Feb 29, 2016
Seriously?! That was what I kept thinking as I read the comments posted to a petition that appeared on my news feed on Facebook this morning while eating my breakfast. The “issue” at hand is whether or not the female students at Hudson High School should be able to wear white gowns at graduation rather than blue. From what I gleaned from the comments it appears that a decision was made by the administration that all students will wear blue gowns this year and this was stated in the senior bulletin that was recently released. People are upset that students were not included in the decision among other things.
Now I am not going to comment on the actual decision itself, who was or should have been involved, and why it was made because frankly I don’t have all the facts and will admit that up front. What struck me as I read through the petition narrative in addition to the comments made by petition signers were some other disturbing things.
Here is the text taken directly from the petition site (with certain phrases that I have bolded for reference):
“The fact that the administration at Hudson High School has blatantly taken away our rights to wear specific graduation gowns for males and females, to cater to a few individuals who have complained, is disregarding the opinions of approximately two hundred girls, along with their families, in the senior class of 2016. We feel that the administration is afraid of controversy regarding what color the senior class’s graduation caps and gowns are, and expects to lie in a letter sent home to the senior families about the tradition of blue gowns always being worn by graduates, which is completely false. What kind of message is that to young women? That we have no rights? If there are only a few individuals uncomfortable with the color of the gowns, let them decide what color they would like to wear. We should not be changing the True Tradition for a select few individuals, especially when there is a majority of female students at Hudson High School in favor of wearing white caps and gowns at their High School Graduation.”
See the full article with comments here.
First I started reacting emotionally to this situation. I said out loud to my husband, along with lots of groans, “#firstworldproblem”! So true! I mean, is this really the issue that 649 (as of Monday morning) Hudson seniors, parents and other community members are getting so upset about? How ridiculous, sad, and frankly, embarrassing. It is interesting to hear what people refer to as “rights”. But then, I got to thinking more about this and tried to look at this more objectively. Why are Hudson residents, alums and others reacting this way? Well I submit that the reason some Hudson folks are getting upset about this is because they don’t have any other important issues to be concerned about. Something as ludicrous as this can become THE issue because most of us are comfortable in our little Hudson bubbles of privilege. Don’t get me wrong, I love my community too, but sometimes I think we can get lulled into a fantasy world and this situation seems to highlight this “Pleasantville” mentality. Sometimes it is good for us to feel uncomfortable. You might think this sounds harsh, but I encourage you to really stand back and let this sink in before reacting defensively to my words.
So I thought I would provide information on some actual women’s issues in America for those who might want to get involved in issues that might make an impact on women that is longer lasting than coordinating gown color with hair or lipstick color.
This is just a short list linked to one website that can provide more information. I encourage anyone to explore any of these issues or others more if they are so inspired.
What are you willing to stand up for and is it worth it? And yes, what message are we sending to young women? Children will listen, indeed.