Teen Girl Should Not Be Forced to Wear a Bra to Make Other People Feel 'Comfortable'

kaitlyn juvikYet another teen girl is being accused of violating her school's dress code for a suspiciously sexist reason: High school senior Kaitlyn Juvik was allegedly called to her principal's office because she wasn't wearing a bra and it was apparently making "someone in the building" uncomfortable -- even though, as Juvik put it, someone would have to have been "looking VERY hard" to tell she had nothing on under her shirt.

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No word on who that uncomfortable, eagle-eyed "someone" was (let's hope it wasn't a teacher, because the thought of a teacher looking VERY hard at a student's breasts is incredibly disturbing), and no real word on what rule Juvik was breaking (there is no rule in the student handbook at Montana's Helena High School requiring students to wear undergarments, reportedly). So none of this makes very much sense, which is why Juvik refused to cover up or put on a bra when told to do so. 

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As Juvik told MTN News, "What I was confronted about was wrong ... As long as nothing is showing and you’re covered up, girls should not have to wear a bra."

"The fact that I was told it makes people uncomfortable offended me because it’s my body ... It is my natural body and I’m not sure why that is uncomfortable to somebody."

Exactly! And from a photo Juvik posted to Facebook of what she was wearing that day (the post seems to have since been deleted), it looks like Juvik was wearing a loose-fitting black T-shirt, so everything was covered (and her shirt wasn't even tight!). So what was the problem?

Principal Steve Thennis says Juvik wasn't called into his office specifically for not wearing a bra, but just that someone was "uncomfortable" (and Juvik wearing a bra would have been the solution to that discomfort?).

"I’m not going to check student’s undergarments," Thennis told MTN.

"We are going to ask them to dress appropriately and if we feel it is inappropriate, male or female, we are going to ask them to cover up."

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Okay, sure, but not wearing a bra isn't "inappropriate." I mean, it's just not. You can try to argue otherwise, but there is simply no way to go down that rabbit hole of "logic" and land anywhere other than a big pit of misogyny. Seeing a girl or a woman not wearing a bra might be slightly unusual in this day and age and, as such, might cause a split second distraction, but if that distraction turns into discomfort, it's the viewer's problem, not the bra-less subject. And in no way does a student deserve to have her studies interrupted over the decision to not strap herself into the wardrobe equivalent of a torture device for one day. Personally, if my teen daughter got called into the principal's office for making someone "uncomfortable" by not wearing a bra, I would demand to know who that uncomfortable person was -- and why that person was ogling my kid's chest so intensely that their entire level of personal comfort was disrupted. How creepy is that?

I'm not the only person who feels this way, at least. Juvik's mom supports her daughter completely, as do the many fellow students who staged a silent protest in support and also started the Facebook page "No Bra, No Problem." Some male students even got the police called on them for wearing bras over their clothes:

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So here's hoping that these students' efforts and the attention this story is receiving inspires Helena High School's administration -- and the powers-that-be at other schools, too -- to reconsider policies and procedures that shame girls for having bodies, essentially. Also, here's hoping they begin to consider policies and procedures that hold potentially "uncomfortable" people accountable for their own reactions and actions. Our girls and boys deserve that much.

 

Image via ktvq.com

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