Aniya Wolf Doesn’t Need Your Silly Prom. She and Her Dapper Tuxedo Will Go Elsewhere.
Thank you to William Penn High School. We had a great time! It was most definitely a memorable night. pic.twitter.com/fuvUKk4I20
— Aniya Wolf (@AniyaWolf) May 22, 2016
Even worse than school policies that make LGBTQIA or gender non-conformists of any kind feel marginalized is when those policies are so arbitrary and hypocritical that if actually, fully enforced would negatively affect other populations as well! Let’s check out what recently happened to high school senior Aniya Wolf.
Wolf attends Bishop McDevitt High School, a Catholic high school in Harrisburg, PA. When prom time started to roll around, she was forced to deal with not one, but two dress codes, one of which, she says, was given exclusively to her. Wolf explained herself and the situation on her Facebook page:
“Clarification is key to this story. I am a practicing Catholic, and I live out God’s teachings. I hands down love my teachers, I feel as if they have given me an excellent education, they have never frowned upon the way I present myself.
I was presented with not one but two dress codes. The first dress code I was presented with stated that ‘dresses must be formal’ followed by guidelines for a dress but not explicitly stating a dress MUST be worn. This is the dress code my mother and I signed, it stated nothing about women wearing suits NOT to mention females have worn suits in the past according to alumni. No Bishop McDevitt student got an email of the dress code that was ‘supposedly’ sent out on March 9th and March 6th, I asked everyone I know to check their emails, and there was nothing there.
The day of prom my mom got a new dress code stating that you need to be wearing a ‘formal dress.’ This dress code was presented to just me.
I’m over the situation, but I cannot just sit back and watch this administration completely try to cover up what actually happened.
I’m sorry for all those who feel like they have been victims of hatred throughout this incident, but the truth needs to be heard.
God doesn’t make mistakes, he makes people out of his image and likeness. But honestly who is Bishop McDevitt to judge?”
Meanwhile, the school doesn’t deny that they gave her her own private dress code, but they do stress that they gave her three months notice. Gee, thanks?
— Sean Simmers (@SeanSimmers) May 22, 2016
So, when she showed up to the prom in the tuxedo she’d gotten for the occasion after having worn pants as part of her uniform as a student, and after having always presented in a more masculine way throughout her studies, she was turned away because she wasn’t wearing a dress.
So this weekend, she attended the prom at William Penn High School in York, Pennsylvania instead, having been invited by its principal, Brandon Carter, when he heard about what had happened. And she looked amazing.
— Samantha Galvez (@SamanthaRGalvez) May 22, 2016
There are several problems with Bishop McDevitt’s policy aside from the main problem of forcing gender-based rules on people. First, there’s the fact that other students never received the second dress code that Wolf was sent, so this was a unfairly targeting one student. Secondly, that student had never been targeted before, and had only worn pants throughout school as her school uniform. Hypocrisy, much?
Third, girls wear pants. Like all the time. Whether they’re presenting in a more masculine fashion or not. Because thanks to Patriarchy, women wearing pants is totally fine, while men wearing feminine attire is still frowned upon. Traditionally, girls buy prom dresses, but women wear pant suits to fancy events all the time. So….were female chaperones at the prom also not allowed to wear pant suits if they chose? Because the policy didn’t specify tuxedos. It just said that girls have to wear dresses.
Prom should not be a time for a school to enforce arbitrary gender rules on kids that couldn’t care less. It should be a last hurrah for high school seniors to spend with their friends while they look their best whatever they deem their best to be. That’s the tradition worth upholding.
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