We don’t hem women in here

Hemlines are causing a contretemps at  Henderson High School.

. . . Sade Tuttle was rounded up with a group of girls after a uniform inspection at a school assembly, and she says she had no problem with making her school uniform skirt longer until she was told why.

“Basically we were told that the skirts needed to be lowered to below our knees or we would be given detention after school,” she says.

When I was at high school our gym frocks (was there ever a less practical and more unattractive uniform?) were supposed to touch the floor when we knelt.

They often didn’t and we also had to wear a braided girdle our house colour. This we did, slung low on our hips and on some that wasn’t much higher than some of the hems.

Fast forward a few decades and schools were unhappy about the fashion that led to kilts almost at ankle-level.

However, in this story, it’s not the hem length but the explanation for the rule that is causing the controversy:

The reason? Sade says deputy principal Cherith Telford told the group it was to “keep our girls safe, stop boys from getting ideas and create a good work environment for male staff”.

For Sade and her fellow year 11 student, Jazmyn Green, it was those two comments that upset them.

“The rules themselves aren’t the problem; the problem is when these codes target girls specifically because their bodies are sexual and distracting,” says Sade.

Henderson High School is a decile three school in west Auckland. It has gone through a remarkable transformation under the helm of current principal Mike Purcell. . .

Several of the parents that spoke to Newshub believe Mr Purcell is doing a great job, but they’re unhappy with the way the issue of the uniform’s skirt is being handled.

“Henderson High School has rules relating to the wearing of school uniforms,” Mr Purcell says in a statement released to Newshub.

“These rules are not new and all families are made aware of them when they enrol. They include a stipulation that the hemline of female students’ skirts must be on the knee, no higher.

“The uniform is practical for school wear and these rules are regularly enforced to ensure that all students can focus on their learning and feel comfortable in the school environment. . . 

I back a school to have any reasonable rules about a dress code for pupils and the hemline requirement isn’t unreasonable in itself.

But the explanation supposedly given by the DP belongs to other times and places not in 21st century New Zealand. It’s that sort of reasoning that puts women in burkas and neither our culture nor our laws hem women in like that.

If male pupils and teachers are distracted by shorter hems it is they who have and are the problem.

 

57 Responses to We don’t hem women in here

  1. Name Withheld says:

    stop boys from getting ideas and create a good work environment for male staff”.

    Sorry Ms Telford but you are woefully out of touch concerning human behavior. Boys will always “get ideas”, which is natural, and will never be controlled by a dress code. Nor should it.
    Male staff on the other hand…….That seems to be the target here.
    Why? Lack of trust in male staff? Female staff?. What happened to the lefts beloved “gender equality”? Or is it just shifting the blame on to a potential victim as usual?
    Possibly one of the stupidest statements to come from the teaching “profession” and we get to hear plenty of them in the comments here.

  2. Andrei says:

    You are so wrong on this Ele – you dress to the occasion and how you dress says who you are and what your aspirations are

    The reality is in the last years of school both girls and boys are at the peak of their reproductive years and are drawn to one another like opposite poles of a magnet

    I remember a famous occasion when going to a Feast Day Church service with my late mother one darling daughter appeared dressed with bare midriff and balked a covering her head – a famous row ensued – daughter lost 🙂 and complied and to tell the truth looked far more beautiful when she did.

    Its the silly slut walk thing showing up again – if a woman dresses like a prostitute she will get treated like a prostitute

    Its the same for men if you dress in gang insignia trouble will follow you where ever you go but if you dress in a business suit you will get treated with respect.

    Human nature is what it is and dress codes exist to establish boundaries

  3. Name Withheld says:

    Human nature is what it is and dress codes exist to establish boundaries
    Yes but but let the parents decide, as you did, not the schools.
    You’re not a teacher are you by any chance?

  4. Andrei says:

    When children are at school the teachers act in loco parentis Name Withheld.

