Rachel Bunting


Tomorrow is a Spirit Day at my son’s school. The theme is “Mixed Up/Dress Backward Day,” and there were no suggestions or guidelines offered for what types of clothing the administration, PTO and teachers expect to see on the kids tomorrow. I imagine they’re thinking some kids will come in with their shirts and pants on backwards, or with their shoes on the wrong feet or something.

I, on the other hand, have a pretty strong urge to ask my son to wear a dress to school.

Remember this, the entry in which I talk about the PTO’s idea of a gender-based contest where the losers have to dress up as the opposite gender? Well, I still haven’t sent the letter I intend to. I’ve been slowly mulling it over in my head, carefully developing an email that will be both objective and passionate. But tomorrow’s Spirit Day presents an opportunity for me to make the same point in a different fashion.

I would expect that, if Jacob showed up to school in a dress tomorrow, I would be questioned about it by some representative of the school. I also imagine Jacob would get picked on or teased by his classmates, as the school has already presented itself as a place where typical gender roles are enforced and any diversion is a joke.

And I wonder if anyone would understand that if it’s considered inappropriate for a male student to wear a dress on a “Mixed Up” day, then it’s inappropriate for a male teacher to wear a dress as an act of humiliation.

Of course, I won’t actually be suggesting any of this to Jacob. It’s not my place to put him in the middle of my dissatisfaction with the school, and it’s not fair to him. As I said to Donna, I can make my point with words, not with my son.

So it looks like the letter is the best option at this point.

0 Responses

  1. I’d be happy to dress up like a child of yours in inverse gender-stereotypical clothes to prove your point. If I wasn’t in France. And 5’4.

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