Clare is very touched by all the support! But she is still a minor, so for her privacy and for the sake of my family’s privacy, my dad has asked that she not do any interviews herself at this time. I’m more than happy to talk to people, and so is her boyfriend, James.

I’m about to leave for work for the day and won’t be able to be online or in touch much, but Kiery is my webmaster and fairy person and you can tweet at her if there’s any trouble with the blog. Support her art! She works out of the goodness of her heart.

I’m replying to requests as I can. Thanks for understanding.

And: if anyone wants to fly me home for her graduation party on Saturday, I wouldn’t object!

Best,
H


  • Cassandra Nancy Lea

    Obviously, I am intrigued by this whole story. What I don’t understand is why the FIRST thing these harpies did was make her leave. If they were unhappy about her dancing, why not just a quick word of warning and take more drastic action if she had ignored it? (Assuming that she WAS dancing, which appears to not be the case) It just screams “self-righteousness’ and “self-mportance”…Kudos to Boyfriend (James?) for refusing to make his race an issue, but I would bet there was some racism going on there. Right-wing “conservatives” tend to have their heads explode when they see “such goings-on!”

    • Cassandra Nancy Lea

      I do think you should remove the request for book-donations, tho. It kind of takes away from your main point and some folks are taking offense. It could undermine your message. I do “get it” tho. My favourite kid is going to be facing this in a few weeks…leading to my making the rest of her grad gift some cold, hard cash! (The first part was HER prom dress..which was floor-length, BTW and she looked like a princess -not that I am biased LOL! maybe bringing back that sort of style for proms would help alleviate using the length of a dress as an “excuse’ to bully a nice kid!!!)

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        At which point, the Church Ladies and Sin-Sniffers and Witchfinders-General would find some other excuse.

        • Cassandra Nancy Lea

          quit sending me this garbage

      • Hush

        Next will be suggestions of wearing a burqa so the girls arms and cleavage and necks and eyes and hair etc. are not provoking the misogynists.. because we all know that burqas stop rape cold and dead in its tracks!! Wait.. NO!!! Women are raped even with burqas on! They must have been gesticulating provocatively. That must be it. Wait, no?? Hm… Must be that the girls had super sexy voices. Yep. Can’t disprove that one. One would almost think that there is something more going on that just what women are wearing or doing.. but obviously it is always girls and women’s faults when men and other women are behaving poorly toward them.

        • Cassandra Nancy Lea

          I don’t see that my reply had anything to do with “dressing modestly” or “covering up” I simply commented that the long dresses are so beautiful. When I had a long dress for my prom, I felt like a princess! I think the shorter dresses are adorable and I am a mini-skirt generation baby…I remember that most of my skirts barely covered my bum, so I am the last person to disparage short skirts. I really don’t get how you derived some kind of value judgement out of something that was clearly a little bit tongue-in-cheek as well as simply a comment about design.

    • http://arthuride.wordpress.com/ Dr. Arthur Frederick Ide

      This is patriarchy at its worse. Patriarchy is defined as “all things support the dominance of the male” with the “Patri ” being a father figure of disapproval so that men remain pure. It is as old as time in the Abrahamic world and has infected civilization throughout the Middle East, Europe and the Americas as if men had evolved to be dominant. Men and women are equal and have equal rights, responsibilities, and requirements. Let women do as they wish and men will understand that there is nothing special or privileged about being a man.

  • Meg White

    My offer still stands!

  • SteveAR

    Hi. I read the story. I’m sorry your sister had such a rough time at the prom. It sounds like she was singled out for unfair treatment, and that her friends suffered as well.

    However, how is this the fault of “the patriarchy”? Based on what I read, it was one woman who had the problem with your sister, not any man. I can understand why criticism of this woman is warranted. But how were the men at fault, especially the male chaperones? Based on what your sister said, the only two people who talked to her were two women, including one who organized the prom. It is highly likely these two women used the men as an excuse to kick your sister out, and no men actually complained; since your sister wasn’t confronted by any of the male chaperones, how does she know that any of them actually complained to the woman who kicked your sister out? Heck, the male security guard seemed to be very respectful despite the unpleasant task he had to perform.

    All I ask is before laying blame, make sure the right people are actually blamed. If no male was actually responsible for your sister being kicked out, then “the patriarchy” is not at fault here. Just the woman referred to as Mrs. D.

    • Iba Hart

      The problem is the idea that “women have a responsibility to dress and act in a certain way so that men don’t have impure thoughts about them”. This is a patriarchal idea. Individual women can be patriarchal oppressors, and individual men can be feminists/feminist allies.

      • SteveAR

        No it isn’t. This is the story about a woman with a problem (Mrs. D), not any man.

        • Iba Hart

          Are you saying that the idea “women have a responsibility to dress and act in a certain way so that men don’t have impure thoughts about them” is not a problematic idea, or that it’s not a patriarchal idea?

          • SteveAR

            The only person who said that was Mrs. D. Not a man, not another woman. Haven’t you ever been confronted by someone in authority who directed a criticism at you by saying something like “Some people have told me…”, and then it turns out it was really just the someone in authority who has the problem? I have. That is a wholly dishonest way of making a criticism, especially when the person doing the criticism refuses to name the other people supposedly making the same criticism.

            Based on my reading of this story, there is one person with a problem, and it is Mrs. D, a woman. This isn’t some sort of “patriarchal” conspiracy.

            And speaking of “a patriarchal idea”, those rules aren’t just for girls or women. That same “idea” also promotes boys and men to have a responsibility to dress and act in a certain way that is respectful to women. They call it being a gentleman. Is that problematic to you?

          • Iba Hart

            I don’t dispute that the individual we know to be at fault in this particular case was Mrs D, a woman. However, her problem is widespread in our society – she thinks it’s ok to say to a young woman “The way you dress and act *may cause young men to have impure thoughts, therefore you must leave*”. While I say Mrs D is at fault, I am not going to demonise her – she is, after all, part of her society, a society that makes her think what she said was acceptable.

            And what she said was absolutely a patriarchal idea, and it’s an idea that’s widespread in our patriarchal society. And it’s an idea that needs challenging, which is what this excellent blog is doing.

            I’m all for boys and men being respectful towards women, it’s implied when I say I believe humans should be kind and respectful to other humans (and animals too, for that matter).

          • SteveAR

            And that’s why this country is in such a mess. Too many people place blame on all those who didn’t anything wrong. I’m not asking you to demonise Mrs. D; but the fact is, she is the only one who is at fault here, and not because of society. Mrs. D seems to be the one with the hang-up; why should “society” be at fault for that?

            As far as that patriarchy thing, there’s rules for both men and women, all having to do with respect.. You can’t say one can do whatever while the rest have to follow rules. That is just ridiculous. And while I’m glad you’re all for boys and men being respectful, it should be better taught, not just implied; and, girls need to be taught how to be respectful as well, not just towards boys, but towards all people. Unfortunately, today’s culture has deemed teaching this respect as archaic. Which is another reason why this country is in such a mess.

          • Iba Hart

            Well, I certainly wouldn’t want Mrs D (or anyone else) to claim “I’m not at fault, I’m just the product of my society!” Rather, I say that both Mrs D and her society could do with improvement.

          • SteveAR

            What improvement does her society need?

          • Iba Hart

            An understanding that women are not obliged to dress in a certain way in order that boys and men don’t have impure thoughts. We are all responsible for our own thoughts, males included.

            There are probably a few improvements needed…

          • SteveAR

            How do you know that is what her society dictates? So far, the only one who said that is Mrs. D.

          • Hush

            Actually, anyone who stood by was silently consenting to what Mrs D was doing. So she isn’t the “only one at fault”.. The people who stood by and did nothing in the face of a clear injustice were also at fault.

          • SteveAR

            I’ll go with that. But that is make it a societal problem, or one of “patriarchy”.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            Reminds me of the folk magic from Manly Wade Wellman’s supernatural horror fiction:

            “If you watch black magic or the worship of evil spirits and don’t make objection, even in your own mind, you are participating in that worship and have given it power over you.”

          • Chastaen

            I would amend that to anyone who stood by and knew what was going on. It is quite possible only 3 people knew what exactly happened, Mrs D., the other chaperone lady and the one security guard. Everyone else may have known someone was being ejected, but not why.

            Which is even more sad for Clare. :(

          • Ellinor Ekelöf

            Agree completely with Iba, and SteveAR THIS is fact and not opinion (based on nothing like your arguments).

            I would also like to add that if you know anything about patriarchy you know that it is mostly to the advantage of the male sex. Economic, social, legal and political power. As for the disadvantages men experience if they do not fit into the mould it’s just another reason to change the order to EQUALITY.

            SteveAR what is it you do not understand? It has nothing to do with having no rules, it’s about having equalt rights and equal opportunities. Equal rules.

          • Chastaen

            Equal rights and equal rules…as you espouse that a woman cannot be held responsible for her actions because it’s society’s fault.

            It is a shame that ‘men’ are holding up her equality while ‘women’ try and hold her down as a powerless figure. Twist reality to fit your needs to an audience as blind as you are. Tack.

          • Ellinor Ekelöf

            You don’t make any sense. All I’ve ever said is I don’t like the patriarchal order and I definitely would never say any woman is powerless. Equal means equal, it means both men and women are responsible for their actions. You are saying she should be held responsible for…? Having other people look at her in a sexist manner? I really do not see how that is holding up her equality. I might understand you wrong, but it sounds like a lot of big words and no real content.

          • Iba Hart

            I just want to make it absolutely clear – my position is not and has never been that Mrs D is blameless. To re-state (perhaps more clearly) what I said lower down this thread: her attitude needs improvement. So do the prevailing and commonly accepted attitudes of the people around her, otherwise called “society.”

          • Craig Chval

            If society is capable of “making” Mrs D. think a certain way, why don’t you and Clare and Hannah and other think the same way? Certainly, society is capable of influencing all of us, but I think you overstate your position when you claim that society “makes” Mrs. D. — or anyone — think a certain way.

