Grad’s Epic Yearbook Zinger Calls Out Puritan Dress Codes

Teen to administrators: A girl’s shorts can’t be blamed for a boy’s failure.

(Photo: Instagram)

May 21, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Shaya Tayefe Mohajer is TakePart's News Editor.

One California high school senior just got the last word when it came to her school’s dress code.

In the San Mateo High School yearbook, Chloe Cross’ senior quote reads as a fake apology to all the boys who were too distracted by her (very real) beauty and crop tops to graduate on time. In an interview with Yahoo Canada, Cross says she’s surprised the quote made it into the yearbook, but the choice was left to the yearbook class, and it approved.

Cross says she didn’t want to stay silent after facing repeated incidents of harassment, such as having her butt slapped when she bent over in class. The problem seems acute in warm weather, when shorts face scrutiny on campus.

“I distinctly remember an instance a couple years ago when a girl walked up to me, tugged on my shorts, and said ‘whore.’ It was hot out and I was wearing something I was comfortable in, and somehow that made someone feel as though they were entitled to harass me,” Cross told Yahoo Canada.

Cross’ snarky dig takes aim at a culture that too often criticizes girls for attracting male sexual interest instead of teaching boys not to objectify the girls they’re into. In essence, she’s saying it’s not fair to pin boys’ failures on girls’ outfits.

“I got the idea for the quote from the bizarre rationalization that administrators use when punishing girls for violating dress code, which is that they are being ‘distracting’ and making it ‘hard for others to learn,’ ” Cross told Yahoo. “Nobody from my class would be going to college if bodies were as distacting as the administration makes them out to be.”

On the contrary, the Silicon Valley high school, which is about 20 miles south of San Francisco, ranks well above the state average for number of graduates who go on to college.