on it.

          Plus, there are a lot of homeschool Christians, such as the family I grew up in, that devoutly believe in the equality of the races but not the equality of the genders. So it is definitely not applicable to those kinds of groups, unless the poster says so.

    2. I know you mean well dad, but she will never forget this. This did damage and left a scar. Don’t minimize it. What the chaperones did was deliver the message that male privilege dictates what girls can do and when and where they can do it. It also teaches girls that men enjoy exercising this power without regard to anyone’s feelings. Senior Prom is a big deal. Its a huge power trip to allow someone to stay or throw them out. When you deal with your own daughters, please don’t be like those men by deciding for them what they will remember and what they will not, or how much they will be hurt and for how long.

        1. “I know you mean well dad” is in reference to his last sentence, “Like many events during the teen years this will be a forgotten memory in the rear view mirror soon enough.” She says she was damaged. He’s decided she won’t be for long. But not for a bad reason. I had parents who always tried to downplay the effects of something bad happening. I know they did it in the hopes that I really would forget about it. But that only caused more pain. So in the end, I had 2 bad memories: one, the event, and two, my parents dismissing the event as causing damage.

  33. GET GIRL! You are a fierce feminist. I love how this post is written. I can’t wait to see what trails you blaze in college and beyond. Proud to share womanosity with you!

    1. I KNOW, RIGHT?

      Xtian hypocrisy at its finest. Victim-blaming. Disgusting practices that have no place in a civilized world.

  34. I’m sorry, and I really don’t mean to be offensive, but as a straight male in his mid-20’s, I don’t find myself “lusting after her” like apparently those men claimed to be. She looks very beautiful, sure, but nothing like a sex object. Her dress is much less revealing than most dresses I’ve seen for prom dances. If these men were really having trouble here, then A) Their wives need to have a talk with them, and B) their wives need to spend more time with them.

    1. Not sure how it’s their wives’ responsibility to make them not lust after young girls..?? Shouldn’t they take responsibility for their own thoughts & actions and deal with it themselves?

    2. “Their wives”? They are grown-ass men. They cannot have become same in this society without understanding at some level that men openly ogling women in public is at best crass, at worst perceivable by the women in question as threatening.

      When we offloading responsibility for men’s behavior onto women in any way we’ll have made some progress.

  35. Badly, rudely handled by the PTB. And as always, placing the
    responsibility for what supposedly adult men think … on women — and
    in this instance, women young enough not to be able to legally drink or
    vote. And teen boys? They think “impure thoughts” about 20 times a
    minute, regardless of what women wear.

    As for the phrase “impure thoughts,” the 1800s called; they want their attitudes back.

  36. Let’s keep in mind that this is precisely why homeschooling exists to a large extent: so parents (and often their church leaders) do not have to follow the rules that the rest of us, as a majority, have decided upon. If this was a public school prom, public outrage would have fixed the problem almost immediately. But these parents and organizers are accountable to no one but themselves and doubtless are taking pride that we, the unbelievers, are attacking their superior moral stance on the issue. To them it’s persecution of the righteous and they get to see themselves as Christ-like (because having people tell you you’re wrong is just like being crucified).

    Not all religions oppress women, but these is a definite tendency among them to prescribe the behavior of women in order to protect men from sin. Because, obviously, men are not accountable for their own actions.

  37. Clare, you look beautiful in these pictures, and I have to say that your boyfriend looks handsome here as well. I hate the idea that women are responsible for the thoughts that men have about us, and it sucks that your prom was ruined because a few adults were incapable of behaving in a mature fashion. At least the group you were with stood by you. Having such good friends by your side can make even the most unjust situations more bearable.

    You did a great job of articulating yourself here, and I like that you admitted to flipping off the security guards. You’re right in admitting that it wasn’t a mature thing to do, but I also have to say this. I’m nearly 30, and as angry as I would have been in your situation, I probably would have done the same thing. It may not be an excuse, but being angry makes perfect sense given the circumstances.

  38. really infuriating and disgusting. Here’s an apology on behalf of a bunch of perverts with ‘impure thoughts’ and Y chromosomes. sorry dude.

  39. I find her dress to be unquestionably classy. Period. Paragraph. I’m so sorry a bunch of jerks ruined her experience.

  40. That b*tch chaperone was far more concerned that you came with a black date, I’m sure. The Partician South is still completely racist, so she was looking to make an example of you.

  41. “…I was going to cause the young men at the prom to think impure thoughts…” – sounds like christian hypocrisy at work yet again…

  42. It seems to me that the female chaperone was the one with the problem and was just blaming the dads, but who knows what really happened. You are absolutely right that it’s not your job to police other people’s thoughts about your body- you had every right to be there, and it sounds like you did everything right. I hope you get your refunds, and the homeschool prom gets a LOT of negative press.

  43. In high school the school secretary pulled me into the office on dress-up day during spirit week and told me my dress was too low cut and would be “distracting” to the male students, (she herself wearing something just as low, if not lower cut). I had to call my mom and tell her to bring me a cover.. my mom was absolutely furious as she had seen and approved the dress that morning. I have larger breasts and pretty much anything I wear will result in cleavage unless I only wear turtle-necks, and I was embarrassed to tears by a grown women telling me I looked like a “slut.” Hang in there Clare, people will try and police you, taunt you and make you feel awful, but it’s just their own insecurities!

  44. If those women ywere jealous of their husbands looking at an attractive young woman, they should have told their husbands not to look. Men have a responsibility to not be sleazy and to control their own eyes. I am sorry you were treated in such a manner by men and women who claim (ostensibly) to be Christians. You looked lovely.

  45. I’m sorry you had to go through this. I admire that you took the actions to speak out and share your story and views. You will be dealt a lot of unfair hands in life because you are a woman; this is – unfortunately – just the first of many. It is women like you standing up for themselves that help to make change happen. I hope you will keep fighting the good fight. At times, you may need to choose your battles. And, as you point out in your blog post, you will earn more credibility when you argue your points calmly and respectfully, even when those same courtesies are not given to you. Thank you for speaking out and remember – the best revenge is living well. Keep it up.

  46. Yeah, and the melanin content of her date’s skin had nothing to do with it at all, did it? She was dressed in a very innocent dress, far less provocative than what’s permitted at a lot of proms in public schools. She looked like a very innocent young girl. If those dirty old men were having problems with “impure thoughts”, it was NOT HER FAULT. They should have been down on their knees begging for strength from their Lord to resist these thoughts. But that would require them actually living up to their religious claims instead of sitting back and blaming the world for their problems. Those men are an embarrassment to Christian men, everywhere.

  47. Sorry to hear you had to go through that. Judging by your pics, the dress was pretty tame, even by Puritan American standards. I did notice that your date happened to be ‘of colour’. Do you think this might have played a role in what was going on and that the dress might have been an excuse, or one of two reasons they wanted to remove you? It seems like there are some intersectioanal forms of oppression going on here. If these men are sexist, then it stands to reason they might be guilty of holding prejudices based on perceived race. Given the social climate that is unforgiving or prejudices based on perceived race, they may have come up with another excuse to save face from being accused of racism.

  48. Clare, I think that your dress looked great and very appropriate, and your boyfriend’s outfit was also pretty classy. Not all adults are as petty as these people. Just keep being who you are so that you don’t end up like them when you become an adult.

  49. Fantastic! I always enjoy reading about the great missionary work Christians do… for atheism.

  50. You forgot the Golden Rule: “The person with the gold gets to make up the rules.” One of many lessons in hypocrisy, arbitrariness and unfairness that we all learn at some point. Yes, adults suck! Fortunately, you are a stronger person today for what you experienced, and better equipped to handle that garbage when it really counts (and it will). Stay as far away from the Mrs D’s of the world as you can, because they aren’t worth your time, and best wishes in all your future endeavors!

  51. I think it shows a real lack of maturity on the part of the adult chaperones saying what they did and forcing you out of the dance because of their own personal biases.

    But I also think that your assumption that the “dads” were staring at you or that they were the motivation for “Mrs. D”‘s bad behavior shows your own personal prejudice.

    I support you in your right to dress as you choose and go where you wish without fear of physical harm or bigoted action on the part of others, however your implications concerning your belief as to the musings of the male adults that you had no interactions with is just as incorrect as the behavior of “Mrs. D”.

    If you are going to take the high ground on this issue, you are going to need to address this as it should be; a woman-on-woman act of bigotry. Whether or not “Mrs. D” was the agent provocateur in this incident or acting on her own inclinations can continue to be debated but for pragmatic reasons the imagined thoughts of the “45 year old perverts” need to be removed from the debate.

    Good luck on your continued education and here is to hoping for a better future where all gender bias is eliminated.

  52. I don’t have a lot to add that hasn’t already been stated. I simply wanted to send along some love and support. As the mother of 10 and 12 year old girls, I can only hope that as a society we begin to evolve our consciousness surrounding women’s bodies and the attitudes about them. As a woman I’ve certainly faced these sorts of issues and been singled out for looking too “sexual”, sometimes even when what I was wearing was more modest than the rest of the females in the group, simply because of my build. I hope the issue was resolved and kudos for standing up for yourself and for not feeling beaten down by a mentality that is clearly wrong.

