Girl Kicked Out of Prom Because Male Chaperones Think She's Too Hot

clare ettinger dress A 17-year-old senior from Chesterville, Virginia named Clare Ettinger is fighting back after being asked to leave a prom organized for homeschooled students. The offense: Male adult chaperones were afraid her "dancing was too provocative" and she was "going to cause the young men at the prom to think impure thoughts." Even though the young woman protested that she was wearing a dress that adhered to the "fingertip length" dress code, she and five friends she'd carpooled with were forced to leave the dance.

In the wake of the incident, Clare blogged about her experience, writing, "The whole situation made me feel violated, walked over and ostracized." So wrong -- and such a heinous example of how parents are often reinforcing twisted values and standards that put the onus of preventing harassment and rape on young women instead of where it truly belongs.

This sort of behavior on the part of adults is horrifyingly cowardly. And it's sad proof that there are still too many parents having the wrong conversations -- with one another and their children. We need to be telling our daughters that it's not at all THEIR fault if someone else has no self-control or is objectifying them. Our sons need to hear that it's their responsibility to control themselves and a young woman's dress is NEVER an invitation for negativity, harassment, or abuse.

More from The Stir: Boys' Sexist 'Game' for Choosing Prom Dates Is Cool With the School (VIDEO)

It's not a long-shot to think that this sort of treatment of a young woman for Clare sets a dangerous, severely antiquated precedent that says it's a woman's responsibility to "cover up" and prevent men from acting on their desires. A precedent for saying it's a woman's fault if she gets raped. As disturbing as it is, that's what Clare's appalling experience boils down to. At least we can take heart that she's speaking out -- and hopefully, it will inspire others to, as well.

How have you discussed harassment and rape with your teen?

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Barbi2 Barbi2

The pic is the girl's pic from her page, I understand --and it doesn't look so bad here.    I do think it's possible for someone's clothes to be inappropriate --and their dancing.   Oprah even had a show on lewd sex acts occuring on the dance floor at proms in Chicago and she and audience were outraged at administration failure in these cases --and my husband had a pt. tell him about some oral sex line-ups at a suburban school dance.   Hard to believe.  In those cases, where were the chaperones?  There ARE chaperones at dances for reasons --and home schoolers are very conservative parents as it is,  usually religious.  Would have been better for a mom chaperone to pull the girl aside and ask her to "tone it down" if she was being lewd in any way rather  than to send the car-load home.        But teaching modesty to girls (and boys)  and teaching them not to be "stumbling blocks to weaker brethren --or sistern"  is good parenting --it does not lay blame on girls or remove rapists' blame even  if rape victims were dressed like hookers.  

Barbi2 Barbi2

(cont.) Of course we must tell boys and men that no matter what, they have no right to rape--no justification.  And that they can get blamed if they misread signals and think she meant "yes."  It's  not surprising that some boys might mis-read signals --when good girls dress like hookers --and behave as though they WANT what HE can't help but at least WANT himself -- Sex.  NO matter how women dress or behave, it gives no excuse for rape --it gives no excuse even for PRE-MARITAL OR EXTRA-MARITAL SEX.    Religious Home-schooled parents teach their boys to wait for marriage and stay faithful --and  they want the girls to behave chastely, too, so as not to provide temptation.  Both girls and boys have obligations --but nothing about the girl gives a boy a righteous icense to force himself on anyone.    Teaching girls they have a responsibility to be modest is not the same as  blaming them when men sin.

Lily Tejada

its sad she lost that memory for ever, I found more photos of her here its good that she is raising her voice, kuddos!

Lucki... Luckicharmz

Strange because it was the male parents oggling her not the other teenage boys, and her friends left with her because they did not agree with her being kicked out. They themselves weren't kicked out. Maybe read the whole original story through a few times first?

Jennifer Branson

This is a homeschool dance, speaking from a homeschool group perspective, many parents homeschool to maintain religious ideals and help their children fight temptation and stay pure. This was handled poorly! But I can understand the sentament, while it is not her responsibility to control others thoughts and sinful desires, it is all of ours duties to help each other, in a religious environment, fight temptation. For a woman that is being modest, I am not saying unfashionable or wearing a sack! I am not saying she should have been kicked out, but I am saying this was handled badly and there are two sides to every story.

nonnyof3 nonnyof3

Okay, yes we need to teach our sons that rape is NEVER okay. But shouldn't we also be teaching our daughters that the way they conduct themselves leaves others with an impression of them? I don't think it was a matter of how she was dressed ( I really don't see much wrong with the dress ) but a matter of her behavior. She was dancing too provocatively. That was apparently against the rules, therefore she was asked to leave. I'd be willing to bet that she was given warnings too. This would be a completely different story had it been a young man that was asked to leave for the same reason. Bottom line, if you don't want people to think of and treat you like a slut, then don't behave like one. Had she not been behaving inappropriately she would not have been asked to leave.

bookl... booklover74

This religious freakout style is not the norm for homeschoolers anymore. Conservative religious homeschooling, where the focus of the schooling is the religion, hasn't been the norm or typical of homeschoolers for 20 years.Sadly pockets of them do exist and make lots of noise attempting to dominate homeschooling, particularly in the midwest and deep south.

It's fairly telling and more than a bit gross that it was the adult males that were thinking of this girls clothing as suggestive and that it would give others impure thoughts (probably because they were having them and needed to blame someone).  It was wrong of the adults in this situation to behave this way.  They put rules in place for clothing and she followed them. If the adults didn't like her dance moves then they should tell her, not blame her  for their  twisted thoughts,and send her packing.


continued in comments.


bookl... booklover74


When religious folks behave, think and say these things it sends a host of negative thoughts and permissions. It  sends a clear message to males, that they are not to blame for their sexual thoughts, they are not in control of their sexual thoughts or acts, women are the ones they should blame for this. Because they are not in charge of any of this then they aren't to be blamed when bad things happen. It tells women that when bad things happen, it's probably at least some of their fault. what were they wearing, were they too flirty, too close to often to the guy, did they let their guard down and have an alchoholic drink or go to a private area with a man or make out to heavy with a guy all of these messages re pure barf and wrong. Each person is in control of and responsible for their own thoughts and actions and should act accordingly. Nobodys clothes make males do anything!

The adults at this prom were simply wrong in every way.

san33 san33

As a mom of teenage boys I have to first say there is no controling what they think. However, they can and should be expected to control how they act and what they say. I also believe it is a girl/woman's responsibility to control the way people see her. I expect my son's to treat a girl with respect and dignity. And I expect her to act like she deserves his respect. And really everyone is upset because a man told her she was behaving inappropriately?! He was a chaperone! He did what he was suppose to be there for! Just because he is a man doesn't mean he is a dirty minded idiot. Pretty sure if he was there he was someone's father that was also attending the party. Maybe she was wearing an appropriate dress and she was dancing appropriately, just not appropriately for her dress. Sometimes a really cute modest dress can become something totally different on the dance floor.

Really what it comes down to is unless you were there you can't really say either side is right. But this man was trusted to chaperone so he shouldn't have a moral check because he did his job. And yes boys should be responsible for their actions but on the same note girls should be aware of how they are coming across. You get respect by earning it! Act and dress the way you want people to treat you.

kisse... kisses5050

 If dancing a "certain way"didnt give men"ideas" then many strip joints would be out of business. There are ways of dancing that are not "suggestive"or "lewd"  girls or boys for that matter donot have the right to behave anyway they please. Act respectfully or leave.

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