On Tuesday, September 30, students joined together in a feminist protest at Sonora High School.
The protest was a direct response to a ban placed on certain types of practice wear worn by female dancers, such as tight shorts. This ban was placed when a group of male students was caught filming the dance team without their consent during practice, yet the dress code applies to no other teams on Sonora’s campus except the dance teams.
In response, students have joined together to raise awareness through and in-school protest and the online posting of information through social media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram. Some dancers have been wearing long sweatpants, sweatshirts, and scarves to their team practices, and students who are not members of the dance team have joined in on the movement as well. The people involved in the movement have protested by wearing shirts with slogans like, “I am not an object,” and carrying signs to their classes throughout the day.
Kayla Pugeda, a senior at Sonora, said, “Short term, the other girls and I aim to bring awareness to the kind of sexism and disrespect girls have to face in school and their everyday lives. Long term, we hope to incorporate and stress gender equality in the school environment and give other boys and girls a voice through feminism. Feminism is a conversation that everyone should have.”
“Through protests,” Pugeda said, “we realized we were able to give a voice to girls and boys, which is super awesome because gender equality is frustrating to comprehend… with all of the gender stereotypes males and females feel obligated to fulfill. Right now it’s baby steps but getting through to some [people] will hopefully work its way to the majority.”
“More than actually changing the dress code itself, I would rather teach students the meaning of feminism and teach the administration to not unknowingly cause more institutionalized sexism, because female students and their clothing should not be considered distractions,” said Suzy Suh, a Sonora senior.
“It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, or what political party you identify with,” she continued. “It’s a matter of people learning to respect other people. People are not animals and can understand that humans can respect other humans regardless of what gender they are.”