  53. If the black guy in the photo was her date………is she really stupid enough to think her dress was the problem they had with her. Wake up, kid, they are racists. It DID happen in VA

    1. I think it is a good sign that our youth consider other possibilities rather than automatically assuming that the problem was race. On the other hand, it appears this situation was definitely, sadly about race…

  54. Seriously, this got me pissed… Don’t worry, Gizmodo shared this story (and probably reddit too). You will most likely get tons of help now!

    Good Luck!

  55. I don’t see anything risquè and you aren’t someone who looks like you’ve developed early for them to lust over you.. so either 1. Its a race issue being your boyfriend is black, or 2. Something more personal, or 3. These dads are a bunch of pedophiles. I’m sure and hopeful that’s not it. One thing I do have to say is the grammatical errors in this article are atrocious. Young people today SHOULD know the differences between “then” and “than”. I think that upset me more THAN the article itself. I want to see an educated youth. Regardless of sex or race. That’s how we make progress.

    1. Are you serious? Your very first item contains a very similar error. You SHOULD have written “It’s,” rather than “Its.” What a grammar hypocrite!

      1. I would say the same to you. What’s more important. The youth intelligence level or one single night being ruined by some jerks. If anything that one night is a life lesson to this girl because in adult life you will face these types of people daily. Speaking on your emotions on an intellectual level will gain more people on your side to help defend your cause. If you can’t do that, I see that as the greater fault.

        1. Pick your battles, john. Grammar is a FAR lesser issue than this. Also, your accent on “risqué” is the wrong way, your capitalization is inconsistent, and you spell “Its” without an apostrophe.

          1. Relying from a phone. Even our phones don’t know how to punctuate nowadays… And my phone says nowadays is one word.

          2. I’m not writing an article looking for anyone’s support either. Big difference.

          3. You also weren’t the victim of misogyny and social injustice, and people who have been don’t always edit themselves when they’re passionate about getting a message out. What I suggest you do is write an article on some other blog about the importance of grammar education, since it’s apparently a bigger injustice to you than the one this article is about.

        2. A simple grammatical error in an otherwise well-articulated post such as this is nothing compared to the kind of bull-shit with which this girl, and many girls worldwide, have had to, and continue to have to, deal.

      2. If the article detailed an honor student doing everything right in this same scenario, How much more publicity would this kick up.

        1. How do you know she’s not an honour student?
          As someone who was a phenomenal student in high school, but also developed very early and had very large breasts, I can assure you that being book-smart and well-spoken does not defend a woman from being treated inappropriately.

        2. You have a grammatical error in YOUR post, John! “Its a race issue…” should actually read, “IT’S a race issue…” Sometimes, people do know the correct usage, but there’s a little thing called a typo. Get over yourself.

    2. Guys, guys, guys. Let’s get down to brass tacks here.

      john doesn’t understand that names get capitals, and is completely ignorant of the difference between grammar and spelling. I declare his entire string of comments wrong and invalid based on that information alone.

  56. I would share this story with every single classmate at your school and organize an anti-prom that’s not affiliated with the school. If they’re going to do a shitty job organizing a school function, then the students should organize it themselves. Make sure they know why you’re doing, what you hope to accomplish and have fun. Personally I thought your dress was very cute and what I wore to my prom was WAY worse than your dress, cleavage and length wise. As awful as this sounds, you and your parents need to file a formal complaint with your school and school board against the woman who screwed with you about your dress. If you say dresses need to be finger tip length, then your not allowed to go back on the rule because someone’s arms are not long enough. That’s what measuring tape is for. That’s a battle that you’ll have to decide if it’s worth fighting but filing a formal complaint in writing with your school board will at least make them aware that that teacher is a problem and should not be chaperoning events. Also make a complaint that you were uncomfortable with the male chaperones in the balcony. This prom sounds like something out of a Catholic High School nightmare.

  57. i have a question—how many other girls (or guys) were part of a mixed race couple? i wonder if that had anything to do with it. i hate to toss the race card on the table, but it might explain that good ol’ boy mentality. it is richmond after all, for gods sake.

  58. I just read what was probably one of the parent’s replies on Gawker, and then this. You should take solace not only in being right, but also in being infinitely more well-spoken and mature than the troglodytes who kicked you out. Props.

  59. Found your post via Calah Alexander’s blog. I’m sorry to read about what you went through, Clare. It was unfair and wrong. I hope you’re doing okay.

  60. I would wear the same things as my high school classmates, but is often get called out for violating dress code. I’m 5′ 11″, thin, and had a big rack. Just because we’re built sexy doesn’t mean we should “grandma” ourselves up.

  61. Short hair on a young girl, a black date, a miniskirt looking dress, at a conservative homeschool event. Theres a billion reasons she could of got kicked out. What if the balcony was full of racist dads gawking at the girl because of her date? How do you know? You just pick the subject you want. The haircut gives you away.

    1. Bad grammar and no class, Fred D. The haircut? Really? Please get mental health assistance ASAP!

      1. Google “Girls with short hair are damaged” from returnofkings. I’m not the only one that has thought this in recent years.

  62. Agreed! They should have gone home to play with themselves while you all had a great time. Really Ridiculous.

  63. Clare, you looked absolutely stunning and your dress was gorgeous. That you and your friends had to pay because of some gross old dudes and a prudish teacher is shameful; I’m so sorry you had to deal with that bullshit. Big-ass girls represent.

  64. I guess homeschooling doesn’t make for smarter kids. It’s amazing how many people don’t know the difference in “then” and “than.”

  65. Is there anyone we can contact to support and advocate for the refund and public apology? This kind of bullshit (excuse my language) really frustrates me, and I want to help stand against it.

  66. If I was HALF the man I used to be, I’d take a FLAME THROWER to this place and burn it to the ground! (<– Use a loud, raspy Al Pacino-voice for this.)

  67. Who Cares Im glad she got kicked out, welcome to the real world. Shit happens, only this new generation cant handle it and cry about it on the internets. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.

    Whining on the internet doesn’t build character.

  68. Clare I personally believe what the people at the home school prom did was completely uncalled for. I for one saw your dress and thought it was beautiful and didn’t go against the rules. This year was my second year attending this prom and my first year my dress was shorter than yours but it had a see through train that was connected at the waist. I had the train wrapped up at my hips and my dress became shorter than what it was before. Plus all through that time I was grinding and dancing provocatively as well. Many adults saw me but did nothing! This year my dress was mid thigh but because I have a larger sized chest than most girls my age and I even ended up falling out of my dress on multiple occasions. I had different parents and even my friends told me and I fixed it! I’m surprised that I didn’t even get a warning to get kicked out! If any one should have been kicked out it should have been me! I even stopped multiple times to talk and say hello to the person who put the prom together and yet she never said anything about my breasts and dress! I find that the prom committed is bias and are only blinded by some of their “beliefs”. Now I’m a Christian don’t get me wrong but I saw no wrongs in what you did and believe that you should have never been kick out! I’m on your side and I’m disappointed in the homeschool prom committee and how they view things! They should take into account that every single person has a different body type and so the dresses will be different fits than to another person! I hope though that in the future you would have a better time at prom! 🙂

  69. It’s Richmond. The Old South still lives and breathes there. As I was reading the story and got to the photo of them in the car I knew immediately the real reason she was asked to leave was most likely because the adult men had a problem with her escort. Having witnessed the desegregation efforts in the 60’s in Richmond as a young adult I can say that the private segregated schools experienced booming enrollment….and still do. The concept of homeschooling is a wonderful one however there is a prevalent population who home school because they don’t want their children in an urban school environment complete with a diverse cultural student body. The dress and the dancing was simple a smokescreen for a sad…make that very sad…cultural stigma. Shame shame…shame on them. A lovely couple who wanted to have the time of their lives instead had to do battle when cultural insensitivity reared it’s ugly head. Isn’t fair. Clare….your dress was stunning! Now go contact the ACLU and make some BIG noise that that Mrs. D. will have to pay attention to!

    1. I believe you are correct. I wonder if there was any other people of color at this prom?

  70. Clare I totally agree with you . How ridiculous … I think that you looked beautiful and appropriately dressed . They should of kicked the “Chaperones” out for being pervs!

  71. I saw this story on Gawker and I was ANGRY because a relative who told me they like my graduation dress that hits just above the knee, told me I looked like a slut and not to wear it anymore after I sat down and it rose to reveal my MID-THIGH.

    They didn’t show your face but the fingertip test pic you took but I clicked on the link and after seeing you and your boyfriend, I knew exactly what the REAL problem was!

    I’m a black girl and I would give you MY view. I really don’t think it was because they were ogling at you in that dress….you are pretty but nothing to ogle over. I think it was because your date is BLACK and they felt very uncomfortable watching you grinding on him…sad but TRUE. You are a very tall blonde white girl with a short (but appropriate) dress dancing on a black guy. They noticed! I doubt they would have kicked you out if your date were a white guy or better yet if YOU were a black girl. This is waaay worst and you AND your boyfriend deserve and apology!