      • Chastaen

        I am going to agree with Steve here.

        Not a single ‘adult’ male was quoted anywhere in the original story. Mrs.D informed Claire what ‘they said’, but Mrs. D was also displaying the exact same thoughts before the fathers were even involved.

        • Ellinor Ekelöf

          And how exactly do you mean that it’s not a question of patriarchal order?

        • sleepyheadzzz

          “Patriarchy” doesn’t refer to men – it refers to a social system of power in society that people of all genders can participate in. Patriarchal ideas hurt people of all genders by keeping them locked in unhealthy (and often very unhappy) roles. Many patriarchal ideas come from women as well as men, but central to themes of patriarchy is the idea that men tend to hold social, political, and moral authority above women. It is not about men vs women, but rather, about a system that undermines and ignores the complexity of gender and society (and it’s very easy to tie racism, ageism, ableism, etc into patriarchy).

          This is an issue having to do with patriarchy because Mrs. D came at the situation in a way that appears she was attempting to ‘protect’ the men in attendance from the wiles of a woman. She blamed Clare for giving men impure thoughts, instead of addressing how problematic it was that Clare was made responsible for what others thought and felt when they looked at her.

          A better response would have been to let her continue her evening (as she hadn’t broken any rules) and to have a discussion with everyone in attendance about respect, sexual assault, safety, and victim blaming.

          • Tony Tribby

            Question–suppose the reality turns out to be that Mrs D actually felt feelings of personal insecurity because the men expressing attraction to a young girl made her (Mrs D) feel less powerful, and then used the excuse of the men’s statements as a premise to eject Claire, when in reality it was her own desire that Claire be ejected, to remove that threat to her own sense of personal value?

            The reason I feel this could be the case is that Mrs D seems to have responded completely irrationally when presented with multiple logical arguments from Claire and her companions, and also that Mrs D seemed to have acted threatened by Claire’s dress before any of the men had even seen her. That irrational behavior seems to point more to the idea that Mrs D herself was the one who was having troubling thoughts about Claire (not saying she was attracted to her, but rather threatened by her).

          • sleepyheadzzz

            I think even if that were the case, the fact that she felt it was acceptable to use the excuse that the fathers complained, means that at least some part of her beliefs the validity of her stated complaint.

            If she truly does feel jealous and less powerful because of the situation, then again, it shows she has and conforms to patriarchal beliefs – that women gain power through beauty; that when men find you attractive, you are worthy.

            Personally, I think it’s likely that the point you make and many of the others ones made in the comment all make up how Mrs. D came to her decision.

          • Chastaen

            Thanks for the level response sleepyheadzzz, it is much appreciated. I am not siding with the fathers, and I do not agree with what happened. I am debating the ‘idea’ of who is at fault here.

            “Patriarchy” is by definition referring to males. It is where males are the authority figure. However, buzzwords being what they are, I am not here to debate semantics I am only debating facts.

            Clare, the article and the majority of the responses have been focused on ‘old men that can’t control themselves’. Nowhere did any of the men make a direct statement that supports that belief. The focus seems to be more on the men than the ONLY person who exerted authority. Now your stance is that she was ‘attempting to protect” the men, mine is that she was demeaning the men by assuming they have no control over their own thoughts and impulses. Do we suddenly blame “Matriarchal Values” where a woman feels she must protect poor, weak men from themselves? No. Much like the idea that race was the factor, you cannot tell people it was not…but nothing described pointed to it actually being true.

            Clare’s mom thinking she looks hot is acceptable, father’s apparently the same age making that statement would be an outrage. Women dress to be beautiful. They can accomplish that without people feeling the need to protect them needlessly.

            As we discuss victim blaming notice the number of responses focused on the men in attendance in the balcony, who by Clare’s own account have “said” nothing, “done” nothing and have become the main ’cause’ of this issue.

          • sleepyheadzzz

            I don’t want to debate semantics either, but “Patriarchy” as is being used by most of the commenters in this thread, does NOT refer to men – it refers to a societal system that privileges men, but that is NOT the same as referring to men. Patriarchy has to do with all genders, not just men and not just women.

            I don’t know Mrs. D’s motives either, but I think the problem with your example of what Mrs. D might have been thinking is that even if she were taking a matriarchal stance, it’s not a systemic, pervasive, societal issue. The reason people are looking at this situation through a macro lens is because these types of situations happen often and we can see a pattern has emerged. So far, there really hasn’t been a larger systemic pattern of matriarchal beliefs and mores.

            “Much like the idea that race was the factor, you cannot tell people it was not…but nothing described pointed to it actually being true.”

            I’m not sure what you mean here.

            The reason the father’s making such statements is problematic, is not because it’s okay for women and not okay for men, but because Clare was then disciplined for their desires.

            If they had those thoughts or thought she looked beautiful, but still acted appropriately and realized it was they who needed to have self control, the conversation would be very different.

            I don’t agree they have become the main cause of the issue. As I’ve said multiple times in my responses, Mrs. D should be held accountable and responsible for her actions, but because these types of situations are not uncommon and a larger pattern is apparent, many of us commenting feel that it’s important to unpack where her beliefs came from, why she felt her stance was appropriate, and if those beliefs come from being raised in a patriarchal society (and racist, ablist, capitalist, etc society).

            The men have not been the focus of my comments – I don’t think it’s acceptable for men to leer at young women, but I also think anyone, man or woman, can have feelings of being attracted to someone while realizing they may be inappropriate feelings and that it is their responsibility to practice self control – not the responsibility of the person they are attracted to.

          • Chastaen

            Sorry but you are arguing semantics. In one statement you say the word does not refer to men and in the next you say it refers to a societal structure that favors…men. In this instance the “men” in question have been quoted as saying nothing and have done nothing, but they are to blame simply because they are men. Women are equal, strong and capable…unless they do something wrong then they are just the victim of a society that is structured to hold them back.

            When in fact you are simply empowering the men to make the woman act a certain way, thereby robbing her of her individuality and allowing her to make her own choices. It is quite possible that Mrs D did not speak to a single father and used them as justification for her own actions. However, this is the fault of ‘men’. In as roundabout a way as needed to justify the idea?

            The idea of attributing her actions to a ‘patriarchal society’ is as silly as Clare’s dress being at fault for the behavior of younger and older men. It is a crutch. It is an excuse. You have in a nutshell suggested that men need to be responsible for their own actions, while women MAY attribute their actions to ‘forces beyond their own control’.

            Think of Clare’s closing, which we will agree is very true.

            “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.”

            Then realize that you are advocating, based on assumption, that a “Patriarchal Society” is responsible for an adult womans actions. While stating that men an women are equal. And again this is meant with all due respect to you, because many people are insisting this is the case.

          • sleepyheadzzz

            I’ll try and explain one more time, but I’m not sure how to be any clearer. I’ll say once more (and because I don’t have bold, I’ll use caps): AT NO POINT DID I SAY ANYWHERE THAT MEN ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED.
            ‘Patriarchy’ and ‘men’ are not synonymous terms, but if you choose to use them that way or see them that way, no matter how many times I say it, it won’t make a difference.

            “In one statement you say the word does not refer to men and in the next you say it refers to a societal structure that favors…men.”

            You are correct – EXCEPT I don’t think it favours men – I think it does a disservice to men.

            I would say it tends to put men in positions of social power, giving them some intrinsic privileges. I don’t think it favours men because it also creates a lot of challenges and problems for men – putting them in roles they may not want; teaching them there is only one way to be a man (rather than varied experiences and representations); creating a man vs. woman dichotemy. For women it tends to place their value on their looks; tends to teach girls they need to be desired by men to be valuable; and creates the same man vs. woman dichotemy.

            The reason patriarchy does not refer only to men is because anyone can be a participant of patriarchal society and many women are, including Mrs. D. Women are not the only victims of a patriarchal society – people of all genders are.

            In fact, where I live a feminist organization recently opened a Men’s Resource Centre and Men’s Shelter that offers the same services as the Women’s Centres in the area – free counselling, free groups and workshops, free shelter for them or their kids, free clothes, etc. The Centre was developed because people saw it was problematic that men felt they needed to so strong they weren’t allowed to admit, much less leave, abusive relationships and that men are taught to feel so apprehensive about accessing counselling and talking about their feelings. All services are provided by other men and they work in collaboration with other human rights organizations in the city.

            Like I said in other comments, we don’t know Mrs. D’s motivation, but the fact she felt it was acceptable to use the father’s leering as an excuse, shows that on some level she felt Clare was the one responsible for stirring up desire in men. Whether or not this was the real reason she asked her to leave, we’ll likely never know. The fact is, the excuse she used was one that implies it was Clare who was responsible for men’s desire.

            “You have in a nutshell suggested that men need to be responsible for their own actions, while women MAY attribute their actions to ‘forces beyond their own control.”

            I have said no such thing at any time. I have said repeatedly that Mrs. D has sole responsibility for her actions, but an understanding of how her beliefs, mores, and behaviours were formed can point to larger systemic issues. As I said, this situation is part of a larger pattern of similar situations, and examining how they are connected may give answers going forward on how to change some views, beliefs, and mores that no longer work.

            The same way that Mrs. D’s beliefs may have been formed by living in a patriarchal society, so would the hypothetical men we’ve been talking about. Although they are responsible for their own self control when they are in a situation where they desire an underage woman, they also likely learned those desires from a patriarchal culture that tells them young woman are beautiful and to be desired and looked at; young woman are there for your pleasure; that in order to be a man they have to demonstrate their desire.

            These are not excuses, but create an understanding for how their beliefs developed. Both Mrs. D and the men in the hypothetical example are responsible for their behaviour and must be held accountable, but having that fuller understanding can be helpful to make a greater change.

            I find this fuller understanding helpful in creating empathy for others whose views I don’t share or who have issues I don’t. It doesn’t mean I excuse their bad behaviour, but that I can see how they got there and show them understanding and patience, rather than judgement and anger.