    No I’m not a teacher , nor ever have been r but I have been the father of three girls along with a son and heir and my issue with schools that they attended was not with teachers taken actions to preserve their honour and chastity rather the converse is these times of utter depravity…

  5. homepaddock says:

    Andrei @ 1:05 – I said the rule wasn’t unreasonable it’s not that I’m debating, it is the reason supposedly given for it that I was criticising.

  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    I totally agree with you, Ele and NW. Not all schools take such an archaic approach to uniforms.I attended a high school in the early seventies where the students set the dress code and when given that responsibility we were actually very conservative.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2015/05/schools-beards-and-civil-society.html

    Children and young adults need to learn to take responsibility for themselves in a mentored and supported way. Dictatorial dress codes are more about becoming subservience than responsibility.

    Teaching young guys to be respectful would be the best approach rather than making it the responsibility of the girls not to appear too attractive.

  7. Andrei says:

    I said the rule wasn’t unreasonable it’s not that I’m debating, it is the reason supposedly given for it that I was criticising.

    But the reason given is the real reason – you just don’t like to admit it

    When people are faced with facts they don’t like and cannot change they get angry and outraged

    When a woman wants to attract a man sexually she dresses in a way that accentuates her child bearing capabilities – draws attention to them – extreme examples would be found in prostitutes whereas if a woman wants to send the message she is off limits she dons the burka or a nuns habit – these things are not accidents or arbitrary cultural artifacts their foundation is in biology.

    Males to attract females demonstrate their athletic prowess and/or wealth – T’was Henry Kissinger who said “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac” It’s why red blooded young men are risk takers and why they die in accidents at a far greater rate than any other segment of the population

    All cultures find ways of managing this biological reality in a way that maximizes successful reproduction while minimizing the harm

    That is why rugby is predominately a male sport and male synchronized swimming is an Olympic event that doesn’t exist one of only two gender specific sports that remain in the Olympics, the other being rhythmic gymnastics.

    It is also why Islam is the worlds fastest growing religion and is taking root in post Christian Europe – indeed many European women seem to prefer robust Muslim males to Godless metrosexuals Post Christian Western culture produces.

    Do you know the story of the Rape of the Sabines?

  8. Andrei says:

    If male pupils and teachers are distracted by shorter hems it is they who have and are the problem.

    Young men being interested in young women is not a bug, it is a feature

    What are the major themes of Anna Karenina Ele?

    It is a great novel – why?

  9. homepaddock says:

    Andrei – Freud said sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, not everything, including the way we dress, is about sex.

    Dressing appropriately for an occasion, be it school, church, shopping, sport, a disco, a ball . . . is about dressing appropriately. This is 21st century NZ, and if boys and men haven’t sufficient self-control to cope with the sight of a girl’s knee it is they, not the dress code, which is the problem.

    “Do you know the story of the Rape of the Sabines?” – vaguely, not enough to understand why you ask the question.

  10. fredinthegrass says:

    “I am the father of three girls and a son and heir…..” oh dear, Andrei. In those few words you reveal much of your character.
    We have four children, and they are all our “heirs”. Their gender is immaterial, they all share in decisions affecting us all, and they have equal say in any ‘assets’ that may be available in years to come.

  11. Andrei says:

    fredinthegrass

    oh dear, Andrei. In those few words you reveal much of your character I was trolling and you bit

    Ele

    Freud said sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, not everything, including the way we dress, is about sex.

    Not sex per se but the persistence of our heritage and culture

    The early Romans needed children to carry on from them and to have children they needed wives. The Sabines wouldn’t allow their daughters to marry the Romans because they feared the Romans would come to dominate them

    So the Romans stole the Sabine women and the Sabines went to war with the Romans to get them back but the Sabine women stopped the war and wanted to remain with their Roman husbands

    Today next to nothing is known of the Sabines but about a third of the worlds population speak a language descended from the first Roman’s mother tongue – Comprende?

    Women are more valuable than men who are more disposable when it comes to cultural transmission – language, values, religion etc

    Example: more than 58.000 Americans died during the Vietnam conflict of these eight were women – a mere eight and only one of these, a nurse who was killed when a field hospital came under mortar attack, was killed by enemy action – one died through suicide and another a heart attack, the rest in mundane accidents

    One triumph of feminism is to see more women killed in combat – do you want to celebrate this?