  72. Dispicable. Someone in the area should organize a flash mob protest outside the school calling for the termination of this Mrs. D.

  73. I hate the idea of being “too provocative”. If a girl wants to wear something that shows off her body, that’s not something to be offended or upset by. I don’t know why we have this strange culture of hiding away our bodies. If you want to look attractive, awesome.

  74. For Clare: As a dad I can say, Your a pretty young woman (non sexual way mind you) and as they said 20+ years ago, you clean up good (meaning your a classy dresser, that’s a good thing take notes lol), but as a guy, I must just be getting old, I don’t see the sexual appeal at all these other fathers saw. Not at all (as I said your Pretty but I just don’t see it). But oh well, keep staying independent of these folks and you’ll do alright in the world. Be strong!. FYI: I’ve seen shorter dresses worn on women for bars,dances, and such and that’s by far not a seductive one. As I said its classy.

  75. Aww really? You were dressed especially tastefully, in my opinion! It’s so WRONG for them to blame you for their thoughts. Far too many people still think it’s a woman’s fault if she’s “too attractive”. This has terrifying parallels with the line of thinking that it’s a woman’s fault for being “too sexy” if she’s sexually harrassed or abused. You shouldn’t even have to justify what you wore on the grounds of “preventing impure thoughts”, no one ever should. So backwards. Keep fighting – you’re clearly an intelligent and spirited woman – someday you’ll make waves. 🙂

  76. There’s no way the dads were complaining about it. Someone overheard them making perverted remarks about an underage girl and spun it as though they wanted her out because they might make “young men” think so-called impure thoughts. Sure, young men…the young men those old men wish they still were so they could “have” a girl like that. Clare, your maturity shines through in this piece, and I’m glad a younger generation of strong women isn’t taking crap from the idiotic patriarchy who thinks they can control a woman just because she has a body part they like. I apologize for my gender (yet again). Some of us are respectful, and I wish all the bad apples didn’t spoil the bunch, but the fact of the matter is, it often seems like more apples are spoiled than not.

  77. This may be petty, but if you have a graduation ceremony, wear that dress under your gown and soon as you commence and the ceremony is over walk around with just the dress on. Maybe you could convince your very loyal friends to join you. This is just a suggestion, personally I did the same thing when I graduated and wore a dress that I preformed in a choir concert in (that a huge group of girls said I looked like a hooker in- it was knee length, not very tight, and moderately higher cut in chest) and the moment the ceremony was over I took off my gown and walked right by the group. They’re faces were worth it. But that’s just what I would do, you seem like a more even tempered person than I am.

  78. The behavior shown by the dance “officials” is almost as insulting to the males as it is to the females. The same judgmental attitude that blames women for “enticing” men simultaneously demeans men as beings that cannot control their (allegedly) baser instincts.

  79. reading this whole thing is very frustrating – if I were a parent or chaperone at this particular dance I would have stuck up for you. But then, I find myself at odds with many of the ridiculous school rules, “zero tolerance” policies and rigid nature of the administrators in charge.

  80. I grew up in the exact same type of culture, and the one thing I’d love to say to Clare is I am SO PROUD of you for standing up, for speaking out – hell, just for recognizing there was a problem. So many girls are brought up through this idiotic type of “purity” movement and never even break free enough to recognize how abusive and enabling of rape culture it is. They accept the shame and blame and guilt and you didn’t. You used your brain, thought for yourself, didn’t allow the brainwashing to work and you are amazing. Hugs from a Purity/Quiverfull/Christian homeschool Goddard ATIA fringe patriarchal cult etc etc etc survivor. You go, girl!

  81. Maybe it was because your date was non-white. If it really was the horn-dog middle-age dudes, they’d want you around for a while. Where was this, Jesustan?

  82. It may have less to do with race than with the way her dress fit. On one hand, we tell girls to be proud of their bodies, whatever they look like – tall, short, thick, skinny. While, on the other hand, people tend to be inconsistent about their standards around what they deem acceptable – and that varies on how different bodies may look in the same dress. Whether you’re an ogling father with impure thoughts or an uncomfortable (threatened) mother, you don’t have the right to set a different standard for her. I really hope she can go to another prom this year…

  83. From what I can see, the dress, the hair, and the makeup are all age appropriate. It sounds like Clare was was singled out from the get-go. Perhaps she was too happy. Perhaps she was too fun-loving. Perhaps she was too confident, pretty and pleasant, and the miserable ones just couldn’t take it. Sometimes, very miserable people try to spread their misery onto others. I am so sorry this happened to you, Clare. The best thing you can do is increase the volume of your happiness, light, and smiles, and that will be the best revenge.

  84. It sounds like your only crime was being tall and looking good! I am so, so sorry this happened to you, and I am also very proud and inspired by your post. I’m sure other young women will be as well. Thank you for being a voice for clarity and common sense!

  85. Ugh, that’s awful. Your story reminds me of how girls just can’t win no matter what we wear. In middle school, much to my horror, I developed huge breasts while staying pretty skinny. Suddenly all my old clothing looked “provocative” on me, and I have never been comfortable with guys looking at me in a sexual way — especially not when I was 11 years old. So, this being the 90s, I decided to adopt the TLC look — baggy, brightly colored clothes — minus the condoms that Left Eye wore, of course! The hatred and ridicule I received was incredible and came from both kids and adults. After a few years I wound up just wearing what most of the other girls wore, except then I was always viewed as some rampant whore because of how my body was built.

    It started again after college and when I entered the workplace — for the longest time it seemed that no matter what I wore, I would get talked to for it because you can always tell I have breasts unless I’m wearing an astronaut suit or something. Luckily, I now have the highest-paying and most secure job I’ve ever had, and nobody here gives a crap because they’re all smart and decent enough to know that my body isn’t public property. But to this day I have body image issues, and it horrifies me to see how today’s adults are continuing to fail children in situations like this.

  86. I remember in school a girl yelled out across the room that my cleavage made her uncomfortable. If I was smaller-chested, it probably wouldn’t be a problem. Also, I have a sensory issue with t-shirts being too high. A standard t-shirt is to high a neckline for me. And people never listen to that “sensory issue” part (sexism and ableism double-whammy, wow!)

  87. This daddy would raise hell at a daughter that bought a dress that showed more than millimeter of skin–and would inevitably lose the argument.

    This daddy would smash the face of any dad who kicked her out of a prom for being too beautiful.

    That is all.

  88. You are gorgeous, your boyfriend is adorbs, and while there many people in the homeschool community who are not religious nutjobs that element is there and I guess those are the type of grown men who want to hang out at Prom.

  89. I’ve read this story and now the blog, I’m the age to be a father to a daughter in that peer group, Clare you looked beautiful and classy in the prom dress. is that not what a prom dress is supposed to do? Make the young ladies feel beautiful classy and elegant for a night? ( why should they not feel that everyday but thats another discussion) The dress was not too short. I wokred in a Catholic school where the girls have kilts consistently shorter than that on a daily basis We were always sending them to the office to get a slip to allow them out of class so they could adjust their uniforms.

    The bottom line is this being in the age bracket of the dads who felt uncomfortable it seems to me that we had a bunch of dirty perverts who used Clare as an excuse to hide their inability to do what was required rather than lustily ogle a teenage girl. I find it disgusting that men my age are ogling girls my neice’s age. I attend college and just finished my freshmen year again and being surrounded by lovely young attractive ladies I never once felt like I had the need to ogle them. I never felt threatened by what they wore. So I can’t understand why you were victimized here.

    My advice to you Clare….keep up the good fight and don’t give in to a bunch of prudes who can’t keep their inner Kevin Spacey to themselves ( American Beauty)

  90. I’m a bit late but wow. I dealt with the same thing since I was 12 years old (5’8″ tall, all legs and a C cup) and it was traumatic. Traumatic is almost an understatement when grown men are following you and calling you a “lyin hoe” for saying you can’t give out your number because you’re 12. Anyway, I’m glad you’re doing okay and had a good outlet to kind of reaffirm that you’re not alone and most people are reasonable enough to agree that the prom adults were clearly in the wrong.

  91. I don’t know who Mrs. D is but I would be willing to bet that she is 5 foot 2 and weighs about 200lbs. Most likely jealous her husband would rather eye F high school girls than sleep with her. Solution. Kick out Clare.

  92. I might be wrong, but I don’t think you were kicked out because of your dress or anything, but because your boyfriend is black. To me it looks more like good old racism… That’s what seemed inappropriate to those ignorant idiots, a mixed race couple.
    You and your date are adorable together, don’t let these old geezers make you feel uncomfortable.

  93. My Daughters dress to her 8th grade formal was about two fingers above her knees and looked MUCH shorter – those women were plain old jealous — Clare you are a gorgeous girl – I am so sorry that this happened and you had to be exposed to such overt bigotry

  94. This is so wrong on so many levels, I can’t find the words. You looked gorgeous, Clare and totally appropriate. Those adults behaved in a deplorable manner and Mrs. D was the worst. How dare she do that to you? She is a horrible person to embarrass a young girl in this manner and certainly didn’t behave like a Christian. I am sorry this happened, but perhaps other Christian homeschoolers will learn from this.