          • sleepyheadzzz

            Actually let’s backtrack a bit – clearly part of the problem is working with very different definitions. One of the biggest issues is it seems like you think I apply the theory I’m talking about only to women – I hope you see by my post a few minutes ago that’s not the case.

            What is your definition of ‘patriarchy’? Do you think we live in a society that still experiences sexism (towards either gender), racism, ablism, and other forms of discrimination? If so, do you believe there is pattern of these things? Do you think they are connected or not connected?

            I want to have a better understanding of where you’re coming from because I don’t really think we’re saying anything all that different.

            You also seem to be assuming I mean “blame” or “fault” when I say gain a larger understanding or talk about how someone’s beliefs developed – that is not what I mean. How we developed is not an excuse to act badly. I just want to make that clear that when I say ‘understanding’ and you read ‘blame’, that is not my intention.

            The difference is for me, finding out who’s at fault for this particular situation isn’t where my interest ends – I want to know why they were at fault and how it happened.

      • Tony Tribby

        There are two different origins for that idea. Yes, one of them comes from the male inspired idea that women should be responsible for preventing men from having sexual thoughts about them (which, to be honest, is almost impossible to prevent, but that’s another issue). But the other source of such ideas–and one that might be at play in this case–comes from women who feel threatened by the sexuality of other women.

        If “Mrs D” was enforcing a rule because the men asked her to do so, then yes that’s a patriarchal issue. But if Mrs D simply *heard* the men say something, felt her own power threatened because the men found this young girl attractive and then ejected her from the dance *using* the excuse of the men’s feelings, then that is something different.

        • sleepyheadzzz

          Like I said to you above, Tony, I think that what you’re proposing shows Mrs. D carries patriarchal beliefs quite deeply – that she holds the idea that women’s power comes from beauty and being desired by men. The fact that she fears her perceived power being taken by a woman who she believes is more desirable speaks volumes to her complacency with patriarchal society.

          This is why it’s so important to be aware that patriarchy does not equal men, and that patriarchy is societal power system that EVERYONE is a part of, whether we like it or not. Some of us are more aware of it and critically examine our own and others actions, while others have absolutely no idea it exists.

          • Tony Tribby

            But see, that’s not true. Even if you have a society where all people have equal power, people could and would still use their attractiveness to other people to gain things that they want, to enhance their own power. If a woman thinks she can gain some advantage from being attractive to a men or to men, that doesn’t mean that men have *all* the power, it just means they have some of it. The same dynamics of power/competition/jealously can be found in all male and all female gay communities as well. The mere fact that a woman values her ability to influence the actions of men does not mean that she thinks men are the arbiters of everything, simply that they are part of the world where she desires to have influence.

            I am not arguing that there are not still some lingering elements of the era where men by law were the only property owners, the only ones who could vote, etc, but at this point there is plenty of power and authority in the world held by women, and so seeking the favor of men is far from the *only* source of power available to women.

          • sleepyheadzzz

            I can’t speak for others, but at no point did I say men have “all” the power, just to be clear. There are many different power dynamics in society and I don’t think you could say any one group or person has a monopoly on any.

            I’m not going to go too far into your hypothetical, because I don’t think it’s useful – we will never live in a society where everyone is born truly equal on an equal playing field.

            I agree the same power dynamics can be found in LGBT communities as well – it can be found in any community. No one is immune from the effects of the societal climate they live in.

            I think it’s always important to unpack why someone thinks the way they do, how did they come to their beliefs? Why do they make sense to them? Are there better/different ways to be that make sense for them or others?

            It sounds like you’re coming at this from a post-feminist perspective, so it’s hard to talk about this issue if you don’t agree systemic sexism still occurs – and when I say systemic sexism, I don’t just mean towards women. Like I said, patriarchy is harmful to people of all genders and that is part of (most) current feminist philosophies and beliefs. If you don’t see the systemic issues that others in this thread are takling about, this could very easily turn into a pissing contest of who has it worse, men and women – I personally think all genders have it pretty bad.

            I’m not going to list “women go through this, this, and this” and “mean have this, this and this privilege” because I don’t think it’s a useful discussion for either of us and it will only serve to make things heated. If you want to talk more about what a patriarchy society looks like and why myself and many others in this thread feel we still live in one (and a racist, ablist, capitalist, etc society) I’m happy to do that respectfully.

    • Ellinor Ekelöf

      How about this: Don’t discuss something you obviously know NOTHING about! Do some researching about what the patriarchy is and means before you open your big mouth and leave stupid ass comments.

      You seriously believe that just because a WOMAN and not a MAN was (one of the people) pointing it out it has nothing to do with patriarchy???

      I got a lesson for you, patriarchy is about social orders and standards in SOCIETY which BOTH men AND WOMEN are controlled by.

      Jeez so tired of dumb people who can’t bother to learn any kind of background before speaking! Which seems to include 90 % of the american population.

      • SteveAR

        “I got a lesson for you, patriarchy is about social orders and standards in SOCIETY which BOTH men AND WOMEN are controlled by.”

        You poor thing, you have to live by rules. How awful it must be for you. It’s just too bad that 90% of the rest of us Americans don’t live in an anarchic free-for-all, like an unsupervised kindergarten, like you.

        • Ellinor Ekelöf

          I’m not a part of any percentage of American, no need to feel sorry for me. But thanks for the intelligent answer! Step out of your little bubble of ignorance SteveAR.

          • SteveAR

            I gave you the answer you deserved.

            I saw in a comment above that you’re in Sweden. Stay there.

          • Ellinor Ekelöf

            I’ll go wherever I want little Stevie, no man will tell me what I should or shouldn’t do.

            “The answer I deserve”, oh boohoo I really don’t know what to say after being struck by such strong and sharp arguments. It’s always as surprising how much faith in humanity one can lose by talking to an ignorant person like you. Patriarchy really must be the rock of your life as bad as you feel you have to defend it. Don’t bother replying, I might die of laughter if you hit me with another of your smart answers!

          • SteveAR

            Get this. One woman, Mrs. D, had the problem. To compound the matter, Mrs. D assigned unverifiable blame to men as the reason for the girl getting kicked out. And you don’t see this as THE problem? This isn’t a societal issue; it’s a matter of one woman who acted like a jerk and tried to project it on to others. Which is exactly what you are doing. And which is why I responded harshly, because, in your pettiness, you refuse to see that.

        • WiserWords2

          Those in power are the ones who make the rules, right? The majority of those in power in this country are male.

          Try to imagine the same prom scenario, with a student named Clyde rather than Clare.

          • Ian Kendall

            Unless you imagine him in Clare’s dress

    • Annabelle

      Patriarchy is a belief system about the position of women vs. men. Women as well as men are part of the patriarchal system, so it is not relevant which gender told Clare to leave.

      • SteveAR

        Men vs. women? Was there a patriarchy during the Age of Chivalry? Was it about men vs. women? Why or why not?

        • Hush

          Heck yes there was patriarchy during the age of chivalry. Women were PROPERTY.

          • SteveAR

            Maybe you should take a few history course. You know nothing about the Age of Chivalry. Nothing. The fact that you think women were “property” proves it.

          • Hush

            Except for that little tidbit where they.. ahem.. were.

          • SteveAR

            Uh, no, they weren’t.

          • Hush

            Uh yes, they were! lol

          • SteveAR

            No, they weren’t. Do you have any idea what the requirements for men were during the Age of Chivalry, what their role was?

          • Hush

            Oh my good grief You have been reading too much mythology.

          • SteveAR

            Mythology? No.

            I’ll give you several names of women prominent in English history. You tell me if they were slaves. 1) Aethelflaed, daughter of Alfred the Great and wife/widow of Aethelred of Mercia. 2) Isabella, Queen of England and wife of King Edward II. 3) Mary, Queen of England, daughter of King Henry VIII and wife of King Philip II of Spain. 4) Elizabeth, Queen of England and daughter of King Henry VIII.

          • Hush

            Oh, oh, the way we base how a society treated its women is based on how it treated its actual literal QUEENS?! …….. I can’t even …… I would need to research exactly if they had any patriarchal things happen to them, I would assume that it did. I would not be surprised if earlier queens were considered the property of their father/husband by the father/husband. (Edited to remove a “not”)

          • SteveAR

            You’re missing the point. Commoners never had all of the rights that nobles and royalty had. Common men and women were oppressed equally. So it wasn’t a matter of this being about men vs. women but royalty/nobility vs. the commoners.

            Aethelflaed was a warrior and leader of the Mercian army. With her army, she and her brother Edward of Wessex (Alfred’s son and heir) with his army fought the Norsemen in England.

            Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer raised an army in France to overthrow her husband in England (the nobles in England had been thoroughly cowed by Edward) and place their son as the next king.

            Mary stood up to her father and it almost cost her the throne.

            Elizabeth played it cool while Mary was queen and became the next one.

          • Hush

            I’m afraid you’re the one who missed the point. Women were not repressed equally, they were absolutely lesser.

          • Hush

            With that, Good day sir. I have to go outside and plant flowers.

          • Kate Ulrich

            This whole chivalry thing is a bunny trail. Steve, are you missing the point?

          • Hush

            Particularly poor women were seen as the property of their husband and further on of their “lord/lady”. The age of chivalry is a huge myth that women had all these rights during that time. Myth. Poor women in particular were seen as basically worth less than a good hunting dog by many who were more ruthless. Even noble women were subject to what men wanted and often “married off” for money without any way to say no. Women and men would “give” each other ladies in waiting, maids, etc. That is enslavement, dude. If you can be given away, you’re a slave. If you can’t do anything at all without asking your husband and your boss.. you’re a slave.

          • SteveAR

            “Particularly poor women were seen as the property of their husband and further on of their ‘lord/lady'”.

            Except that is wrong. All commoners, men and women, were treated as property by the lords and ladies. There was an equality in who was oppressed back in those days.

            Noble women were often pawns to be used in political alliances, but that doesn’t mean they were slaves. Noble women also didn’t have to do the kinds of things that the noblemen had to do, since much of what men did required the physical strength that women didn’t generally have.