    Monogamy and chivalry, cultural mores of Christian civilization have been incredibly successful in producing relatively humane societies that have persisted and spread

    But that is not the only game in town and Western civilization, assuming humanity survives may well be supplanted by something else

  12. Andrei says:

    If male pupils and teachers are distracted by shorter hems it is they who have and are the problem.

    Can you be intellectually honest enough to acknowledge that most girls of secondary school age (and older) want the boys to notice them and will dress and act in ways that will attract their attention?

    And that this is perfectly natural

  13. homepaddock says:

    “Can you be intellectually honest enough to acknowledge that most girls of secondary school age (and older) want the boys to notice them and will dress and act in ways that will attract their attention?”

    I’m not sure I can, at least not in a sexual way most of the time, especially for the “and older” ones.

    I am not denying the strength of the desire to be noticed and sexual attraction. But girls and women dress as they do for all sorts of reasons including comfort, what’s practical and appropriate to the time and place, and to give them confidence.

    Thinking the way girls and women dress is always to attract boys and men and that boys and men have so little self control they always see girls and women in a sexual way is to get on the continuum that ends with all men as rapists which is ridiculous.

    Appropriate isn’t just about how much you show – I wore a mid-knee length dress to my aunt’s funeral. I could have worn jeans that would have shown less flesh but I, and my aunt, would not have thought that was appropriate.

    I am saddened by the way sex is so often cheapened, that sex at a young age and without love is normalised.

    I am also not impressed when sex is dragged in where it has no place, and that includes as a reason for determining the appropriate length of a school uniform.

    P.S. The very little I know about Madonna doesn’t tempt me to learn more and I haven’t ever knowingly listened to any of her music.

  14. TraceyS says:

    At high school I always wanted a shorter skirt because I wanted to attract boys, definitely. That would have been the primary reason – and I had a boyish figure so things needed helping along (now if only I could get that figure back!) It was a safe environment to do this within. It was safe to experiment in this way – particularly for me because none of the boys were even remotely interested.

    After leaving school I soon realised that it sometimes wasn’t a good idea to wear a short skirt etc so started dressing more conservatively and still do. If I wear a short skirt nowadays it is always with opaque tights. I would have adopted that practice from about the age of 18.

    I absolutely hate attention (either male or female) being drawn towards my ‘bits’. Other people (both women and men) like it and I think that is fine for them. They are free to express themselves using clothing and should be aware of the responses it might elicit. Both good and bad. But in the case of this school, the deputy principal is likewise allowed to express her views about the reasons for the uniform rules. As long as the girls are free to openly disagree and provide counter views (without necessarily leading to changing the rules) then I don’t have a problem. If the deputy principal’s views are inconsistent with the values of the school then that is a matter which is between herself and the school management. It’s not the role of the public to judge that she was out of line even if we personally don’t share her views.

    Sending the message that people should not speak particular views is not really any different to the message which says “you shouldn’t dress that way”. They are both forms of expression and should be allowed in a free society provided they do no harm to anyone.

    I agree with Andrei on this one in tenet even though I do not agree with the words and style of expression he has used. I’m guessing that Andrei and I would probably have different forms of dress expression too!

    I respect that Andrei has a style of expression which is uniquely his. It doesn’t for one moment make me feel like there is a problem with my expression or that I should change anything about it. There is a lesson here and it has nothing to do with sex. Or maybe it does….?

  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    Andrei, you don’t seem to understand that sexual urges are natural and the mores around acceptable behaviours are culturally constructed. To use dress codes to moderate sexual behaviour is just surface nonsense because the really important things to address are the respectful behaviours between people, emotional maturity and safe sexual practices.

    Anything to do with clothing is just artificial nonsense, in pre Victorian times even an exposed ankle was deemed sexually titillating. I would even go as far to say that it is what you cover that causes issues as it creates more mystery and intrigue. We even have the bizarre western idea that the female nipple is obscene and the male nipple isn’t.