  95. People just couldn’t resist the urge to hijack this story and spin it into a race issue. Not everything is race related.

  96. You look lovely (and classy). And if that boy in the picture was your date, then you must have made a stunning couple. I admire you for having had the intelligence, confidence and courage to stand up for yourself and your friends. More impressive still is that you rejected the unearned guilt that *adults* – who are supposed to set good examples to young people – imposed on you.

  97. Argghhh… I’m so mad, this is about the 5th story I’ve heard that is similar to this, just in the last month or so. Absolutely disgusting, wow, I am so mad for you!! Another reason why our society is so screwed up. Of course it’s us as women, our fault that men oogle and stare…

  98. Only one thing to do. Sue each father and the woman for emotional distress. The payment? They hold another prom. Those adults pay for everything, including dresses and tux for the boys. Anyone who doesn’t show up, the adults pay $1,000.00 per student. They want to treat you like a harlot? Show them in court what a harlot will do to them.

  99. I will admit to qualifying on some occasions as a dirty minded old man. It is my problem. However, I do not see anything particularly tempting about the dress shown.. Are you sure the dress is not just the excuse to remove the biracial couple in the capital of the Confederacy?

  100. Don’t be fooled by their phony reasons, this was pure racism, their bigotry got the best of them.

  101. LMAO, why are so many fools quick to call out “racism” ? Her dress was too short, end of story…

    1. Except that it wasn’t. It was up to par of the rules. And, in no way, was a revealing dress. Go out to the bars sometime to see some revealing dresses.

  102. This is so far beyond ridiculous I can’t even think straight!
    Where are the pictures of the perverted, pedophile father’s who should be publicly shamed for not being able to keep their dirty minds out from behind their trouser zippers so as to watch their own children and their kid’s friends enjoy one of the most exciting events of their educational experience!
    Every single chaperone at that dance owes this young lady an apology! Especially the woman who chose to lay blame at the feet of a child instead of where it belongs…
    directly on the shoulders of the Richmond Home School’s Dirty Old Man Club!
    #shame #Shame #SHAMEONYOU

  103. Real men have self-control and self-discipline. I’m married. I may glance at other women in dressed, skirts, whatever. But the only female body that is capable of distracting me is my wife’s body. I read this article and I am appalled at the incredible lack of self-control and discipline demonstrated by the “men” in your experience. Honestly, I don’t even see them as men. Male humans, yes, but I wouldn’t respect them as men. I pity their sons for being raised by such sorry figures. And the women who are married to these men are equally pathetic, which is why they targeted you for being happy.

    There are many people like this in the world, and it saddens me that you experienced this on a night that was supposed to be a romantic night, a happy night, for you and your boyfriend. In the future, ignore these people, for they are beneath you and only try to bring misery to you for they themselves are miserable.

  104. If you wish to complain directly, prom organizers can be reached at marygosh90@gmail.com. I sent an email to express my disgust at their actions, I urge you to do the same. They need to learn that it is utterly unacceptable to teach a young girl to be ashamed of her body. The fact that educators and parents are the ones corrupting these young minds with the slut-shaming rape culture that exists in the United States depresses me beyond belief. It’s not her or her dress that’s the problem here, it’s them. They are sending a message to the students and the community that a young girl who follows the rules can be punished for a male’s actual or potentially sexist thoughts. I urged them to rethink their decision to punish Clare and their decision to not refund her friends’ tickets as well.

  105. Not everything can be blamed on or be consider patriarchy. Yes the dads were perverted and that is wrong and THEY should have been asked to leave. They shouldnt have been there in the first place, noone should being oogled or singled out for any reason. the woman who kicked you out is wrong, because she had no reason to do so BUT i hate when people blame ANYTHING and EVERYTHING on some sort of shadow patriarchy.

  106. 100% support you Clare. Stick to your guns girl and I hope you get a chance you go celebrate like you should have been able to.

  107. I’d venture to guess the REAL reason for the boot wasn’t the dress. She showed up with a black boyfriend … this was all camouflage for a racial issue. It is Virginia, ya know.

  108. It is definitely a problem within a patriarchal society for men to search out any sort of blame for women. Whether it be sexual harassment, rape, or “impure thoughts,” generations of males are taught from an early age what a “slut” is, what they look like, and what they want. Obviously, males are taught this much more subliminally through friends, media, etc. Unfortunately, there are never enough parents to step up and use common sense approaches to teaching males the problem with gender discrimination.

    You did nothing wrong. You know that. And it’s good that you are able to develop that sort of autonomy and stand up for yourself. Never lose that.

  109. It is ridiculous that probably one horny adult male chaperone got excited and pointed you out to his friends. He probably made some inappropriate comments to his similarly disgusting horny friends. One person probably overheard them and took the matter into their hands. You did nothing wrong Clare. It is idiots who think of nothing but sex all the time that are the problem. In reality they were probably sad to see you go because their fantasy object was taken away. Be strong in who you are and don’t let idiots who objectify you bring you down. I would however, go back to the Richmond Homeschool group and demand that they pay for your dress, which met code but for which you were unjustly harassed. Thank God you are wrapping up your time with that moronic group. I’m just sad you had to be subjected to that level of idiocy. Keep your chin up. You are better than them.

  110. Hi, I’m a Richmond public school art teacher and I just wanted to say I totally support your sister Clare!!!! Please tell her I am so proud of her for sharing her story! We need young girls to voice their concern for the inequality that still exists in our world. I went through exactly the same bullshit when I was her age, and it breaks my heart whenever I hear of adults still pulling this nonsense. When I was in highschool, I too was tall for my age, had a nice body, a big butt, and when I wore skirts that were “fingertip length” I would be pulled out of class or stopped in the hallway so they could lecture me and check the length of my clothes. It is totally unfair that girls are treated like they committed a crime for their physical proportions. It breaks my heart that this is still going on in today’s schools- and at your own prom! In my case it wasn’t really the men who lectured me and slut shamed me for my clothes, it was actually older female teachers/faculty. Both men and women blame girls for their own perversions and insecurities and that is MESSED UP! Women especially need to stick together on this one. Keep being you girl, and know that you have my support. 🙂

  111. I will be deleting all comments with the coordinator’s contact information. Please do not harass her. Reasons for this can be found in the update post. Thank you.

  112. Clare, I hope my little girl grows up to be as intelligent, forthright, and beautiful as you. You did exactly the right thing; the only way to prevent this sort

  113. Clare, I’m so sorry for what happened because it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right, especially from men who should’ve been protective and respectful, rather than distasteful. Don’t let them shame you or dim your bright light. You are made for great things.

  114. Clare, you’re a great writer and an excellent analyst. You’re also not as specifically proportioned width-wise as you think you are. You or whomever did your hair and makeup are incredibly talented. You looked amazing. Good canvas, and great brushwork. 🙂

    As for the individuals (hey, there could have been closeted lesbian moms, folks) who caused your prom to end early, they lead pitiable, confused lives. I’m further saddened that those people are raising teenagers. You had to put up with them on a really important night. Those other kids are being homeschooled by these perverted individuals.

    All the best as you go onto college, Clare. You and your friends can look forward to some of the best times yet. Just be careful. When I was an RA, the homeschooled kids were some of the smartest and nicest folks I got to meet. But a lot of the people you meet in college are as backwards as the parents from prom; they just also happen to be drinking and can make passes with no social stigma. My guess, though, is that you’ll have a good group of friends and make the campus a better place by just being there. Thank you for writing about your experience. I’m so proud of you, and I don’t even know you.

  115. Clare, I hope my daughter grows up to be as intelligent, forthright, and beautiful as you. You did the right thing, the only way to change our patriarchal society is by speaking out and shaming people for their unacceptable (or even illegal) behavior. I do, however, suspect that part of the issue was the race of your boyfriend.

    You are going to go far in life and I wish you the best.

  116. The pervy dad’s should’ve been kicked out. Sorry your senior prom was ruined by adults who should know better.

  117. Dam they need to get the old men out of there. It not your fault that they can’t get any at home. I would have gave them something to look at and then told them to kiss it.

  118. Great article. I hope you receive retribution for this terrible treatment. At least you have spread the message across the world (I’m from the Netherlands), because I think this is a perfect example of why feminism is still very necessary. Thank you for taking the time to write it down. Let’s hope there will be a time when we don’t have to fear our daughters will be held responsible for the unjust responses, thoughts and/or actions of creepy men. (your post is a step in the right direction)

  119. Why are middle aged men “watching” teenagers dance? How inappropriate is that? There seem to be an awful lot of men who cannot control themselves sexually, or accept responsibility for their own sexual responses. I don’t think these men should be holding public office or in any position of authority. Surely, if you can’t make it through the day without your penis disrupting you and those around you, you’re not suitable to be out and about. These men need to be kept home, cooking supper for their families, where they belong. Let people who are mature enough to pass by an attractive person without becoming distracted and abusive handle the running of things.

