Wearing Yellow Squares to Combat Sexist Dress Codes.

Jenny Singer, an editor on Forward created a post on April 11th about teenage girls at Joseph-Francois-Perrault high school who protested against their school dress code. These women expressed themselves by placing a yellow square on their shirts to combat the sexist attitudes about girls wearing short blouses, shorts above the thigh and even shirts that were revealing too much skin.  Singer says that the teenage girls were channeling Nazi-era yellow stars on Holocaust Remembrance day, meaning they were using the Holocaust as a safety net for their protest because they knew more people would appreciate what they were doing. The main question was if these girls actually felt like they were connecting with the Jewish victims more by placing the squares on their clothing or if they felt nothing at all and just used the Holocaust remembrance day as their advantage for political gain. Sing says that Forward reached out and has yet to hear back on their response.  The group of girls ended up facing a lot of criticism because their protest had no clarity. They eventually apologized for their lack of clarity and went to Facebook to explain exactly what the protest stood for, which was dress code that is applied the same way for males, and combating the culture of rape and hyper-sexualization.

Singer’s article spoke to the fact how individuals use the Holocaust to elevate themselves in society. If an event like the Holocaust is associated with sympathy then a protest that is also fighting for rights will ultimately be seen as worthy because they’ve “identified” with another tragic. The problem with people associating and protesting their struggles only makes them look less authentic bringing in the Holocaust as well. Sometimes people intentions are good when they connect the Holocaust to certain situations, however when words are thrown around, and clarity starts to fade, then situations like the high school protest becomes a problem and then the true meaning of things like the yellow star goes unknown.

 

Here’s the link to the article: https://forward.com/schmooze/398568/teens-are-wearing-yellow-squares-to-combat-sexist-dress-codes/

One Reply to “Wearing Yellow Squares to Combat Sexist Dress Codes.”

  1. While I’m not sure that I agree that the girls were using the Holocaust to bolster their protest, I agree with your point that the use of the Holocaust in this way is inappropriate and problematic. It is important not to universalize the Holocaust to the point where its symbols and history is become undistinguished.

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