            There’s a lot of times where my wife has told she doesn’t want me to things if I don’t her first. I don’t see me as a slave. Do you think I’m a slave?

          • Hush

            Women were given second pill, in all respects. It was not as common for men to just be given away like that because they were often more valuable. But yes, poor men were also property but not all of them were.. Poorer men sometimes owned things or had businesses. Women would not own anything unless they were rich. Women weren’t just pawns, they were often unwilling but had no RIGHTS.. Further, men could often be in trades, have normal jobs, etc. Women were not allowed.. If a woman was being beaten by her husband there was nothing she could do. Do you have the RIGHT to object to what your wife is telling you to do??? If you do, you aren’t a slave.

          • SteveAR

            You forget the one thing that noblemen did that noblewomen almost never did: fight. Not only that, if the nobleman was killed while fighting, who inherited everything? That’s right, his wife the noblewoman. Those titles they held weren’t window dressing; they were a sign of real power and wealth. Noblewomen were not slaves in the least.

            You’re mixing up a lot of stuff too. Those poor men who were tied to a noble were just as much property as their women. Like their women, they had no rights. That’s what being a serf was.

            As far as commoners who were inhabitants of various free cities (gentry, as opposed to serfs), how many women were actually involved in blacksmithing, construction, or any of the other trades? Then, as today, women can do one thing men can never do, give birth to children. And in those days, childbirth was much more dangerous than it is today. So it made sense that women in towns didn’t do trade jobs. It wasn’t as if there were laws in place allowing working people time off to have children. Again, there is no way these women could be considered slaves.

        • Hush

          Reading further your comments, may I also recommend to you that you take a few history courses . It is apparent that your position on this topic is one based on complete and total ignorance of history and sociology. If being literal property is not “oppressive” enough for you, I don’t think we will get through to you on this topic!

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          And looking at everything as The System instead of individuals is also characteristic of Marxism and other utopian movements. So focused on the Big Picture individuals slip through the cracks.

          Mrs D may have been from such a System, may have been influenced by such a System, but she still has responsibility for actually making the decision to give Clare the boot.

          • SteveAR

            For all we know, Mrs D may have a Mr. D, who may have been a chaperone at the prom. And, Mrs. D might be very jealous and may very well have seen that the girl she kicked out was a threat.

            Again, and you are right, this Mrs. D seems to bear sole responsibility for this situation. Yet, it’s always the “fault” of society, isn’t it?

        • sleepyheadzzz

          SteveAR, I think you misread the above comment. Annabelle didn’t say that patriarchy is about men vs. women. She said it’s a system of belief about the position of men and women in society (she just used vs where I used ‘and’). All genders suffer from patriarchal beliefs – men tend to get pushed into hegemonically masculine roles, believing they need to be aggressive, sexual, and sometimes violent in order to be considered “real” mean. Unpacking patriarchy means making more room for everyone to be who they want to be – if you’re a nerdy, skinny, effeminiate man, that’s okay. If you’re a muscly, sporty, stereotypical man, that’s okay too. The point is that these roles shouldn’t position one gender as better than another and they shouldn’t force people into roles they don’t really want to be in.

          Yes, there was patriarchy during the age of chivalry. Respect for fellow humans is a wonderful thing, but not when that respect undermines the agency of the people you aim to respect.

          “Again, and you are right, this Mrs. D seems to bear sole responsibility for this situation. Yet, it’s always the “fault” of society, isn’t it?”

          I think you’re simplifying this a bit too much. Yes, Mrs. D is the person solely responsible for what happened at this particular event, but that does not mean that it happened in a vacuum. Mrs. D learned her beliefs from somewhere, and those beliefs told her that Clare was being “bad” because she was dressed somewhat provocatively and that she needed to protect the virtue of the men by asking her to leave.

          Mrs. D needs to be held accountable for her actions alone, but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a larger discussion about her beliefs, where they came from, and what they mean.

          • SteveAR

            “Mrs. D needs to be held accountable for her actions alone, but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a larger discussion about her beliefs, where they came from, and what they mean.”

            I disagree. She may have reacted not because she was taught something, but because she acted on a negative feeling. People may be taught about the best way to handle negative feelings, but that is no guarantee of how people will react. That then makes this solely the responsibility of Mrs. D and not society in general, or even of the society Mrs. D belongs to.

          • sleepyheadzzz

            Obviously we’re going to fundamentally disagree but I believe that we are shaped by our society, parents, peers, education, workplace, etc. We all have negative feelings, but how we handle them is something we are taught. Whether she reacted out of a negative feeling, or whether she reacted because she holds patriarchal beliefs, the fact is she used patriarchal beliefs to support her opinion that Clare’s outfit was inappropriate.

            Like I said, Mrs. D needs to be held accountable, but I think it’s problematic to view her behaviour, beliefs, and actions in a vaccum – she lives in this society and learned her behaviour, beliefs, and actions from somewhere, and examining how they came to be is helpful in understanding the current position of people in society, both marginalized and in power.

            I can see you have a fundamentally different perspective from me, and therefore I’ll bow out of this discussion as I can see it will go no where.

            At no point did I say that Mrs. D wasn’t solely responsible – like someone with an addiction, the fact that Mrs D was reacting out of her learned societal reaction does not give her a free pass to be a jerk. But like someone with an addiction, sometimes understanding the road that led them to where they currently are is invaluable in teaching them new tools to change behaviours, beliefs, and actions.

          • SteveAR

            I know that anecdotal evidence isn’t real evidence, but allow me to provide you with a personal perspective.

            I have a fearful temper. It has never gotten so bad that I would physically or mentally harm those I love, but bad enough to know my wife is not happy with it when I act badly because of it. I’ve worked hard to control my actions when I get angry, and this control has gotten better as I’ve gotten older. But like so many others, I haven’t attained perfect control. I have been taught to know better, but that doesn’t mean I don’t lapse into saying or doing something stupid and letting my temper get the better of me. My temper is my responsibility, nobody else’s, and definitely not society’s. And if this is true with me, then it is true with every individual as an individual.

            I have no idea what prompted Mrs. D to act in the way she acted. Whatever it was, there was obviously some negative feeling attached to it. My point is that it doesn’t matter what “society” taught her, it’s that her reaction is solely her responsibility, and should not be a reflection of anything else.

          • sleepyheadzzz

            I know I said I would bow out, but I had to point out – you just made the same point with your example that I was attempting to with my reference to addiction. Despite there being history and reasons for the behaviour, in the end, the individual is responsible for that behaviour – but understanding that behaviour can be helpful.

            As I said, at no point did I say Mrs. D wasn’t accountable to her actions or imply that you wouldn’t be responsible for yours.

            Your example could also be seen as a systemic one, depending on how you learned your behaviour and actions. Complete hypothetical, but let’s say you grew up in a household where violence and anger were normal and you saw models that showed you men are loud, aggressive, and violent. The beliefs that your hypothetical caregiver pass on to hypothetical you may be (in part) due to learned hegemonic masculinity.

            That doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable for your actions, but it does mean hypothetical you may gain an understanding that what you learned about masculinity, anger, and aggression growing up does not actually make sense for you or make you happy. Understanding your personality has been shaped by many different factors can help you see the patterns in society and give an understanding. Of course not everyone finds that can of reflection helpful or relevant.

            I don’t blame “society” for anything. Things just are – but what I’m interested in is how they got that way, because understanding history and the paths that have and haven’t worked often give us valuable direction for the future.

            If all you’re interested in is assigning blame for this specific issue, then yes, for you it’s not going to matter what made Mrs. D behave and carry the beliefs she does.

            The problem for most of us responding is that these sorts of stories are not uncommon, which points to a larger pattern. If you’re interested in unpacking why that pattern exists, how they began, and if its harmful, then these are important questions to ask. Which is what most of the posters here are interested in doing, myself included.

    • Hush

      Have you never heard of a term “internalize misogyny” ?? If not, I would look up that term immediately. The entire issue with her being kicked out because of her dress being “too sexy” is patriarchal no matter who was enforcing this idea.. Females can be particularly nasty misogynists.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        It’s called Queen Bee Syndrome. They’re the Alpha Female (even if its only by association with the Alpha Male) and they don’t want any other female to get Uppity and threaten their position. Ever. (Because queen bees fight to the death when they catch each other’s scent; “There Can Be Only One.”)

        Also the hazing factor; “I went through the same thing she did; I didn’t have it easy — WHY SHOULD SHE?”

        • Hush

          That is an interesting theory. The many times she mentioned the short skirt and mentioning of impure thoughts etc. leads me to believe that even if she was “threatened” or jealous in this manner.. she is still a misogynist.. which is generally a product of patriarchal indoctrination.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            Of course, there’s also Jealousy and Envy as a possible core motive, no matter what the surface terminology. Like Mean Girls(TM) tearing down any girl who they think is prettier than themselves, better than themselves, having an easier time than themselves. (Younger and prettier than themselves?)

        • Fred

          Similar motifs in fairy tales like Cinderella or Snow White, in a very grim way.

    • Hush

      Also, if you just generally don’t believe in patriarchy in the U.S. you obviously are missing something in your educational background. I would recommend ANT 101, ANT Sexuality and Gender, and SOC 101 just for starters.

      • SteveAR

        I work with computers. The one nice thing about working with them is there is no psycho-babble needed to make them do what I need them to do.

        As far as “patriarchy”, I was taught and practice being a gentleman. It’s too bad that isn’t included in the psycho-babble being peddled.

        • Iba Hart

          You also interact with people. Maybe not at work, but you’re interacting with people right now. A better understanding of one’s fellow people allows us to communicate better and be kinder to each other, and then we’re all happier. This is why, when people have experiences very different to ours, it’s important to listen to them. Then we can have conversations that are informative and helpful, instead of annoying each other and hurting feelings.

          To clarify, I am not annoyed, and my feelings are not hurt, but it’s something we see a lot on the internet.

          I have to go out for some hours now, but thank you for talking with me.

          Peace.