  120. You are adorable in that adorable dress, and I am so deeply sorry this happened to you. I hope you receive the apologies you so justly deserve, and if you don’t, that you’ll be able to rise above this noise.

    Best of luck with finals week!

  121. I’m sorry that this happened to you, but really glad we get to hear you talk about it, because I love what you have to say.

  122. I feel Claire’s pain. Legit. I was enrolled in a Homeschool Co-op through high school, and I often had problems with “dress codes”. I wore a dress that was a good 2 inches past my finger tips but with my 6′ foot frame and chunky wedge heels I was pulled aside and told to change. I protested that I was well within the given dress code rules. And that MY MOTHER (a fairly conservative catholic) had let me out of the house, and wouldnt have if I had been disobeying any of the dress rules. They tried to force me to leave the school premises dressed like i was. Finally a sweet teacher pulled me aside and told me that they were just singling me out because they disliked me, she had went out and bought me leggings and had called my mom to tell her I was being picked on. My mother (to her credit) then took photos of me in my outfit that afternoon when I got home and chewed some heads at my school the next week, waiving my picture demanding to know why they had selected me to be picked on. No one had an answer for her. And they threatened to not allow me to prom if more of an issue was made O.o

  123. thank you so much for having the courage to speak about this issue. Thank you for being brave. I write about this topic.. check it out.. I think you would like. blog.daniellesonnenberg.com.
    Cheers to you for being brave, for not letting other people get the best of you and for being so articulate.

  124. Those of us that are capable of using “The Big Head” for thinking find idiots like these “Fathers” unacceptable. I applaud you for not hiding your smarts either. Dual enrollment is a hard thing to pull off. You should be proud that you can do that. This was clearly sexism, and, I think, racism as well. The fact that you were singled out suggests that they were trying to hide the racism to me behind a glaring wall of sexism. As you said, at 5’9″, you are going to be leggy in a dress…any dress. BTW, based on the pictures shown, you look lovely. I, personally, don’t see anything inappropriate about that dress for such an event.

  125. I thought you looked very classy and super duper pretty. I am most upset that you will remember your prom as creepy.

  126. Researched it further. I’m a white guy. Tell you a story dear. My junior year of high school I started dating the most beautiful girl in our entire high school, a sophomore transfer who was 5-foot-11 and had the body of a 22-year old woman. 999 students in our school and she was the only black student. I live in Pennsylvania. I was called n-lover for 2 years which for this conversation’s sake we won’t go into the repercussions, but nothing was done by the administration. I handled it my way.

    The first time my parents saw her my father almost fell over. My mother’s eyes were so big she looked like a deer in headlights. Knowing that my family had never spoken a racist word in their lives even behind our walls, I was shocked. When my girlfriend excused herself to use the bathroom I angrily confronted my parents to find out my mother was mad at my father because he “had his tongue on the floor like a horny schoolboy” and my mother thought she looked “like Phylicia Rashad was rebuilt perfect by God”. Hahaha!!! In other words, my parents had never seen me bring home a girl that looked like a grown woman already.

    She wore an elegant dress to my junior prom. Very complementary of her natural curves. There was no twerking or grinding. All we did was slowdance. We were asked to leave. This was 1995.

    The reason we were given was because of her dress as well, which came down to her ankles and covered her entire breasts.

    The real reason? This goofy white dude was dating a beautiful black woman in front of a bunch of close-minded idiots that couldn’t take it. So, I took her elsewhere, cranked up my radio and we slowdanced by ourselves. Had more fun there anyway.

    Screw your high school.

    1. 999 students in our school and she was the only black student.

      Which also added the “exotic beauty” effect.

      Screw your high school.

      In my experience, that goes for American High Schools in general.

  127. Everything about your sister’s post is directly on point; the frustration, the indignation and the outrage. I suspect the ‘adults’ at that prom have forged by fire a woman who will help change the world. More power to her.

  128. How sad that you had to go through that. Those dads are disgusting perverts that had no business being chaperons. Most likely they were just there to check out the young girls…makes me sick to my stomach.

  129. You looked great, Clare! I think they way overreacted in the first place because that dress looks perfectly modest to me. It’s not like you walked in with your butt cheeks hanging out. You followed their stupid rule and when they still weren’t satisfied they made excuses to make you leave. Also, that’s totally creeptastic that the parents watch from the balcony rather than chaperoning from down on the floor, keeping it in their pants is their problem, not yours. Keep doing what you’re doing, you know what’s up. 🙂

  130. I think the problem is that growing up women are told to cover up so guys can’t think dirty about them, instead of telling women to cover up so guys dont think of them as objects, lets teach guys to respect females and to see them as equals. im not saying that we have the right to dress slutty but like at my school our dress code says 2 inches above the knee, guys are wearing shorts shorter than that and if a girl wears something even knee length we get called out, its May for christs sake its hot outside if theyll at least make it to where our dress code is finger tip length ill be a-ok. we just need equality because it is America. Clare Im so proud of you for taking a stand. kudos to you 🙂

  131. I don’t know why you keep insisting that the dads were talking about boning you. Based on your story, it was the dads who suggested you get kicked out. I cannot imagine why they would want you to be kicked out if they were enjoying what they were seeing.

  132. “I was told that the way I dressed and moved my body was causing men to
    think inappropriately about me, implying that it is my responsibility to
    control other people’s thoughts and drives,” Clare writes in her blog post.
    “I’m not responsible for some perverted 45 year old dad lusting after
    me because I have a sparkly dress on and a big ass for a teenager. And
    if you think I am, then maybe you’re part of the problem.” This is a beautiful strong and powerful FEMINIST statement. Don’t ever stop saying this.
    Dottie Lux, Red Hots Burlesque, San Francisco

  133. I went to a fairly conservative high school and female students would be on the “borderline” of dress codes or even break dress codes every once in a while and no one would go crazy over it. No one would get in trouble and it didn’t cause any disruption. And, at proms, there’d be plenty of females who would dress similar to this young woman. Again, no one would see any problem with it.

    What i think is being attributed to the “patriarchy” is missing the target. Like trying to punch a ghost. The problem is the lack of gentlemen and having a respect for females. It’s the modern, pseudo-liberal culture we have in this nation right now that’s a big cause of these sorts of reactions. And, yes, a bit of political correctness and zero-tolerance too.

    It’s like in the past ten years or so this nation has moved backwards, especially when it comes to overzealous “authority” and others policing conduct instead of conducting themselves in a better manner. That’s what needs to change…

    1. LOL, come on. You don’t have to lie. Her story has merit without you saying that, and you know prom dresses are usually long.

      1. Um, no, they’re not, and haven’t been for quite some time. My own daughter wore a cocktail length Betsey Johnson dress to her prom and that was eight years ago. Most of the girls wore cocktail length dresses, AAMOF. And if you’d read the entire piece, you can see that many girls at this prom were wearing short dresses — shorter than Clare’s.

      2. In the early ’90s we wore bubble hems and short & slinky sequins. Long dresses were totally not the norm then. Fashions come and go. Each person attending prom should wear whatever feels special and dressy to him or her, within the guidelines provided (in this case, fingertip-length).

        Don’t people have better things to do than police other people’s clothing choices?

        1. LOL. You’re right, I’m totally policing her clothing choices. I don’t care what she wore. I just found it absurd that a commenter would say that was one of the most modest prom dresses she’d ever seen. Some prom dresses may show more, but lots also show less than the one pictured here. As I said, her story has merit regardless of what she wore. I just thought the comment was funny.

      3. Not on the west coast. This is a very modest dress here. Nobody would bat an eye at this dress. Southern people need to get over their 1850s mindest. So sick of it.

  134. So I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me but I have to be honest. It sounds like she was being belligerent and that’s what ultimately got her kicked out. The dress BARELY meets the dress code and frankly, it’s a formal dance. That dress is nowhere near formal length, it’s something you would wear to a nightclub. We’re only getting her side of this but it still sounds like she and all of her friends were rude to the authorities at the school and the dress probably rode up if she moved whatsoever. Sounds like a big deal made about nothing. She should have chosen an appropriate dress. People from my school were kicked out for wearing jeans and other inappropriate garments, and nobody screamed PATRIARCHY, WAH!

    Sorry about your prom, but you executed poor judgement and there were consequences. This has nothing to do with “slut shaming,” this has everything to do with failure to dress appropriately for the occasion. F-o-r-m-a-l, not n-i-g-h-t-c-l-u-b. And moreover, if you “flip off” the people in charge they aren’t going to take you seriously.

    1. Honestly? She was probably being slightly belligerent. I remember high school–it really wasn’t that long ago–and high schoolers fucking suck. However, your opinion is completely inane. “Barely meets the dress code?” What the fuck does that mean? There is no gray area here. One either adheres to the dress code, or they don’t. If it meets the dress code, people can wear whatever the hell they want. The fact that you find it appropriate to wear only to nightclub means absolutely nothing. I don’t usually make assumptions about people I don’t know, but I’m willing to bet it’s been a very, very long time since you were in high school. Because, if you think that her dress is inappropriate, then proms nationwide would all be cancelled forever, because every girl would be kicked out.

