A mom from Minnesota has been left appalled after her 5-year-old daughter was sent to the nurse's office to change because her dress was "inappropriate." She decided to raise a discussion about the issue and included photos of her daughter's outfit.
Gender stereotypes have always been harmful.
via: GettyThe restrictive gender rules set by society have caused damage in modern society, especially to those who have ventured outside of them.
At first, those activists were shunned.
via: GettyAnd now, very slowly, things are starting to change.
But there's one place this change is happening much slower.
via: GettyIn schools.
While we hear a lot of stories about the breaking of gender stereotypes in other areas...
via: GettySchools have always been branded as "biased" with most establishments using a dress code that unfairly targets girls.
And this is exactly what happened to a 5-year-old in Minnesota.
via: GettyA mother had been left outraged after her daughter was sent to the nurse's office to change because of an "inappropriate" dress, even though most other people agreed that it was nothing close to the sort.
But dress codes, along with other rules, are already determined from a young age...
via: GettyWhen it comes to little boys and girls, many things are immediately decided for them, including what they'll like playing with and what they'll wear.
So little girls are often seen wearing pink and playing with dolls...
via: GettyWhile boys are kitted out in blue and play with cars and action figures.
This has been the norm for decades now...
via: GettyBut where did these stereotypes come from?
Decades of research by the University of Maryland historian Jo Paoletti suggests that up until the 1950s, chaos reigned when it came to the colors of gender.
via: Getty"There was no gender-color symbolism that held true everywhere," Paoletti told Life's Little Mysteries. Because the pink-for-a-girl, blue-for-a-boy social norms only set in during the 20th century in the United States, they cannot possibly stem from any evolved differences between boys' and girls' favorite colors, Paoletti has argued.
The whole gender color code is certainly fueled by modern-day marketing.
via: GettyThings such as baby books, congratulations cards, birthday cards, clothing, and gifts are extremely influenced by the boy-girl color code. Can you imagine an "It's a Boy!" card in pink?
But now we're living in 2020, things are starting to change.
via: GettyWe're living in an era of gender fluidity and the LGBTQ+ community is bigger than ever!
Gender stereotypes are now fully being questioned...And now that so many people identify as non-binary, meaning they don't assign themselves a gender, the whole "blue and pink" debate is now bigger than ever.
Why should little boys be expected to play with trucks and wear blue?
via: GettyAnd why can't little girls play with cars if they want to and wear t-shirts with dinosaurs on them?
The stereotypes surrounding gender are starting to loosen slightly...
via: ShutterstockBut that doesn't mean incidents of unfair bias don't continue to happen.
One mom from Minnesota was forced to speak out after her daughter was sent out of her lesson for her clothing choice...
via: FacebookEmily Whitlow sent her daughter to school wearing a special summer dress that was gifted to her by her grandma, but picked her up wearing a totally different outfit. Keep scrolling for all the pictures.
Taking to Facebook, she wrote this:
via: Facebook"Now, I knew the weather would be nice today. I sent her to school with a light sweater over her dress and jeans underneath of it. It’s a new dress that her grandma got her and she really wanted to wear it. we live in Minnesota and having 65-degree weather in April a week after a snowstorm is everything to us in the Midwest. So, I thought “yeah it will be nice out you can wear a dress."
via: Facebook"And that was the end of my thinking. It didn’t occur to me that an adult would look at my 5-year-old child and think that wearing a dress was inappropriate. She was told that she needed to leave class and go to the nurse's office. "The nurse told her that she needed to cover her body and made her put on this T-shirt."
Then the mom clarified why she was making this post:
via: Facebook"I am not making this post to bash the school or say anything bad. I’m making this post to raise some discussion. As a mother, how am I supposed to teach my daughter to love and celebrate her body when she has people telling her she 'needs privacy.'"
"What exactly is private about a 5-year-old's shoulders?" She asked.
via: Facebook"Why is it ok to put my daughter's bare shoulders before her education? Why was her dress looked at as an inappropriate outfit to begin with? She is 5 why is she being sexualized?" These are some very important questions.
Abd of course, the incident really upset the young girl too.
via: Facebook"I asked her when I picked her up “why are you wearing a T-shirt?" She said, “I was told I had to put something on because I need privacy." I then asked, “how did that make you feel when they told you that?" "She started bawling."
And if things weren't already bad enough, Emily also added this:
via: Facebook"She was excited to wear that dress to school and show her friends and play in it on the playground. She said to me 'I don’t know why they told me I couldn’t wear my dress it was super embarrassing.'"
"How do I teach a little girl that what she wears and her appearance is not nearly as important as her education and self-development when things like this happen?"
via: FacebookUpon reading about the incident, a debate was sparked online with many people providing valid points on each side.
Here are the photos:
via: FacebookThis is the dress Emily's 5-year-old daughter went to school wearing. As you can see, she's even wearing jeans underneath.
And here's what she came home wearing:
via: FacebookSo the big deal was the little girl's shoulders? What a mess. Let's just hope the school re-thinks their rigid policies.
Keep scrolling for more news on how another mom decided to call a store out for their labels...
via: GettyYou go, mom!