    What concerns me more than anything is the easy availability of pornography that promotes abusive and disrespectful behaviour and objectifies women. The media focus on celebrities, who then become role models (like Madonna), is also unhelpful.

    As I said earlier, there is more to be gained by working with students in developing a collaborative dress code rather than dictating something (for their own good). Students are more likely to change their behaviour when they have had an opportunity to engage with the decision making process and be treated respectfully too. Teaching subservience is not a good pathway to independence and becoming a responsible adult.

  16. TraceyS says:

    “Teaching young guys to be respectful would be the best approach rather than making it the responsibility of the girls not to appear too attractive.”

    We can teach young guys to be respectful by demonstrating respect. Respect for the views and choices of others. So one day when they are told “no” or “go away” they won’t challenge the legitimacy or the right of the other to hold this view or make that choice and so they will abide, and even uphold, the integrity of free will despite their own disappointment or disagreement.

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I agree young boys and young men need to have role models modeling respectful behaviour. This was an important element in Celia Lashlie’s work in the Good Man Project.

    Sadly we have around 20% of young boys growing up in homes where there isn’t a male role model and in families where fathers are around domestic violence is a huge issue.

    It is a sad world when the likes of Donald Trump can potentially be President of the United States with his reputation regarding women.

  18. Andrei says:

    Andrei, you don’t seem to understand that sexual urges are natural and the mores around acceptable behaviours are culturally constructed.

    But I do understand this Dave Kennedy and it is what I have been saying all along

    Prostitutes soliciting for “tricks” do not wear burkas and a
    John” on the prowl would not approach one so attired.

    Respect is something that is earned Dave Kennedy – it cannot be demanded – if a girl wants respect she must dress and behave in a way that will gain it

    Compare the two videos above of the Duchess of Cambridge and Madonna, which of these two women do you respect the more?

    And what do you think of this – the epitome of feminine beauty in my eyes?

  19. Mr E says:

    Interesting discussion.

    Thinking aloud (allowed)- and being somewhat of a devils advocate, I feel a little sorry for the Deputy Principle.

    I think a questioning or curious mind could inevitably challenge nearly any adult to come to the answer that the Deputy Principle gave. That doesn’t mean the right response was given for the situation. It means I don’t think what was said was completely incorrect.

    Lets be clear, both males and females can dress in ways that will gain more attention from peers. Irrespective of who they are, it is possible for anyone to dress to gain attention. Not necessarily sexual attention. Just attention.

    Unfortunately the Deputy Principle narrowed attention down to the sexual motive.

    I guess for females, hemline is not only about attracting others. Comfort, feeling good about oneself, getting a tan etc etc. Often the reasons are non sexual.

    But it is a truth to know that certain dress will attract attention. Sexual or otherwise. That is human nature.

    My view is school kids should not be confronted with these pressures. The teacher should have generalised as to why a dress code is the right thing to do. Not why a high hemline is the wrong thing to do.

    By narrowing it down to a sexual theme, concerning messages have be given to influential minds.

    On the other hand by generalising I think the teacher would be avoiding the truth – or part thereof. And it is of concern that we need to shelter teens from the truth.

    There is no easy answer in this situation. For that reason I feel sorry for the Teacher.

  20. Mr E says:

    I think of greater concern is why a matter like this has made it to public scrutiny and not dealt with internally.

    Has our discipline system changed so greatly that kids run to the media to influence control?

    Why is back stabbing the new norm?

    I am not against kids in the media. Nor am I against activism. But I do have to wonder about the motive in this situation.

    ‘I’m not happy with what my teacher said – so I will go to the media’

  21. Name Withheld says:

    It is a sad world when the likes of Donald Trump can potentially be President of the United States with his reputation regarding women.

    WOW!

    Off topic much?
    Next thing you will be calling out Bill Clinton on “his reputation regarding women.”……………………..Or maybe not……………..
    its OK when the left do it.
    “It is a sad world when”… the likes of you bring your leftist political views into a topic regarding skirt length.
    good grief!