        1. I’m 19 and I disagree. That would be considered formal to my high school. I guess the word formal is different to different people.

          1. Guess so…my highschool was very clear on this one, formal attire or no entry.

          2. Looks plenty formal to me.

            And they already allowed her in. You can’t do takebacks.

          3. Also, wearing shorter formal dresses to proms has been trending for some time now. “Formal” doesn’t necessarily mean long. It can even mean pants. Out here in grownupland, a woman can wear an Armani tux cut for a woman and it’s strictly formal.

    2. It doesn’t matter what she wore, that doesn’t give those adults the right to disrespect her or to tell her she is responsible for other people’s thoughts. Also, I’m pretty sure things didn’t get belligerent until those adults were already making them leave the dance. If they thought that was not the type of dress appropriate for the occasion, they should’ve stated it beforehand. As she said, she was willing to follow their rules and it’s not her fault they were not clear about it. You are saying she made a bad choice and it was therefore her fault that other people treated her like garbage. That is exactly what slut shaming is.

      1. I’m saying that she was belligerent and chose to wear an informal dress to a formal occasion, and so the school was within it’s rights to kick her out or deny her entry. I’m not saying that because of the dress she wore she deserves to be slut shamed or targeted by creepy old men.

        1. Maybe you haven’t been to a prom in quite some time? She’s wearing a cocktail dress which would work for prom. It may not be the dress you would have chosen, but it was appropriate for the occasion. “Formal” doesn’t mean floor length.

      1. “You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.”
        ― Erin Gloria Ryan

        Sorry, not sorry 😉

    3. Finger tip length is finger tip length. The rule doesn’t say 10 inches below fingertip length, or must be “formal length.” She didn’t break this rule. Try again, Megan.

  135. I am sorry this happened to you. Our daughter had an almost identical experience. I wish I had done more.

  136. Hi there,
    As countless others have said, it completely sucks that this happened to you Clare! However, based on your writing and all-around badassery, I wanted to let you know about a summer program called The Feminist Intensive which is a three-day conference in NYC where you meet tons of feminists doing amazing work around a bunch of different feminist issues, among them young women’s empowerment/fighting back against this kind of bullsh*t. You can check it out online here: http://www.soapboxinc.com/feminist-intensive/

    I work for Soapbox but I’m actually based here in Richmond so if you want to ask any questions, let me know! I’d love to buy you coffee.


  137. I think you are whiney.
    Look, if I invited you to a party of mine and I decided I didn’t want
    you there, I would kick you out and no amount of bitching by you would change
    that. You do not have a human right to go to homeschool prom. That said, I do not think they were being
    fair and I think the reason they kicked you out was your date is black. They
    kept saying the dress is short and then you kept saying “it meets the
    guidelines” and they had nothing else to say because if they said your date is
    black and the dads are pissed off about it, they might get sued.

    1. This wasn’t a private party (and even if it was, the behavior of the adults would still have been exceedingly rude). It was a paid event and she complied by the stated rule RE dress.

      They should sue — for the ticket fees, for the clothing costs, transporation, flowers, etc.

      1. oh PLEASE. Suing over this would make her more annoying than the people who kicked her out in the first place. Waa waa wa.

        1. Well, people would think twice about randomly enforcing rules they interpreted through their personal lens. And the fathers in question would be subpoenad and their names would be public record.

  138. Clare, you look gorgeous and modest! I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself and exposing the ridiculousness you were subjected to. As a former homeschooler, I salute you.

  139. Hi Clare! Reading your post shows such confidence, such ‘Girl Power’ and such common sense that I think I love The Clare Homeschool experience! You must have a pretty smart mom or someone in your life who has made sure you weren’t raised in a culture of shame. I hope this is not a racial issue. I’m hoping you have a very integrated homeschool network. If not, well, good for you not holding onto Southern stereotypes. I tend to trust your initial instinct about all the creepy ‘slut shaming adult behavior. I am sorry you had to experience such a humiliating experience, but actually, you came out a rock star because you spoke truth to power. I hope you go on to do great things because you are a smart girl. Keep standing up for yourself & don’t let them shame you ever!

  140. In the UK the lecherous men wouldn’t of even been there. Sounds like you were at a homeschool prom for muslim extremists. Greek Philosophers from 2000 years ago wouldn’t of blamed you for what goes on in mens minds and they’re old fashioned.

  141. Clare, I feel so bad for what happened to you. I am from Virginia and I am ashamed that a Virginian would act this way. Mrs. D was wrong and ruined what is supposed to be the best night of your young life. As far as what I can tell from your story you handled the situation as you should have. Most adults that I know would not have done so well, or held their composure as you did. It goes to show that just because someone is an adult it doesn’t mean they are mature. As far as this having to do with Christianity??? I don’t think it does. Many Christians may be stuck up snobs, but there are many that are not. I think that Mrs D and the “perverted” men let the devil take hold of them. Good luck with finals. I hope that your graduation is much better. P.S. You looked beautiful.

  142. Clare, take your finals and move on to conquer the world. Those men sound seriously creepy and, frankly, the only lesson they got across to me was that men who’ve been married for a while are always on the prowl for someone new. I doubt the boys at the dance thought anything impure at all. I think it was those men — those very married, very creepy, very inappropriate men. You’re better than them, and you have your entire life ahead of you. Theirs is pretty much over. Which is why they were tempted by your youth and vitality. The only people who should be seriously offended and seriously worried are their wives because now they know their own husbands can’t be trusted.

    ETA: You are way more mature than I — I’d have keyed some cars on the way out. That’s the way we Jersey girls roll…

  143. TBH, it sounds like Ms. D had it out for you, because you initially challenged her authority. I’m willing to bet no one really complained and she was just claiming someone did to give her an excuse to kick you out. The refusal to let you speak to the person in charge was particularly telling that Ms. D was on a power trip.

    1. I’m inclined to agree with this theory. It’s Cruella DeVille’s doing. She invented the “horny dads with uncontrolled erections” as a straw man for her own argument.

  144. I’m with Tigress, don’t believe anything Ms D said, who knows what was really going on. But I would go to whoever is in charge over Ms D, and if you were my daughter, I would be right there with you to demand answers.

    Good luck…

  145. Me personally, I do think the dress is a tad bit short for a 17-year-old, but she still looked very pretty. The black guy in the pic looked pretty clean, too. Besides, I’ve seen a whole lot worse at college Halloween parties.

    But anyway, I find it a bit ridiculous that a group of dads would be staring at the ass of a 17-year-old. You wouldn’t catch me dead doing that and I turn 23 this year. What makes it worse is she’s around the same age as their own daughters (assuming any of the men had daughters). I would hope that if you have a daughter yourself, you’d know better than to lust over any woman’s ass because I highly doubt they’d be OK with someone their age doing the same to their own daughters.

      1. lmao right? Imagine that conversation.

        “Oh my husband isn’t a pervert! Right honey? ………….right?”

  146. What an awful experience for this young woman and her friends, and shame on the adults and how they handled the situation (a situation they created themselves). All the best to you Clare, at 17 you’re already more mature than the ‘adults’ you had to deal with.

  147. Hello to Sharia Law. It’s all the woman’s fault. Weak, uncontrollable men. They should all be ashamed.

    Has there been any statement by the organizers of this event?

  148. I wish you had used phone to video what had happened. Nothing teaches a lesson better than a viral video. Its a mirror for them to see their actions as others do.

  149. When you hang with homeschoolers, you get homeschool on you. What happened to this young woman was outrageous, but how surprised should we be that someone encountered conservative intolerance at a homeschool prom?

    (Also, when you’re homeschooled, you apparently confuse “then” and “than.” :P)

    1. “(Also, when you’re homeschooled, you apparently confuse “then” and “than.” :P)”

      Dick move.

      1. I keep trying to reply to this, and my reply keeps disappearing. I just said you’re probably right, and my filters are flawed, and hell — I knew what she meant, of course. My distaste for homeschooling got the better of me.

  150. Clare, continue to channel your inner Marilyn Monroe she was years ahead of her time intellectually, a progressive humanist. Hard lesson, but I wonder to what extent dating interracially prompted the ire of the horny old goats watching from the balconies.

  151. More like channeling your inner Paris Hilton. That isn’t a prom dress it is what Juila Roberts wore when Richard Gear picked her up on Hollywood Blvd.

  152. I’m so sorry that Clare was subjected to this. I applaud her for publicly calling out those responsible.
    I do have a question: What is the meaning of the term “fingertip length”? I Googled it and couldn’t find a definition.

  153. I’m a guy, she looks like a slut. Congrats to the prom people for trying to clean up the crowd.

    1. Do you feel like a big man now, slut shaming an intelligent seventeen year old girl from behind your keyboard?

        1. The combination of those comments and that moustache makes me certain you do not, and will not have a girlfriend. I mean, you can shave, but the personality’s going to take a lot more work, so good luck with that.