          • SteveAR

            I know how to deal with people, have been for over 50 years. I don’t always do so correctly, and have been told on more than one occasion by wife when I don’t, but it isn’t all that hard. I just don’t deal with psycho-babble.

            It’s been nice talking to you too.

        • Hush

          It is offensive that you keep referring to having any knowledge in the field of social sciences is “psycho babble”..

          • SteveAR

            Get over it.

          • Hush

            You are behaving this way because you don’t like being called out for your inaccuracies. Understandable.

          • SteveAR

            No, it’s because it’s boring nonsense.

        • Eunice Hung

          Interesting, since from all my friends who work in the technology (especially programmers), it’s absolutely filled with sexism. It’s totally, utterly, ridiculously full of it. I have a lot of friends in this area (male and female) and I keep hearing again and again and again that being a woman in the computing area is to be treated as inferior.

          What’s worse is that a lot of men seem to think it’s not like that, because it’s so systematic and engrained that it’s unconscious and expected. Plus it’s hard for them to see and they just don’t want to put in the effort to make it a decent place to work because then they lose a lot of their privileges.

          Then, of course, they bring it into their personal lives.

          • SteveAR

            I’ve had four women who have been my direct managers. Every one of them treated me as I treated them, with respect. I’ve got the reviews and raises to prove it. Same with the women who were and are my co-workers.

            I don’t know where your friends work, but apparently it’s at companies that allow such behavior. Of course, I work with the old IBM mainframes, so most of the people I work with are older, people who know better how to treat others.

    • http://www.livinglearninglovinglife.com/ Amanda

      From the original post:

      “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.”

      The dads did contribute to the problem.

      • SteveAR

        That’s what Mrs. D said. That doesn’t mean it actually happened that way. It was, in fact, Mrs. D who originally complained and didn’t mention anything about dads at that time. For whatever reason, Mrs. D did not want the girl there, and figured out a way to have the girl kicked out. But that doesn’t mean the dads actually complained.

    • Eileen Davis

      Having worked as an social justice advocate seeking Constitutionally Protected Gender Equality (Ratification of The Equal Rights Amendment) I can tell you some of the worst misogynists are self loathing women and women who dont question the patriarchy. In it’s worse form, you find Women in the Sudan genitally mutilating their own daughters to make them acceptable to men b/c they wont have the ability for sexual pleasure and men will be more secure in their fidelity. In our country we see blame the victim “slut shaming”, pay inequity, and everyday sexism that a women needs awareness to keep out of her psyche and those of her daughters

    • another mother

      My guess would be that some of the women chaperones overheard the men commenting, and instead of taking their husbands to task for their lecherous behaviour, decided to take it out on Clare, the object of said lechery.

      • SteveAR

        That is definitely a distinct possibility. I wonder if the Mrs. D in the story has a Mr. D, and that Mrs. D may have got it into her head (wrongly I would think) that the girl was somehow a threat.

  • http://littlemisskatyenglish.blogspot.co.uk Katy English

    Saw Clare’s story on the Cosmo UK tweet reel. Absolutely horrified by the whole thing. The woman Mrs D clearly has issues. Any chance of getting an interview with her (Mr D) about her side of the story? I’d be HIGHLY interested in knowing what the hell was going through her mind! x

    Katy | http://www.littlemisskaty.co.uk

    PS all the best to Clare. Good luck with your graduation! :)

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Any chance of getting an interview with her (Mr D) about her side of the story? I’d be HIGHLY interested in knowing what the hell was going through her mind!

      So would I.

  • Martin Benson

    Thanks for your patient responses to what must be a hornet’s nest of comments, anger, accusations, and trolling. Well done!

    I mainly feel sad for your sister and that her prom was spoiled this way. It shame that “home schooling” somehow put her in the path of narrow minds and extremist beliefs. it is inevitabley the innocent who are the victims.

  • Christopher Pedron

    I actually came across this story on Tumblr, and I must say, I am disgusted. Firstly, at the apparent double standard that Clare was subjected to because of her height, secondly at the obvious idiocy of posting men on a balcony overlooking teenage girls, and thirdly of the irrational treatment she received from Mrs. D. I applaud both of you, and all her friends for standing up in this situation and hope that by shining such a strong light on this it will never happen again.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      …secondly at the obvious idiocy of posting men on a balcony overlooking teenage girls…

      Any of them snuck binoculars or cameras up there?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Tell Clare she made morning drive-time radio in Los Angeles this morning; KFI covered her story in a ten-minute segment. Drive-time guy seemed to think this was a regular high school prom and didn’t seem to understand the Christianese Homeschool Bizarro World, but given his penchant for snark it was probably better he didn’t.

    • http://www.wineandmarble.com/ Hännah

      You’re in LA, too? Small world.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        Actually, behind the Orange Curtain.

  • Chastaen

    Honestly I think there is a ton of guesswork and misinformation regarding the replies in my opinion.

    The initial point of failure in this story was the first contact with Mrs.D. No mention of the boyfriend, no mention of the adult men in the balcony, no mention of the style of dance.

    The second contact was with…Mrs.D. She directed the blame to the men in the balcony, the style of dance and the length of the dress(again!).

    I do not think race was an issue. None of the ‘evidence’ supports that beyond the picture of the very cute couple. I do not think the men in the balcony were the issue, as the ‘problem’ started before they were ever in the picture…unless Mrs. D was sent down with the mission to prepare this elaborate trap ahead of time.

    Even the second adult in the confrontation with Claire seems to confirm that the focus should be on Mrs. D and her inability to accept the rule that was to be followed for the dance.

    • Chastaen

      Clare. Apologies for spelling your name incorrectly above.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Even the second adult in the confrontation with Claire seems to confirm that the focus should be on Mrs. D and her inability to accept the rule that was to be followed for the dance.

      Yet even so, Mrs D’s will was done, not the second adult’s. Was Mrs D the one actually in charge of the prom, or was she “She Who Must Be Obeyed” regardless of her actual official position? (Often manipulators and bullies prefer to be the power behind the throne rather than sit on the throne themselves. Safer and more plausibly deniable; this way the guy on the throne gets the backlash, not you.)

  • Iba Hart

    I am delighted by the way Clare is sticking up for herself, and sorry that it’s necessary.

  • http://arthuride.wordpress.com/ Dr. Arthur Frederick Ide

    The “chaperone” at the prom is in need of serious mental help. As a psychologist, the woman who caused the scandal showed a lack of sensitivity, appreciation of diversity, and understanding that what one wears is irrelevant to what is thought and deeds done. The school should select people of sound reasoning, and desire to see that all people profit from social exchange. The parent (?), at best, was jealous or overwrought with pseudo-religiosity, at worse a bully, and bullying is a mental illness.

    • Guy Faulkes

      This was a private event held at a church. No “school board” was involved. The kids in attendance were all home-schooled by Christian parents. Did you not read Clare’s post in her sister’s blog?

      • http://arthuride.wordpress.com/ Dr. Arthur Frederick Ide

        You have the best argument to end home-schooling–there is no exposure to the real world, the life is contorted and estranged from reality, and students are limited as to exposure. Where I am from even home schools must submit to the state’s board of education, plan their curriculum around state standards, etc.

        • Kate Ulrich

          As an adult who was home schooled and had a rather positive experience, I am sad to see that others had negative experiences. I was involved in the community outside homeschooling and turned out “normal” as described by my non-homeschooler friends, if only a kinda nerdy (but nerdiness is found in schools too :-) )

          Please consider the impact of your opinion that homeschooling should be “ended.” Is this really an option that should be entertained in the “land of the free?”

          I see the problem here as something that is not unique to homeschooling, it is a problem American culture has at large. We are intolerant of other’s beliefs. Instead of engaging in community with those we disagree with, people only tolerate those who share the same beliefs. The internet makes this easy to do, as one’ facebook newsfeed can be filled entirely with views with which you already agree.

          From what I hear, public school standards also have a role in indoctrinating children by enforcing universal standards and writing certain philosophies into law-mandated curriculum. Whether they are teaching modern and progressive or conservative and traditional values, both public schools isolationist homeschooling families are playing a role in indoctrinating children- instead of teaching them to learn for themselves, explore the world, and arrive at their own opinions. Instead of teaching children how to enjoy learning and think for themselves, the public school system is teaching them how to take standardized tests.

          Please consider that the solution to our problems is not the abolition of homeschooling, but more likely challenging all systems and institutions in our nation to foster true learning and exploration of the world on an individual level in order to discover the laws and truths of the universe. And armed with tolerance and grace for each other, we can discuss our controversies in a respectful way, learn more about the world and each other, and enjoy community.

          • http://arthuride.wordpress.com/ Dr. Arthur Frederick Ide

            I salute you, madam. You are among the few insightful beings that posts.

            I have no more problem with homeschooling than I do with public secular and sectarian schooling. As you noted, all give vent to a preconceived reality and teach toward that.

            Having been a teacher (and continue as such) for more than 50 years, I have spent my lifetime presenting every side from the citizens of Athens call for Socrates to commit suicide to the Apology by Plato against it–but, as Plato points out, Socrates knew his death would accomplish more than his continued existence on earth.

            The last several years I have taught in Peru. It is a poor, uneducated Third World nation under the tight fist of religion and wealthy patriarchs who use private schools to enrich themselves. I have taught honors classes requiring critical thinking: we look at both sides of all issues, from the world’s accounts of a universal flood, to oceanographic data that shows the only massive flood was in the Crimea via the Black Sea. When it comes to abortion we viewed both the pro-life and pro-choice arguments, speak with those who had abortions (pro and con), etc.

            The problem is with culture and religions as a unit: each think they have the “only way” and abandon critical thinking. Much of this is via the Internet especially on Facebook (I have written frequently against it as it becomes microscopic). Sadly, most people do not want to be questioned nor learn, and that entrenches singular parochial thinking and the advance of knowledge dies. For that reason I write a blog (as with my article on the Ukraine where I present Ukrainian and pro-Russian arguments coupled with Ukrainian documents since I am fluent in Ukrainian and other languages).

