What’s behind the “modesty rules” for dress in schools and faith communities? How do these explicit and implicit rules impact boys and girls? What about for people of color and those who identify as genderqueer? We explore our curiosities around the gender of clothing and its broader cultural implications.
This episode was inspired in part by Cindy Brandt‘s letter to a mom on her blog Unfundamentalist Parenting entitled “Should my Daughter Defy Modesty Rules at the Youth Group Beach Retreat?“and Ashley’s experience in high school with the misogynistic Christian group Power Team.
What We’re Reading
Ashley picks up Beaches, Blood, and Ballots: A Black Doctor’s Civil Rights Struggle, a memoir written by Dr. Gilbert Mason, a physician who was also one of the first Civil Rights protesters on the coast of Mississippi. It commemorates the acts of civil protest known as the “wade-ins” that took place at the beach in Biloxi and ended violently.
Katey discusses Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things about an African-American labor and delivery nurse who is not permitted to care for a baby born to white supremacists. When the baby dies, however, she is charged with his death. This book takes on themes of white fragility, microaggressions, and the failings of well-meaning white folks.
Kindreds of the Moment
The Faith Matters Network is organizing the People’s Supper to gather folks together to break bread and build bridges across differences. If you’d like to learn more and maybe even sign up for a dinner, check out their website. You should also follow their amazing team of folks:
- Read this piece from The Atlantic on “The Sexism of School Dress Codes” and the troubling messages they send to girls, boys, and trans youth
- Take a peek at what Dr. Kate Ott, Professor of Ethics at Drew Theological School and the parent of two teenagers, has to say about dress codes and Christian values
- What are we to make of “gender reveal parties”? This article has opinions.
- Want to get to the root around this whole idea of dress codes and gender roles? Check out this piece from Everyday Feminism on “What is Heteronormativy?”
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