In this day and age, many things can offend and hurt other races, genders or nationalities. Recently on Yahoo News, it was reported that Sophie Thomas, an eighth grade student in Ohio had her shirt photoshopped because it had the word “Feminist” on it. The principal of this school declared that the shirt was offensive and would start too much controversy in the school. This is leaving readers, including myself, confused on how the word feminist can be offensive.
The problem today, is that when people hear the word feminist they believe that women are anti-men, but that is not the case. Many feminists are just pro-women. Beyond this, there are many types of feminist. While there are radical feminists out there, that is a small population and should not define feminists as a whole. What was done to Thomas in Ohio is censoring, stereotyping and just moving us back into the early 1900’s. The principal, a woman herself, tried to bring Thomas down.
In previous weeks there have been so many articles in the newspaper about females being oppressed by their schools. In one school, a girl was not allowed to wear a suit to prom. In another school, a girl was banned because of her hair color. When did schools stop teaching individuality and start teaching children to conform? They probably would have allowed her to have a shirt with cartoon characters or a silly catch phrase, but not something that actually means something to women worldwide.
It would be understandable if children in the school were not allowed to wear printed T-shirts but, according to the Independent Journal Review, the principal stated, “The shirt itself doesn’t break any school dress code rules, and the student has worn it to class in the past without problems.”
If this is the case, why is it such a big deal that she wore it for her school photo? Thomas probably wanted to have that moment of strength to define her in that photo. Now when she looks back at the photo years from now, it will just be a plain black T-shirt. It was a small movement that said a lot, especially since Thomas heard sexist comments from a high school classmate.
Thomas and her parents sat down with the principal to discuss the bigger picture with this issue and Thomas’ mother is relieved to discover the amount of support the picture has garnered around the country. She has refused to buy the school photograph and even created more T-shirts that students wore to school collectively. The money she received from the T-Shirts will go toward feminism awareness. Even though the school claims that it is not anti-feminist and that they do plan on having meetings and discussions about important issues it is too late. Young women like Sophie Thomas prove that self worth and a strong mind start early and you should not let anyone deter you from what you believe in.
Sophie Thomas, you are an inspiration and not only do you have my support, you also have the support of thousands of women worldwide.