            When I was a college student 50 years ago I had a wonderful professor (Donald Howard) who would come to class and lecture on a topic. The next day he would return to class (our classes were five days a week for 4 months) and lecture against his former presentation. The third day was a third side, and so forth. Our obligation was to understand all, critique all and then come to a new, and unique conclusion. That does not exist anymore.

            It is difficult to be objective (especially on the internet, and I confess I lament its existence since it stifles the free conduct of inquiry) since few are. I wish we would return to reading and exploring library holdings, writing with a purpose and writing well, and participating in symposium, colloquium, etc to exchange idea.

            Your offering is a fresh breath of intellectuality. I do salute you and wish you well. At least we both use our real names showing we are not afraid to stand behind what we right.

          • Kate Ulrich

            Thank you sir! I’m honored by your response. I hope teachers like you multiply!

        • Hush

          I went to a public school and there were similar dress codes enforced rather according to pet students vs. not.. Also what I always found amusing was that the cheerleaders uniforms actually violated the dress code. There have been similar scandals with regards to male or female faculty freaking out about the attire of the female students at dances and subjecting students to embarrassing close examination or kicking them out at public schools. Also, I was bullied rather harshly by both students and in several instances faculty in public school.. It’s not just home schooling that is the problem, here.. There are similar issues with public schools… Also, there is a large secular home schooling movement.. And, outlawing home schooling would not be good. That is sounding very Brave New World..

        • Betsy Murgatroyd

          As a doctor, it should behoove you to study more about secular homeschooling. I have many friends who do secular homeschooling and homeschool groups where they gather together and the mothers and fathers teach the subjects they are the strongest in. There are all types of homeschool based activities that blended groups
          of homeschooled students attend. They have dances, band, orchestra,
          physical education, languages, etc.

          We hear the horror stories of Christian homeschooling, but do not hear the good stories of secular homeschooling. Please do not stereotype all homeschoolers.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        He’s not the only one with that mistaken assumption. The morning drive-time guy on KFI this morning also made that assumption.

  • Ellinor Ekelöf

    All my love to Clare! Obviously a smart and awesome young girl who will do great in life. More people like her is needed in the world! Short skirt or not, as a girl you should be able to wear whatever the heck you want anywhere you go! Hoping the USA gets on board the equality train, not much has gone in the right direction since your suffragettes got women the right to vote ;) Hugs from Sweden <3

  • Horreurs Musicales
  • Bike bubba

    Thought about this situation a bit, and I remember that at the public school prom I went to, yes, there were adult chaperones in the balcony and elsewhere, drawn from among the parents. Since they were 50 feet away from us, we considered it unlikely that they would be “leering” at us, especially since most of them were married and saw far more on a regular basis than we were offering as a view.
    There were those who wanted to “push the envelope” in terms of acceptable dress and behavior at this and at other school dances, and if you were walked out for inappropriate dress or behavior, you did not get a refund. You were expected to know, and abide by, the principles of appropriate dress and behavior, and respect the adults whose job was to keep things in order.
    If a scene were made, the principal would come on over the intercom the next Monday and explain to the entire school that because of the disturbance, the list of rules for dance-goers would be more restrictive, and that if sponsors and workers were insulted or harassed, there might not be a prom at all next year. Students would be reminded that a few of them could ruin things for everyone.

  • AlwaysPrepared

    hi Clare, sorry you’ve been sucked into such a mess. You’re a perfectly lovely young lady in what I would consider a perfectly acceptable dress for someone your age. I have a daughter the same age and would have no problem with her wearing it. Apparently you are dealing with an extraordinarily high level of morons, self-righteous idiots, pervs and extremely jealous wives. America is the land of double-standards, unfortunately. Case in point, I’m sure EVERYONE involved (kids and adults alike) all show far more skin at the beach or pool, and yet they all seem to manage not to give in to their animal urges somehow. Chalk it up to learning about the very type of person you don’t want to know, associate with or become in the future and forget ahead. :) Best of luck!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      And don’t forget the words of Frank Zappa:

      “Stupidity is like hydrogen. It’s the basic building block of the universe.”

  • Eileen Davis

    Thought you’d want to see this. I know the author and the publisher
    http://functionalhumanbeing.blogspot.com/2014/05/fingertips.html

    Eileen Davis
    co founder http://www.Women-Matter.Org

  • Tony Tribby

    A serious question–how does graduation from homeschool work?

    • Ginny Atchison

      There are homeschooling “groups” who organize their own individual graduations, usually for profit – the same with Proms. Although not considered a legal diploma, you are usually presented with an “official looking” document. Most college’s don’t require a high school diploma these days and welcome homeschoolers.

      I’m in Florida and we have, for instance, a religious extremist organization (FPEA) that holds graduation at a Disney World resort in Orlando. We opted for a secular group out of Miami (FLHomeschoolHelp) who holds their graduation at the Miami Zoo. Some of these homeschool groups are quite scary and really sneaky in their beliefs. Often you don’t realize their true agenda until you have paid the money for their event.

      I homeschooled as a “single mom” and “situations” like this often happened to us.

  • Simon Howard

    Hi. Quick question: did you (Hanna) add the “fuck the patriarchy” title, or did your sister (Clare) come up with it?

    • http://www.wineandmarble.com/ Hännah

      Clare’s words, not mine. Although I 100% endorse them and suggest they be accompanied by tequila.

  • Magdalena

    Hi, this is a message from me to your brave sister:

    Never, ever let anyone shame you into being or pretending to be anything less than you are!

    I am very sorry this happened to you. My prom was 10 years ago and I remember it being just another high school party, but no student should be denied participation in that event because of somebody’s jealousy or bias. It is that one night, just one night.
    It was inspiring to read your post and a lot of people could learn a lot from your mature views of the world. You are only 17, you are yet to spread your wings and I hope you spread them wide and fly high. Don’t let anybody kill your spirit.
    Hugs,

    Magda, UK

  • Eva Whitley

    Apropos of nothing: that dress looks great! Is Clare willing to share who the designer or label? What kind of shoes did she wear with it?

  • Anushka Sierra Chalakal

    Found your blog through Clare’s story on the internet, and I just want to say I love your blog. I wanted to comment on the post about bullying, but the thread’s been closed. A blog on the effects and continuing hold of patriarchy is brilliant, as are your other projects (like on Youtube).

  • schaep

    Thats why we should study the naked or almost naked (island) communities in our world. I’ve read a few studies about them, but on those naked communities, nobody is ogling, and nobody is told to wear more clothes, nobody is harassed and nobody is offended. Nobody is approached inappropriately because they look to sexy. They also dress up for parties, and nobody has “impure” thoughts about anybody whether or not wearing cloths. No they are not having sex parties and no they are not communities where “everybody has sex with everybody”. We have so much to learn from these communities. And all these perverted conservatives telling others that the way they look is provocative are the ones who have the “impure” thoughts in the first place. Send them back to school to learn some morals.
    Its time to make schools where everybody can wear any clothes anytime. Whether naked, in swimwear or wintercloths shouldn’t matter at all. Maybe then we’ll learn.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Thats why we should study the naked or almost naked (island) communities in our world. I’ve read a few studies about them, but on those naked communities, nobody is ogling, and nobody is told to wear more clothes, nobody is harassed and nobody is offended. Nobody is approached inappropriately because they look to sexy. They also dress up for parties, and nobody has “impure” thoughts about anybody whether or not wearing cloths. No they are not having sex parties and no they are not communities where “everybody has sex with everybody”.

      Contrast this with the woman-sewed-in-burka Extreme Islamic communities, obsessed with women looking too sexy and “spreading corruption upon Earth” by causing men to have “impure thoughts”. Forbidden Fruit factor on steroids.

    • Bike bubba

      Schaep, recommend you read a little more about those cultures. They also tend to be at constant war, and to practice cannibalism. For example, the Arawak and Carib of the Caribbean and northern South America, the Aztecs of Mexico, the Polynesians, and many of the tribes of Papua New Guinea. And yes, many of them do in fact have orgies as well–PNG is even today noted for its high rate of violence against women.
      But please, don’t let facts get in the way of what you say here. And whatever you do, don’t let out that the most likely person to find at a nudist camp is a flabby middle aged guy who sets off everyone’s creep-o-meter.

  • aravinda

    Has no one noticed the elephant in the room? This is Virginia where George Allen almost got re-elected Governor (if only he didn’t get caught using a racial slur!) Was it the length of her sparkly dress or the color of her handsome date? The sexism of this incident, which the young woman has already pointed out was selective, is connected to the racism, on which the articles appear to be silent.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Given that Clare’s date himself said he did not think racism was a problem (the dust-up over Clare happened when he wasn’t nearby and there did not appear to be a connection), I’ll tend to not second-guess the guy in the field.

    • Larry28

      George Allen was running for re-election to the U.S. Senate, not governor, when that incident happened in 2006. I expect neither he nor most other folks were aware the term he used could be construed as a racial slur. Obviously that didn’t stop the media from blowing the matter out of proportion, and Mr. Allen didn’t handle it well either.

      In any event George Allen had nothing to do with the incident in question, so let’s leave him out of the discussion.

  • Felicia Chew

    Sorry, can’t help with the financial part…. although if everyone sent you a dollar, you would be closer to your goal!

    So my comment: I found an interesting point brought up by other commentator’s regarding the communication between the dads and the women who told Clare to leave (none was observed/happened), so it made me wonder:

    Could it be that it was jealousy or personal experiences on the part of Mrs. D that prompted her to single out Clare from the very beginning?

    Bullies become bullies because of fear…. so, maybe she had experienced something terrible sexually when she was younger, that she felt she had to “warn” Clare. However, lacking proper “form”, and communication, she used her power to force Clare to leave.

    I am not saying it was okay for Mrs. D to talk with Clare the way Clare describes, but maybe Mrs. D. would benefit from revisiting her past and finding ways to healthily share her story.