  22. Dave Kennedy says:

    “if a girl wants respect she must dress and behave in a way that will gain it”

    Andrei, based on whose dress standards?

    NW, perhaps you aren’t aware of Trumps focus on female looks and sexuality in his rebuttal against women who challenge his points of view? Sadly US culture has an influence on our society too (in terms of dress and behaviour), I’m sorry that you didn’t see the logical link.

  23. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Has our discipline system changed so greatly that kids run to the media to influence control?”

    Mr E, It could also occur because they have no way of being heard within their school environment. Anyway isn’t this what they see happening in the real world too? Back stabbing and media manipulation is what they see adults and our political leaders do all the time. My son was a youth MP a few years ago and their respectful behaviour and high level discussions were superior to a normal session of Question Time in the house.

    Education about rights and responsibilities is really important, but to achieve that students still need to feel that their voices are heard. Young people can be impulsive and lack experience, but they’re not stupid.

  24. Name Withheld says:

    I’m sorry that you didn’t see the logical link.
    Don’t be sorry…there is no “logical link”
    I’m sorry, but not surprised, that you believe everything you read on a US Presidential hopeful.
    But let us try and stay on topic eh?

  25. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, I thought it was Ele’s responsibility to rule on the relevance of comments, I hadn’t realised that you were her little policeman 😉

    Read and learn!
    http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/mystery-republican-women-backing-sexist-trump-theyre-female-misogynists-whove-grown

  26. Name Withheld says:

    Read and learn!
    Nope…Won’t be reading that. Sleaze may excite your tiny mind, but I am not in the least interested

  27. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, that is the best approach to to ensure that your one eyed view of the world isn’t challenged, don’t read the opposing arguments 😉

  28. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Why are you trying to divert this topic toward Donald Trump, and the Greens poor performance at question time?

  29. Andrei says:

    For goodness sakes Dave Kennedy – would you rather your daughters used the Duchess of Cambridge as a role model or Madonna?

    It’s as simple as that

  30. Dave Kennedy says:

    “It’s as simple as that”
    No it isn’t, the Duchess of Cambridge has little self determination any longer and her every public appearance is managed. Are you meaning her public image (playing cricket in a conservative dress and high heels) or her actual beliefs and personality (which may be worthy of emulation, but who would know)?

    Or Madonna, who has constructed a financially successful life through being a strong minded woman and challenging perceptions of what women can achieve. Madonna has not had a stable personal life (from all accounts) but has lived her life under her own terms.

    One woman is subservient to the expectations of her royal role and public expectations and the other has created her own image within a the world of pop culture. What is the more honest life? Who is the the most personally successful?

    The truth is I would rather my daughter (I have only one, currently in her 3rd year studying psychology and Spanish at uni) didn’t use either as a role model.

  31. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Why are you trying to divert this topic toward Donald Trump, and the Greens poor performance at question time?”

    No diversion, Mr E, neither was my intent, but it is definitely yours 😉

  32. TraceyS says:

    “One woman is subservient to the expectations of her royal role and public expectations and the other has created her own image within a the world of pop culture.”

    Oh for goodness sake Dave! How can you be so blind?

    One woman is subservient to the expectations of her pop star role and fans’ expectations and the other has created her own image within a world of royal culture.

    See?

    Madonna has created and re-created herself, and the re-created herself again, in order to keep her fans interested. I can admire her success in this even if I don’t like the creation. She is one heck of a survivor.

    The point is that she had to do this in order to ensure her continued popularity. It was a choice between this and eventual obscurity. If that’s not subservience what is? You may choose to see it as a business decision but that’s just framing.

    “the Duchess of Cambridge has little self determination…”. That’s also framing – and it is equally wrong. Choosing such an unusual life for the sake of love would take a great deal of self determination. I’m sure that she had a very good idea of what she was getting into. But perhaps you consider that this was an arranged marriage where she had little or no choice? Or maybe you are assuming that she didn’t know her own mind or lacked the ability to intelligently weigh up her options?