    2. She met all the rules on how to be dressed. If there is something she can change that you personally feel she should have changed, she is still in the right because she did what she was instructed to do. She does not have to read the mind of the rule-writer. If there is something she can’t easily control (general body shape, for example) about her appearance that you think she should have changed, you are the person who needs to change your opinion, because she is not responsible for putting in lots of effort to appease random commenters online.

        1. No matter who’s right, that won’t happen. If I’m right, there’s no afterlife. If you’re right, then I’m going to hell. If the Unitarian Universalists are right and we all eventually go to heaven, I won’t run into you there because then it wouldn’t be heaven for me (or probably for you either). The only real way we could see each other in the afterlife is if everyone gets a neither strongly pleasant nor awful afterlife, which no religion around seems to be offering (correct me if I’m wrong on this one).

        2. From your picture, you look like a child molester. Or a porn movie director. Take your self-righteous sanctimonious bigotry and perverted morality with you back to the hole you crawled out of and seal it off, scumbag.

    3. I’m a girl, you sound like a woman blaming ass who never learned to control his own penis.
      50 yrs ago, it would have been her knees showing that made her a “slut”. 90yrs, her ankles. Before that, it was the hands, so women had to wear gloves. Before that, it was the devil in her eyes, so women wore veiled hats and didn’t look men in the eyes or they were wanton women. Before that, it was their flowing hair, so they wore robes and head covers.
      Hetero men like women. They get turned on by whatever they form they can make out. That is nature. And we have to finally get beyond our lame ass history of blaming women in any way we can and teach men to take responsibility for their sexual hungers just as they do their food hunger.

        1. I get the feeling that Kae probably doesn’t care about the nomenclature lady and what you think of her.

          But she is certainly a better person than you.

    4. Please explain exactly WHY she “looks like a slut”? Did you even read the entire article?
      Hmmm, you look like a creepy stalker. Maybe you should be put in jail because of the way you look?! We’d just be trying to clean up society after all.

  154. You look dazzling. And your date looks devilishly dapper. I hope you guys get to do a take-two and take these gorgeous looks out on the town some night.
    …and your school should pay for it.

  155. Clare, I thought you looked great, and you were very tastefully dressed. That handsome young gent you attended with (i.e.,The Black Guy) was most likely the REAL cause of someone’s discomfiture. How pathetic their behavior was, both the older lady in charge AND the dads acting as ‘chaperones’. What probably fries them all at this point is that you so obviously see through such lame behavior. Don’t let ’em get you down, please!

  156. I admire your strength. I homeschool my kids and hope my daughter is never objectified by men the way you were. I know you’ll overcome this and move on. Good luck to you! Thank you for having the courage to speak up!

  157. I just hope these dads were properly shamed. They are the adults in the room. If they were not given a proper upbringing to control their erections around rooms full or young boys and girls, they should have excused themselves. Disgusting behavior for the ones who are supposed to be your guardians for the night.

  158. Clare, I applaud you for taking a stand for what’s right. You are a strong woman and I would be proud to stand beside you and fight the patriarchy! I hope that the adults in charge of the prom are able to admit their mistakes and do the right thing (apologize, refund your friends’ tickets, and create clear policies that are adequately and respectfully communicated and fairly enforced).

    How awful that even after you clearly outlined what’s wrong with the way you were treated, many commenters chose not to think about how they see women, but to slut-shame you instead. There’s a lot of work to be done to break down the cultural barriers re: age and gender here. 🙁

    (And that dress? CUTE. I wish had had one like it when I was 17! Hope you get to wear it again soon, with a better outcome.)

  159. You look lovely in the pictures. You and your date look great. Love the earrings! I love that your selfies are a little self conscious.

    I’m sorry that you weren’t able to enjoy your prom, and I am disgusted by the reason you weren’t. Thank you for speaking out about what happened to you. It’s not acceptable.

  160. I think her dress is far from immodest…She looks very nice… She was not the problem

  161. Her hands are down her skin is covered and why the heck would they let men stand on the balcony to watch a dance even the most conservative dress from the top like that could be showing cleavage, I think the adults in this situation are wrong and should not be allowed to leer at young people from a balcony. Good for you young people for standing up for yourself and if they asked her to leave and offered refunds then that should be the end of it

  162. Is it any wonder misogynism is perpetrated and woven into the fabric of every day culture when you even have other women arguing that it is the display of a woman’s ‘robust sexuality’ which is what is getting her into trouble, when in fact it’s society’s loaded interpretation of what a woman’s body stands for- sex, 24/7 gotcha …..disposable, cheap, accessible and always for the taking.


  163. How many teenage boys don’t think “impure thoughts” at that age? And pretending it’s the girl’s fault for what a boy (or anyone else) thinks is ludicrous. And the fact that it was some of the male parent chaperones having issues keeping their thoughts “pure” around a 17 yr old girl says much more about them than it does her. Perhaps they should be more careful who they let around teenage girls under the guise of chaperones.

  164. OH NO! Your ankles AND knees are showing!!!!!! Scandal.
    I am so sorry such a wonderful night was ruined for you honey. *HUGS*

  165. I can’t help thinking the title of this piece is inaccurate. “Fuck the Patriarchy” places the blame squarely on men…but Mrs. D is not a man. The unnamed chaperon who stood by Mrs. D was not a man. This was an outrage perpetrated on a young woman by older women, not by men. That makes it all the more sad, but maybe the article should be called “Fuck the Matriarchy.”

    1. You’re right, that it’s Mrs. D who’s the villain in this story. But to be fair, her warped perspective and prudish attitude is a result of the Christian patriarchal culture that is so prevalent in that part of the country (Bible Belt). In conservative Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, many women are used as morality enforcers. They’re just brainwashed by the dominant gender that ultimately runs the show.

    2. I think patriarchy has something to do with this. But it is significant that the aggressors in this situation were women and the ones who beat up your sister at school in the other situation were girls–in both cases with reference to real or perceived misbehavior on the part of the men/boys.

    3. When we talk about things like “the patriarchy” or “institutionalized racism”, we aren’t blaming individuals. The blame here is not “on men” but on a system that values their perspective and opinions more, and that penalizes women. Both men and women can participate in this system.

    4. Older women who grew up with the same fundamentalist religious, misogynistic ideology. Or ones who internalized it later in life. Either way they are just doing the work of the male leaders.

  166. I’m sorry your night and your friend’s night was spoiled by ignorant people love! It disgusts me when older people treat young people like they’re the problem, which is exactly how you were treated. I am 29 and still am treated this way (granted I look about 5 years younger than I am to most ppl), though I have a daughter and own my own home. There are so many things wrong with this story concerning women, I could go on forever!
    You looked stunning, btw!

  167. “Your looks and your body and how you dress doesn’t get to define whether or not you’re beautiful” …. This entire post is the reflection of a smart, well adjusted, comfortable-in-her-own-skin teenager who is wise beyond her years. It is obvious why you are proud of your sister. I am a perfect stranger and have overwhleming admiration for the inspired thoughts she shared. Something tells me that Clare will do many more remarkable things in her life.

    Mrs.D on the other hand… Disgraceful. We live in a time where a mere 4% of women consistently feel good about themselves. Four percent…. Now I know there are alternative thoughts as to the motive behind Clare, her date and friends being evicted from their HS Prom however I am only focused on what was said and the reasons given….
    We blame media for our modern perception of external beauty- I blame individuals like Mrs. D. The type of people who like to hold well adjusted, comfortable-in their-own-skin people underwater with their narrow views and verbal rhetoric.

    On behalf of the world I would like to say I am sorry, Mrs. D. We know you weren’t always an energy sucking vampire, one conversation with a toddler will tell you that no one is actually born with those views or the desire to knock someone on their ass with their words. No, those people are created. So to whoever, whatever, however you were created- I am sorry. I am certain your views were established over a lifetime of disappointment and criticism and I am sorry you feel the need to perpetuate that behavior.

    I happen to work in an industry and for a company that this very topic; the idea of beauty, changing the perception of beauty, is common discussion… As women, still to this day, we have enough against us and enough holding us back. We will have plenty of opportunities to be turned away and hear to the word no and to have our outfits criticized … Our High School prom should not be one of them. Confident women, well adjusted women, comfortable-in-their-own-skin women whether they feel this way for a moment or a year or a lifetime need to be celebrated. Our self assured moments are often our best moments and we all deserve to experience as many of these moments as often as possible without someone shaming you for doing so.

    Clare- you are absolutely right, your looks and your body and how you dress doesn’t get to define whether or not you’re beautiful. In life you can’t always control the things that happen to you but you can always control how you respond- your response is what makes you beautiful.

    I would love to contribute to a prom re-do for you and your friends and I am certain there are many more people like me out there… How can we make this happen?

  168. Thats the dress I’ve been reading about all over the internet? LOL. I was expecting something so much worse. Although I completely sympathize with you Hannah, I’m surprised that you expected better treatment from a bunch of religious fanatics at a homeschool prom. I’ve heard much worse stories from these “christian” events from my friends who were home schooled. A lot of the people who organize these events are members of some very strange christian cult groups.