    The kids should get their refunds for tickets and dresses, since there was no violation of the written policy, but the organizers might not have any money to refund. That noted, it seems the role of Mrs. D should be clarified — was she speaking on her own “authority” and using the fathers as a scapegoat? If yes, she should be the one who has to pay for her actions.

    To think about: Simply paying a fine won’t stop the problem from happening again. Neither will public shaming. But, helping Mrs. D understand why she singled out Clare might make her change. And, providing her with some support might help her change.

    I know it sounds crazy. But if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’ve got.

  • lazlodelarental

    The dads are pathetic. They know that all these kids, wearing burlap bags, whatever will be enjoying savage, relentless, bone-crushing sex after the prom and they’ll go home to be greeted by the immense, sweatpants-clad wildebeests they call wives who all forgot how to fuck during the Nixon administration. The dads should all be whipped on the stocks for aggravated jealousy and hypocrisy.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Woo, Lazlo, now that’s one helluva word picture!
      (Though it would explain the alleged male chaperone reactions to Clare. Prom chaperone would be a dream job for voyeurs.)

      • lazlodelarental

        The dads deserve their desperation and misery and the monstrous, bestial horrors they call wives who provoke them to lurk the streets and high school proms to leer at blithe chaste women like our victim of the moment, Clare.

    • Bike bubba

      Dads with eight kids, some of whom are of age to attend this dance, forgot how to make love during the Nixon administration? Say what?

  • Katie McDonough

    Hi Hannah,

    We’re very interested in republishing Clare’s original blog post at Salon.com, and I’d love to talk to you about details. Reach out if you can!

    Katie
    kmcdonough@salon.com

  • Molly

    Clare, I think you were dressed completely APPROPRIATELY for your prom. You looked lovely and happy in pictures.

  • MYOB140514

    In an earlier post, you asked people not to contact the prom coordinator on the grounds that she was not responsible for this atrocious decision.y Let’s assume this is true (although I think it’s fair to say she knows about it now, and has done nothing to resolve the situation equitably). In that case, who *was* responsible — the mysterious Mrs. D? If so, why *shouldn’t* Mrs. D. be publicly held to account?

    It’s the internet equivalent of what journalists call a “doorknock.”

    • Chris Calverley

      Contacting Mrs d. Would result in the individual finding the truth, knowing the truth means no money for clare, therefore you shouldn’t contact Mrs d. Because it is in the best interest of clare.

  • Bmoreskyandsea

    I thought you’d enjoy this. As it relates to the topic.
    I’m glad young women are starting to feel empowered to speak out.
    http://rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2014-05-message-teenage-girls-summer-dress-codes/

  • Hey

    Some comments I saw…

    I’m actually from Richmond and know people who were at this prom, and Clare’s story is not exactly the truth… The fathers who were watching the prom are not “perverts” – she was NOT kicked out because she looked “hot” and has a “curvy” body, and the men there couldn’t handle it. The people who actually attended the prom said that she was hiking her dress WAY up her legs and dancing extremely provocatively, and she was NOT the only one kicked out for those reasons (though she claims to be). Eight people were asked to leave. The difference with Clare is that she and her group of friends made a huge scene full of cussing and flipping off the volunteer chaperones, and then she wrote an extremely misleading blogpost called “F*** the Patriarchy.” I mean, really?? This is causing a very negative reaction toward the homeschooling community in Richmond and unnecessarily so – in order to get kicked out of prom, you have to act INCREDIBLY risque, and for Clare to say that she did nothing wrong is obviously untrue. I was also told that prior to attending this prom, you have to sign a contract saying that you’ll follow all of the rules or you risk getting kicked out. Clearly, she didn’t follow the rules, and it had nothing to do with dads acting like “perverts.”

    and…

    I was there. Her dress was in fact riding up to the point where her underwear was almost visible. I don’t think the dress was the main issue though, it was mainly her dancing. The claim that she wasn’t dancing is just a lie. She was dancing, and dancing provocatively. The fact that it’s a homeschool prom is irrelevant, I’ve been to public school proms with stricter rules than this prom and she would have been kicked out of a public school prom also. The claim that she was the only one kicked out is also a lie. 9 people were kicked out. I know one of them, and that person was also kicked out for dancing provocatively. You won’t hear her story, because she knows she was wrong. Or I should say, she accepts it. Clare knows she’s wrong, but refuses to accept it. This whole story is mostly fabricated and at the very least greatly exaggerated. There is an increasing number of people, myself included, who saw it happen and have stated that this story is false.

    There were men AND women on the balcony all doing their assigned jobs for which they volunteered their time such as lighting and photography. She said somewhere that she knows what they were talking about. I’ve been in that venue many times, both on the floor and on the balcony, and there is literally no humanly possible way that with 600 people in the room she could know what the adults up there were saying.

    and…

    And lastly, her reputation precedes her. In a comment on another blog, a longtime friend of Clare’s said that Clare has often over-dramatized things and tried to make little things big issues and all about herself, regardless of how it will affect others.

    Sad IF it’s true.

    • lazlodelarental

      Men AND Women standing on a balcony staring down down the dresses of blithe, chaste and provocatively dressed young women? The kids showing up at a prom ready to rock and pestork, hey, no 9/11 there but this bicurious angle is really twisted. Tell us more about the Moms.

    • thedeadtext

      Go go anonymous internet!

    • lazlodelarental

      It’s her prom and she should be able to wear a bear rug or a thin coating of baby oil if she wants and dance fertility rite watusies on her boyfriend’s face – or the faces of everyone there and their pets. FREEDOM is what America is all about!

  • Susan Cole

    Best wishes for Claire. What happened was wrong on so many level! It takes courage to speak out when a wrong is done to you. I truly hope this will be resolved soon.

  • Jossie

    I feel for your sister, too bad it happened at prom & that’s her memory of such a momentous event.

    Playing devils advocate – a dozen or so years ago, I was a teen girl & ALWAYS got into trouble for wearing short everything. I also learned the tricks of fingertip length test. Not saying you’re doing this, but there are a few things I notice from your picture.

    1. Your arm looks slightly bent, see the angle after your elbow.

    2. Your wrist looks a tiny bit curved.

    3. The shot seems to be taken from the top which means the camera was angled down.

    All these things make me question if maybe the dress was slightly shorter than fingertip.

    More pictures of different angles & arm flat & stretched out would provide a more fair argument in my opinion.

  • Ian Kendall

    The central issue here is thought crime, “if a man looks at a woman with lust he has already committed adultery with her”. This was reportedly uttered nearly 2000 years before the 1984 novel. You see, the seeds of this type of human rights abuse were planted long ago by Yehoshua ben Yosef, our ‘god and saviour’. It’s time to rethink just how grateful we should be for this destructive meme and just how tolerant we want to be of a book so full of this sort of mind poison. Not only were the boys in question assumed to be in danger of this thought crime but Clare (essentially the victim of this imaginary crime) to blame. This is just one of the types of messed up thought processes that the ‘good book’ inspires. Let the boys and girls have their sexual thoughts, it’s healthy, it’s normal. There seemed to be enough ‘adults’ and security there to prevent any really inappropriate behaviour. Note: behaviour is what you do and say not what you think. The outfits on the night looked great. I wish they could have enjoyed the event. I wish Clare the best of luck in the future.

  • MR.TRUTH OF THE MATTER

    I was there that night and I had a blast. After talking to one of the leaders because I’m close with them it needs to be known that the whole case being made for Clare Schlaudt is that she would give the boys impure thoughts. If this was true she might have a case but it’s not. After talking to the lady that kicked her out it has been made clear that no one told Clare that the fathers said she would give the boys impure thoughts. No one said that at all but Clare. She added that to her stupid blogpost to get peoples attention because honestly if that was true I could see why she was upset. But she fabricated all that nonsense in hopes to get attention which she is known to always be seeking. Her older sister Hanna is on a hate campaign against homeschooling and conservatives because she feels that’s her parents abused her by homeschooling her. She has caused her family a lot of issues because she believe her parents are wronging her sibling by homeschooling. She writes articles like this all the time to get attention and to milk money out of people who might feel sorry for her. But I tell you today that she had a bad experience with one homeschoolers and has decided to influence Clare and some of the other older siblings. This whole thing is ridiculous. The whole world is riding this article for only one thing. Because she said she was told she would cause impure thoughts. So now that you all know that she made this up and that the lady who kicked her out and any other chaperone there said nothing about impure thoughts u can see how much attention she is seeking. A paypal account to support her for college really??? Any college after hearing these stories would not even give her a chance. This is what happens when people don’t get the whole truth. Now yes don’t get me wrong if Clare got kicked out for her dancing and her dress then some others should have been kicked out too. This is the only thing that I can say was the fault of the prom committee and for the record 8 other kids were kicked out also. But they did not make a scene. They were not puppets being used by the angry sister Hanna who is against anything homeschooling. She walked into prom that night and was heard talking about how she will make a scene. She is her sister Hanna’s puppet and this is another way for them to get money and attention. This is truly a shame. Clare talks about how her boyfriends was polite and stuff lemme address that too. Her boyfriend cussed out the lady and snatched the money that they gave back to Clare. And one of the people in the group shoved and almost knocked over the lady that was addressing them. Then they proceeded to cuss everyone out on their way out and then flick them off. The others in the group did not have to leave but chose to in support of Clare. When you choose to support a cause or something you make a choice to sacrifice something whether it is time or money. They sacrificed both and for no reason should get a refund for what they stood for. Their choice their consequence. They could have called another parent to come get them. Even if the prom committee had done something wrong (which they didn’t) behavior like this makes them less likely to want to help you. Now you have a choice. Listen to Clare’s story that has been encouraged by her bitter sister Hanna and that has fabricated the whole case of IMPURE THOUGHTS and they were indeed rude and breaking the rules or look to the truth like Alexa has written and others such as the Hobbs ladies have done also and also what I tell you because I was there and had no allegiance to either side but when I heard from the lady that dealt with Clare’s nasty attitude and heard the truth I knew there was only one right side to this. Clare has acted immature and childish and her older sister should be ashamed of herself for influencing this girl to such heights. So no the dads were definitely not ogling FYI she by a long shot was nowhere near the prettiest one there but she was the MOST INAPPROPRIATE AND MOST DISRESPECTFUL one there except for her foolish boyfriend of course. In the end she will see good always triumphs over evil and that she has done herself a disservice for lying and making up stories. She made up the impure thoughts part and she had got the world thinking this is some sexist abuse. No this a girl who is influenced and encouraged by her conniving sister and who decided to be a 17 yr old brat all because she was told no basically. I pray for her family because they don’t deserve this but Clare Rose Schlaudt grow up and stop being an attention seeking brat because this will only last for a while before your life dips the other way. And to her sister Hanna your parents love you and did what they thought was best for you and one day you will find that you have either got to move on with your or you can go on and continue to try to manipulate your siblings but God does deal quite harshly with the treatment of His little people. So now you have the truth and Alexa I highly commend you. This might come off as harsh but I’m tired of this foolishness so I put it all out there. Now tell me who is right???