    Maybe, just maybe, female self determination must fit your male paradigm in order to be recognised by you. If it doesn’t fit then you’re free to judge her as subservient, right? When in fact your judgement of her choices owes more to gaps in your understanding…of which you are totally ignorant.

    Put down your woman’s weekly and have a wee think about it.

  33. TraceyS says:

    “What is the more honest life?

    Taking off clothes (or most of them) in public gives the impression of not hiding anything, of baring all, or of not fearing exposure. This may also give the impression of superficial honesty.

    But really your consideration of Madonna as having the more “honest life” has more to do with a rush of endorphins to your brain which you don’t get from looking at the fully-clothed Duchess of Cambridge.

    Madonna knows this. I guess when she makes people wait and wait to see her perform she is testing out the strength of this effect.

  34. Paranormal says:

    Interestingly no one has commented on why the DP made the comments. It has to do with creating a safe work environment as they are required to under legislation. Health & safety doing its best yet again.

  35. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, i was thinking above the mere physical level where you are focussed and was considering of who was most likely to be living the life they determined for themselves. I wouldn’t say that I support Madonna’s values, but she makes the life choices for herself, however flawed, and the Duchess has fewer choices after agreeing to marry into the royal family.

    You have definitely lowered the tone of the discussion by referring to what you believe are my sexual predilections. I’d rather you didn’t and focussed on what level of freedom young woman should have over their choices of clothing and how best to mentor healthy decisions.

    You are best not to assume what my thoughts are (so many crazy assumptions) when all it does is reveal your own sad bias.

    You should know by now that I strongly support equity for women and respectful treatment while you enthusiastically defend National’s patriarchal culture.

    You don’t know what you are talking about when you suggest that Madonna has to use use her sexuality to keep her fans interested, that is her choice to take that approach, many female singers are successful without doing that (Nora Jones, Celine Dion, Haley Westenra…).

  36. Will says:

    Those artists have different talents, Jones is a composer, Westenra can sing, Dion…? at the end of her career anyway. Madonna went a long way with remarkably little ability but a lot of determination.

    You imply the the Duchess has limited choices but that is rubbish of course, she is not a slave. The role she chose comes with high behavioral standards but she could always leave it if she chose.

  37. Name Withheld says:

    Interestingly no one has commented on why the DP made the comments. It has to do with creating a safe work environment as they are required to under legislation. Health & safety doing its best yet again.
    The most sensible suggestion so far.

    For goodness sakes Dave Kennedy – would you rather your daughters used the Duchess of Cambridge as a role model or Madonna?
    If you asked me Andrei, my answer would be…..Neither.
    I have no time for the cult of celebrity, be it chaste and virtuous, or wicked.
    My wish, if I was granted one, for a role model for my Grandaughter, would be her grandmother.

  38. Andrei says:

    My wish, if I was granted one, for a role model for my Grandaughter, would be her grandmother.

    Carve those words in stone

    That is the whole point of family – your culture, heritage, language and religion is passed down through the generations through family bonds formed by the sacred institution of marriage.

    And people like Madonna subvert that

    And so do irresponsible politicians who rewrite marriage laws to pander to noisy, rich childless, urban yuppies – people for whom how they achieve sexual gratification is the central point of their empty shallow lives

  39. Mr E says:

    I don’t wish any role models on my children.

    I do my best to install good values knowing that leads to good choices. They get to choose who their role models are.

    I care not whether it is a half nude signer, or a completely covered princess.

    Where I would care is the selection of a proven immoral person. I don’t consider Madonna to be in that camp.

    In fact I admire Madonna. I tend to see past her version of an art form, and admire passion, work ethic, intelligence and the success that comes from there.

    Madonna is an artist, and the human body has been used in art for centuries. A lot of Christian art uses a fair amount of nudity.

    As the story goes, Adam and Eve were just fine nude – until little Mr Devil can along. According to Christian belief nudity was as it was meant to be.

    As far as I am concerned – clothing standards are established by the public. As time progresses, clothing standards do change, but I don’t think greatly. Parents seem to have significant influence, and largely maintain a standard.