  169. I’m sorry you had to go through this, Clare. You suffered because some adults are ashamed of their sexuality – not yours. It’s unfortunate that they aren’t capable of self-reflection. But don’t let them warp you into their way of thinking. Sexuality is part of a healthy life. After all, if sex didn’t exist, those troublesome adults wouldn’t either.

  170. The entire point of chaperones is to prevent problematic situations at the prom, not to cause them. this event is a rite of passage that most teens go through. preventing one such teen from being allowed to have that experience be a good one is disgusting. Every person has a will. every person makes a choice. but no one should have the right to disregard your will, based on their own opinions, and make choices about things that arent their problem. dress was appropriate length. Female staff was clearly an issue, whether jealous, or opinionated, she is in the wrong. the fathers need to be penalized for their disgusting actions, and not only should Clare get a formal apology, the school should have to provide compensation for emotional damages, and slanderous mistreatment of this lovely young woman’s identity.

  171. I’ve been to Richmond. Won’t go twice because I agree with Mila about what the actual problem is.

    For what it’s worth, I’ll say as the 42 year old father of a curvy little girl (OK ok young woman I just don’t have to like it), you’ve done nothing wrong. Fuck school. School sucks.

  172. I’m so sorry for the crazy BS behavior of adolescent adults but Clare, you are rocking some awesome hair!

  173. Honey….It wasn’t the dress, it was the Black boyfriend. You’re a pretty blonde showing up to a home school prom that was probably predominately White, with a young Black male. They were staring at you all night because of that. Not the dress. Welcome to 2014 where sadly these feelings still exist, especially within your community. You got your first taste of racism. Keep dating Black boys and the “patriarch” won’t be so subtle the next time… Sad but true. Good luck!

    1. Doubt that is the case. Nothing in her account to indicate that… If anything, the fact that the boyfriend stayed and debated with one of the chaperones while she was escorted out would indicate that he was not perceived as a problem. As to the implication that religious homeschoolers are inherently racist, many of them start overseas missionary work in young adulthood and, while maintaining a narrow view of morality, have a broader view of race relations than most other Americans. As a result, they probably have more than their fair share of interracial marriages ( but not inter-faith, mind you).

      You have no idea of the racial make of the homeschoolers in that area or of the chaperones. Baptists are heavily African American and also often homeschool. Not saying black baptists often homeschool, just that you are the one now judging others and you haven’t got a shred of evidence to support your opinion.

  174. Yeah. I got to picture number two and realized immediately what their problem was. It’s not just a patriachary we are dealing with. It’s a colonialist (white racist) patriarchy. And fuck it all the more so.

  175. Wow. Late to the conversation, but Hannah is amazing! Tell the world your story. It needs to be told. Great job!

  176. So, a lot of people are commenting on the race of the boyfriend… when I saw the picture, I thought “oh her boyfriend is black” but would not have thought that was part of the issue. And, yes, she is pretty, but nothing too serious. And the dress was just fine. I thought it was just pure stupidity from adults.

  177. I’m very sorry that this happened to you, Clare. Please know that you are a wonderful, strong young woman who is going to do very well for herself.

  178. when I was in high school the Sadie Hawkins dance my junior year had no more than 50 students in attendance because girls and their dates kept getting sent home because the girls were wearing very short and tight spandex shorts. The exact same spandex shorts that the women’s volleyball team (of which many of these girls were members) wore as part of their uniforms. It pissed me off to no end that the school would not only dictate what we, as female students, wore, but when we got to where it. Clare, stay angry. The state of the world for women should make everyone angry. And, seeing as you sound like an intelligent and thoughtful young women, stay vocal. And rock your sparkly dress and red lipstick, because if you feel good, the what other people think or say shouldn’t matter.

  179. You looked beautiful, your date was handsome and at the end of the day, the bigots and haters will still be themselves. Dust them off and go live your life. They’re not worth troubling yourself over except to shame them and get your damned refunds.

  180. Same problem the majority of Muslim men have. It’s all the fault of the ladies and not them. Turn themselves into victims. Freaking religious fundies need to find an island so the rest of the planet doesn’t tempt them.

  181. So because a bunch of horny old dudes couldn’t keep it together, she couldn’t participate in one of the most special nights of her life… good job school people!…

  182. Theres people up here bring up legal age of consent limits in some places are 17. thats entirely irrelevant to this. those fathers that were complaining, have students there, at that dance, that are the same age as her – for a father to be looking at her in that way is completely inappropriate. period. the point is, she wanted to go out with her friends and enjoy her time for an event that she paid for with out unwanted attention to her body. she took time to respect the dress code guide lines and for those men to have the control to kick her out is insult to injury. girls relationship with their bodies is already difficult in highschool – i cant imagine how much more difficult it is when youre 5’9 and have an ass like that. good for her and her friends for standing up for what right.

  183. It’s so heartening to see the number of teenaged girls calling people out when they deserve it. You’re a truly admirable kid, and I wish I’d been half as cool as you when I was seventeen.

  184. I gotta say, I’m a black man and read this story via Crooks and Liars. I was furious reading it, that men would be so….basic, , and started to really think about what religion does to the mind, but when I scrolled down and saw her boyfriend, the real cause of her being kicked out was evident. This has an even more profound effect on the mind than religion in some. Bottom line: Sshe is a very cute white girl with a boyfriend that happened to be of color. That is more than enough to set some “men” off, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the woman who kicked them out had the same feelings as well.

  185. You’re beautiful, and you have really good friends. You’ll find another event to dress up for and have a blast!

  186. There was nothing wrong with your dress! I see what most girls wear to prom these days, and yours was very tasteful. Not crazy cleavage, and not too short. What is wrong with them that they can speak to a young lady like that? They were very wrong.

  187. You both look fabulous, and excited, and happy, and ALL the things you should be at the prom. I’m sorry this was sullied by a few ridiculous people who make being young and gorgeous into something dirty. I hope you get many opportunities to go and rock that dress at a bunch of places where you will be celebrated and not judged. x

  188. So here are the choices:
    A) Racism
    B) Lecherous dad’s
    C) Jealous mom’s
    D) Hot 17-year-old.
    E) All of the above.

    If this were a test, I’d go with E)

  189. I’m so sorry to hear you went through that… it shouldn’t have happened to you. And I am *endlessly* creeped out by all the “dads” that were ogling you. (How would they know you were inspiring “impure thoughts” unless they themselves were getting erections?)

    You’re very articulate and intelligent… you have spoken well for yourself. Brava to you! With individuals like you and your friends, I feel hopeful that we can one day lay the Patriarchy to rest… maybe even in my lifetime. 🙂 Good on ya!

  190. I think this young lady needs to grow up. Girls are being kidnapped & sold into slavery & all sheis worried about with her potty mouth & poor attitude is her dress & who is ogling her. This is a ‘homeschool’ dance not public school. Parents are more religious/conservative – it is to be expected. If you want to do what you want, then don’t go to their dance. Problem solved. Sick of whiny teens.

    1. No one is arguing about girls being kidnapped & sold into slavery. That has nothing to do with this conversation. You are just minimizing someone’s experience of being treated with disrespect and inappropriate behavior. Sure there are other people who are fighting for their lives… but it doesn’t change what happened to Clare. It doesn’t make the attitudes she witnessed any less insulting.

      Don’t try to bring up comparisons that have nothing to do with the issue. That just makes you a bully, and a self-righteous one at that.

    2. She is 17, maybe she shouldn’t have to worry about all the problems in the world yet. Maybe she should only have to worry about her senior prom right now.

      And she was treated poorly.

  191. It’s ridiculous that y’all are trying to gain publicity with this. I’m sorry but its very hard for me to believe dads were gawking at THIS girl. Come on now. I wore a much smaller and shorter dress with my entire “behind” completely framed to my prom a few years ago and nobody was staring at me or plastering pictures all over the internet…smh.

  192. I wrote my senior thesis in college on the topic of why women and the natural world are treated as a threat that must be subdued by men. This is why we have terms like “virgin sea” and “virgin landscape”. It is beautiful, alluring, wild, and more powerful than many a man’s will. And the problem is that there is some kind of understanding between men, it seems, that it is both common and acceptable to use violence against a woman if the sight of her conjures up erotic and highly tempting images in a man’s mind mind that make him horny to the point that he can think of nothing else. This is his weakness, this is womankind’s power over men, a power they can neither attain, nor equal, nor ever will vanquish. But they dare not show weakness, and their deity in the sky tells them that their thoughts are impure and sinful. So, out of fear of looking weak, out of his obligation to fulfill the expectations of society and his moral duty to obey the will of his god, he attacks the object of his carnal desires to prove to himself and to her that he is more powerful, and that she shouldn’t have challenged him so. Sound familiar? It’s a pillar of of society. Blaming women for being hot and then violently sexually assaulting them. That is how it happens. “Yeah, well she was askin’ for it the way she dresses, blah, blah, blah…” I do not understand anybody who thinks and feels this way, and I hope I never do. It must be awful.

    Women are precious, and I worship them.