    • Jacquie G

      Wow. Someone has ISSUES and I don’t think it’s Clare or Hanna. Who comes to a blog and tries to air personal information about a minor child BEYOND the relevant issue at hand? I smell an agenda being run here…
      I believe this girl for many reasons. I don’t believe your account for many more. Just because Clare is a child doesn’t mean she isn’t credible – you would be wise to remember that.
      And as for the mention of Paypal? I am 100% certain after reading the tone of many of the commenters that it came about because many people support a strong, independent minded young woman like Clare and are interested in assisting her to the next level to see what she can really accomplish. Likely something difficult for you to understand as I’m certain after reading your diatribe that you believe a woman’s place is in the home, behind her husband and “quiverful” of children, keeping sweet…

      • Chris Calverley

        Bull. Using a fabricated story to gain sympathy from unsuspecting people while asking for “donations” are the acts of a CON ARTIST.

        • http://www.wineandmarble.com/ Hännah

          I love how you know me so well that you don’t even know my name.

          I have received a few small donations over the course of this blog earmarked for me, and about $300 earmarked for Clare, and I am not on a hate campaign against homeschooling of any sort. I think homeschooling can be done well, but needs reform and increased regulation for the protection of minors. I think many well-meaning parents are not equipped to homeschool as well as they should, and that kids are falling through the cracks in a system that has great potential for good–and great potential for damage.

          I will be closing this thread now. My sister is not a liar and Callie Hobbs is jealous that Clare was better than her at volleyball and replaced her position on the team, and is spewing nonsense and perpetuating the patriarchy by her attacks on my sister’s character.

          I encourage everyone to go listen to Adichie’s TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story” and take note of how she talks about women seeing each other as threats. This is what’s going on here, and I will not put up with it. http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story

  • lazlodelarental

    Get NAKED! Clare and host your own NAKED PROM!

    Get ESPN to cover it!

    Have naked pudding wrestling sessions during breaks in the music!

  • PocketNaomi

    Hannah, you have an awesome sister, and you sound pretty awesome yourself. Good for her, and good for you for supporting her and offering her a platform to share her experience. It is not women’s responsibility to control men’s thoughts for them… decent, functioning adult human beings (of any gender) control their own. I’m glad to hear that Clare didn’t buckle under the pressure, and neither did her date or her friends. It sounds as if she’s not only a woman with a good head on her shoulders, but surrounds herself with other young men and women with equally good brains. If the elders do not have equally good brains, that is their own problem, not yours.

    I hope Clare has a great time at college and attends a school where the faculty and administration are a great deal more clueful than the ones in charge of the dance she attended.

  • Chris Calverley

    Yeah, I read the blog from her friend that claims that clair lied. Became belligerent and cussed out Mrs d. And that is why she was kicked out…
    And I am appalled that you are asking for donations for this…

    Can we say Dayna moralez

  • Chris Calverley

    Mary Goyette Simmons,

    Dads Are Not The Problem

    MAY 14, 2014 BY CALLIEHOBBS

    I completed high school this week, and throughout my home school journey one of the most prominent and important things I learned was to always stand up for truth, no matter what it costs you in the long run. This past weekend I attended the Richmond Homeschool Prom along with over 500 other home schooled students across Central Virginia. Recently, there has been a massive frenzy about a girl being kicked out over suggestive dancing and inappropriate attire, so much so that even national media sources like Cosmopolitan Magazine have picked up on the story. I am writing this not to stir up further arguments but to share truth on what actually happened at prom.

    I happen to know the girl who was kicked out. She joined my volleyball team last fall, she ended up being in my American History class this semester, and she also happens to be graduating with me in just a few short weeks. In history, our class covered material from the Civil War to World War II. During the section on the Gilded Age, we learned about something called yellow journalism. Let me define it.

    Yellow Journalism is the type of journalism that relies on sensationalism and lurid exaggeration to attract readers. There is a word in that definition that I would also like to define.Sensationalism is the use of sensational language to arouse an intense emotional response.

    Everything that has been said about Clare and the Richmond Homeschool Prom has been yellow journalism and nothing short of sensationalizing. Her entire story is full of lies and slander. I have been to many homeschool proms and the Richmond Homeschool Prom is most definitely the least conservative one I have attended. The dress code for ladies merely required that dresses be fingertip length. I personally don’t recall seeing girls with dresses violating the requirements (which are the exact same as the local high schools). Clare even approached me and showed me that her dress adhered – yes, it was edgy and as close as she could get to breaking it, but yes it was fingertip length. She writes in her blog post,

    “I assumed that she (a prom coordinator) 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.”

    I can whole-heartedly agree with that statement, as I have long legs myself and have had to refrain from wearing certain things because they appear more immodest than they would on a girl with shorter legs. It is an honest struggle. In the end, her dress was close enough to breaking the dress code that it was checked. Clare talks about how she isn’t responsible for other people’s thought or drives, but she admits in her blog post that she looked hot and would turn heads when walking through a door. Emily Collins, a lady chaperoning, states that Clare’s dress only met dress code when it was pulled down, but as she walked, the dress rose. Clare was seen by multiple sources (students) to be dancing provacatively and as she moved her dress rose. When she was approached and asked to pull it down by female chaperones, Clare responded with extreme disrespect towards the authorities, at which point she was asked to leave. Not one person ever mentioned anything about impure thoughts, she was removed from the dance because her behavior was not in line with the set rules.

    I find the most disturbing part of this situation to be the accusations against the dads. The Richmond Homeschool Prom is held in a large church gym. In that gym, there is a balcony that runs the length of the room. When I walked in, I did notice that there were parents standing up there. But they were chaperoning, just the same as the parents on the floor. Yes, there were dads up there, all of whom were on rotation manning the lights and ensuring that prom ran smoothly. Clare writes,

    “We were also a little grossed out by all the dads on the balcony above the dance floor, ogling and talking amongst themselves,” Headlines are saying things like, “Teen Girl Ejected From Prom Because Horny Dads Can’t Stop Staring,” or “Girl Kicked Out Of Prom Because Dads Found Her Too Sexy.”

    Honestly, if I had not been at prom and Clare’s description were all I had to go on, my interpretation would be that there were fathers lined up around the balcony just to observe and eye the girls. It makes it sound totally inappropriate and disgusting! But I was there, and the dads were not talking amongst themselves about the girls dancing and they were certainly not ogling. They were only doing the jobs they had selflessly volunteered for so that the homeschool community could enjoy prom. They were up there to work the lights and fix strand of lights that had gone out. Homeschool dads are incredibly protective over their daughters and go to great lengths to ensure they are treated well and typically very loving towards children that are not their own. Homeschool dads may be just about the least creepy men there are. I would also like to briefly address the misconception that, as homeschool parents, they are required to put on prom. Prom is not a right owed to us, it is a privilege. As homeschoolers we often lose chances to participate in activities that students at public a private school enjoy, such as prom and sports teams. Our opportunity to attend prom comes directly from the parents that choose to invest their time and money so we can enjoy a special event.

    But when did this become about perverted dads? The news reports manipulate the story to make it seem like sex-minded men singled Clare out and couldn’t control their thoughts when in reality, not one man made mention about Clare’s attire or behavior, only women in authority. Women use clothing and actions to attract men all the time, but as Christians and really just as moral people, ladies have a duty to dress in a way that earns respect and doesn’t tempt men. Everyone (not just men) have a duty to guard our thoughts from things that aren’t healthy, but men shouldn’t make it harder for women and women shouldn’t make it harder for men. The Richmond Homeschool Prom was meant to be a wholesome night and when Clare was approached (by women) for what they deemed inappropriate, she got mad and acted in a childish and disrespectful manner towards the adults in authority. It was only then that she was asked to leave.

    Everyone can safely assume that a homeschool prom is going to be more conservative than a public school prom. Most people who homeschool do so because they want a more conservative environment for their children. Of course there are going to be more rules and regulations, yet many of the rules are identical to the rules enforced at public school proms. If a student is found in violation of any rule, he or she is removed without refund. More than one person (including myself) saw her dancing suggestively, which were grounds for removal. There has also been a lot of controversy about her being the only one to get kicked out, when in reality there were eight others who asked to leave as well. I find it sad that all of the stories about Clare’s experience are one sided and selectively choose which facts to report to gain more attention. I look forward to a day when yellow journalism and sensationalism isn’t an issue, but as I’m learning in history class – this isn’t the first time and it will not be the last

  • Chris Calverley

    Furthermore, how would you feel if one of these chaperones now gets attacked because of your slanderous lie. That’s very Christian of you. I think you need to come clean, and quick, before your lies end up really hurting someone.

  • lazlodelarental

    How HUGE were the moms?

    How jealous were they of Clare attracting fevered urgent glances of carnal obsession from all the men there, even a young black man of likely limitless sexual energy?

    Can these Immense Moms admit to their raging jealousy and hunger?

  • Libertarian Chick

    Hi Clare, the internet is behind you on this. I am very impressed with how you handled yourself and with the quality of the writing in your guest post. Good luck on finals!

  • Amanda