    If I don’t like something I see I can look away. I teach my children the same.

    In the interest of education, I think school yards need standards. I’m happy to see uniforms. I think they mean less time and effort is not wasted considering what is ok.

    If teachers don’t understand the reasoning behind uniforms, they need to be bought up to speed.

  40. Dave Kennedy says:

    Andrei, I agree with your concerns regarding the injustices within conflicts around the world but I do not accept your support of dictatorially established hemlines and governments making decisions around who people should marry.

    Will, the Duchess thing is a distraction, I should have just said what NW said, my daughter’s grandmothers would also be good role models. However I disagree with Andrei’s interpretation of marriage. I chose to marry (not a religious ceremony) because it is a public declaration and celebration of commitment. Strong and healthy families exist without marriage and damaging dysfunctional families exist through marriage.

    I know great families that are based around same sex couples and some function well despite remarriage occurring. The bottom line within any family should that they respect and care for each other. Most prisoners and those who clog up our courts and need state support have not received consistent caring and support from a stable family background. I wish Anne Tolley all the best with her new approach to providing state support for the most vulnerable children, dictating hemlines will probably not feature in her plans.

  41. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I agree with much that you said about Madonna (although she is a distraction in this thread) but when it comes to uniforms we need to be clear what the purpose is. For some schools it provides a practical way of dressing children for school as it can be a social leveler and remove debates about what to wear.

    On the down side it can be very expensive for those who financially struggle and can be used as a form of control. I have known children who were punished and publicly shamed because they had lost an item of their uniform and their parents couldn’t immediately afford a replacement. In some schools children can be excluded from the learning environment for a non regulation hem length or wearing the wrong shoes. In the same schools children are allowed to remain in the classroom despite violent and disrespectful behaviour and not wearing the right uniform is considered a worse offense than treating another badly, in those cases I would question the values concerned.

  42. Mr E says:

    Andrei,
    Some of your remarks seem very unchristian to me.

    The book of Luke describes events where a ‘sinful’ woman anointed, Jesus. The home owner and Pharisee, challenged Jesus, and all Jesus could show was compassion, kindness and forgiveness for the ‘sinful’ woman. To him, she showed more love than the Pharisee and was an equal.

    This seems vastly different from your judgemental comments. Talk of ‘sluts’ and earning respect. I don’t get it.

  43. TraceyS says:

    Similar to Mr E, I simply want my children to grow up to be her own persons.

    I was given that opportunity by my parents and thank goodness too because some of my role models, in fact most of them, were terrible!

    Something that no one has yet considered (or possibly have and just don’t want to say) is that shorter hemlines will do nothing to enhance the attractiveness of the greater percentage of high school girls these days.

    It may be a contentious thing to say but possibly the schools desire to keep reasonable length skirts consistent in the uniform is protection or guidance from an altogether different angle?

  44. TraceyS says:

    *their* own persons

  45. TraceyS says:

    Mr E, Andrei mentioned the “Slut Walk”. I don’t think it was him who named the event that…

    I was asked by a friend to go on the walk but I declined. It is an awful title.

  46. Andrei says:

    I do not accept your support of dictatorially established hemlines and governments making decisions around who people should marry

    eh?

    The age of majority in New Zealand is eighteen Dave Kennedy and until that age is attained parents (and schools in loco parentis) have authority over children – which includes “dictatorially establishing what they should wear.

    And when you perform your functions as a school teacher you too are required to dress the part

    You wouldn’t wear speedos and nothing else while teaching class would you?

    And if you did your superiors might have something to say on the matter don’t you think?

    And as for Governments making decisions as to who can marry whom where have I ever asked for that?

    There are people who you cannot marry, your mother for example but that list is small and the reasons for these prohibitions and taboos are obvious to most sane people

    Strong and healthy families exist without marriage and damaging dysfunctional families exist through marriage.

    True enough but under current New Zealand legislation a couple who cohabit for two years or more are deemed to be married and attract all the rights, responsibilities and liabilities of those who have undertaken a more formal marriage so that is irrelevant.

    We are all constrained to some extent as to what we can and cannot do and this is necessary for society to function.

    Social mores and customs are not arbitrary they have evolved because they work to make our coexistence, interaction and cooperation with other people flow more freely

  47. Andrei says:

    The book of Luke describes events where a ‘sinful’ woman anointed, Jesus. The home owner and Pharisee, challenged Jesus, and all Jesus could show was compassion, kindness and forgiveness for the ‘sinful’ woman. To him, she showed more love than the Pharisee and was an equal.

    This seems vastly different from your judgemental comments. Talk of ‘sluts’ and earning respect. I don’t get it.

    Tracey already answered the slut walk thing – its an event designed to be provocative – I didn’t name it

    As for being judgmental
    Matthew 7

    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    Andrew Little does not seem to have earned the respect of many of the commenters here – are they being unchristian?

  48. Mr E says:

    “Andrew Little does not seem to have earned the respect of many of the commenters here – are they being unchristian?”

    There are levels of respect. I respect Andrew Little for the title he has earned. The hard work.
    I don’t agree with some of his view, but I respect the man.

    If people are being disrespectful, I think they could be acting un -Christian like. Don’t you?

  49. Dave Kennedy says:

    Andrei, you are wrong on a number of points, teachers no longer have the ‘loco parentis’ authority, but are bound by school policy, health and safety and their professional standards.

    The state has deemed 17 year olds as adults and that is when state support has ended and those under the CYFs umbrella are left to fend for themselves.

    Appropriate dress in most professions is determined by practicality and cultural norms and I have never taught in a school that required strict adherence to set rules for teachers’ dress.

    This debate is about the justification for specified clothing rules and your value judgements about what a prostitute would wear etc appear to be shaped by your own personal values. I agree that being aware of societies’ norms and expectations around clothing is important but clothing should not be used as a vehicle to manage human interactions in the ways described. Values come through what is mentored and taught regarding behaviour not through forcing dress codes on people.

    I agree with your last sentence.

  50. Mr E says:

    Also in the book of Matthew

    “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”

    “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven”

    I’m heading off topic. And quoting the bible.
    Apologies folks.

    I’ll exit this thread.

  51. Dave Kennedy says:

    I understand that it may be seen as politicising, but the following link is the best one I know that describes the importance of recognising the Christian values that probably formed the basis of Christ’s teaching (it is one of the most most viewed speeches in Parliament). Teaching subservience and growing personal wealth through exploiting others does not feature.

  52. Name Withheld says:

    I understand that it may be seen as politicising,
    Most of what you write can be classed as that. Your paper thin transparency is quite humorous.

    It is a sad world when the likes of Donald Trump can potentially be President of the United States with his reputation regarding women.
    Back stabbing and media manipulation is what they see adults and our political leaders do all the time.
    Most prisoners and those who clog up our courts and need state support have not received consistent caring and support from a stable family background. I wish Anne Tolley all the best with her new approach to providing state support for the most vulnerable children, dictating hemlines will probably not feature in he plans.
    On the down side it can be very expensive for those who financially struggle and can be used as a form of control. I have known children who were punished and publicly shamed because they had lost an item of their uniform and their parents couldn’t immediately afford a replacement.

    …………………….To quote a few examples.

    Who’s the guy in the video. “Works” for Greenpeace doesn’t he?

  53. Andrei says:

    Dave Kennedy I’ll see your video and raise it 🙂

  54. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, a proper debate is when some one presents a view or an idea and another counters it with a reasoned argument. When you actually participated, I agreed with you.

    Making value judgements about my comments without substantive reason is nonsense. I put up Russel’s speech because of the content, not who he is (a risk in this blog, I accept). What aspects of his speech did you disagree with? Or did you object to it because of the person presenting it? Did you watch it?

    The video you put up is interesting with regards to persecution. However I think the focus needs to be around Christian values not necessarily supporting organised religion. Terrible things have also occurred within organised religions and in God’s name.

  55. Name Withheld says:

    Modesty and decorum in the classroom……………..
    Cuts both ways

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