The crisp pleats are pervert resistant!

Recently two female students in Toronto were harassed by a man who looked up their skirts.  An investigation has been launched.  Meanwhile, Allan Hardy, the principal at the girls’ school has advised that students no longer wear their  uniforms when traveling to school.  Mr. Hardy feels this is especially prudent for the girls, as their skirts make them a prime target.  According to Hardy,”if they had, for example, jeans or sweatpants on, it wouldn’t be an issue.”


Like most women, I am familiar with rape-culture bullshit my entire life.  Don’t walk alone a night. Don’t park in the dimly lit lot. There was assault on campus – be careful and try not to get assaulted.  Don’t drink too much; don’t be too friendly; don’t show too much cleavage, don’t give him a “reason” to ogle or grope or fondle you.  And now…someone alert the church elders, girls are wearing skirts. SKIRTS! While taking PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! If you want to keep guy from getting all up in your business, PANTS are the fail safe pervert repellent.

Fuck that.

Fuck that, fuck pants and fuck the whole “it’s your responsibility not to get harassed/assaulted” line.  Just once, I’d like a statement from officials, advising people not to be assholes who look up people’s skirts because, it’s gross, illegal and oh yeah…ENTIRELY IN THE PERPETRATOR’S CONTROL!!!  How about a campus sign reminding everyone that other people’s bodies are not public property?  How about we do something radical and put the onus on offenders to stop their offensive behaviour? What if we support a person’s right to wear what they want, where they want without implying that they are complicit in their own victimization?

I hope they find the man who did this. When they do, I hope that he is held up as the cautionary example of what not to do.  Because victim-blaming, rape culture and pants…SUCK!


  1. Robin says:

    I love you.

  2. consumptiongirl says:

    Too true, Nadine. When I got groped on a Toronto bus years ago, I was wearing jeans. I also weighed close to 200 pounds. It doesn’t matter what you wear. It doesn’t matter what you look like. A perv is gonna perv. No one is “asking for it.”

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Exactly. As I said to a friend recently, you could be naked in front of someone and if that person is decent, they’re not going to touch you without permission. It’s not about how we present ourselves. It’s about the assailants and their fucked-up mindset.

  3. Nat says:

    It was worse than the principal, it was the mother fucking police on the scene who told them not to wear their uniforms. The principal in his infinite wisdom decided that he would pass it onto to the parents. Glad this guy’s in education.

    The chair of the school board, a woman (go figure) called everyone out of line on this and told the cops to do their jobs.–school-uniforms-not-the-problem-says-board-chair

    Fuck this shit makes my blood boil…

    • neeroc says:

      Thank you, I was just going to mention that the ‘advice’ came from the police. I mean, bad enough the principal repeated it…

      • nadinethornhill says:

        What I had heard (granted it was a media statement by the Toronto Police, in response to all of this), is that the police officer suggested students shouldn’t wear their uniforms en route to school, as it gave potential predators information about where they were going. The statement claimed that the principal added the caveat about girls and the skirts.

        Frankly, I think both statements are dumb and victim-blaming.

  4. Jen Gilbert says:

    There is a poster that circulated around on Facebook a while back with “Sexual Assault Prevention Tips” that are actually aimed at the behaviour of assaulters. e.g. don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control them, and: remember! don’t have sex with people who are asleep! and of course, number 10: don’t assault people.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I remember that poster. I’ve been trying to track it down again via Google, but so far no luck.

  5. Claire says:

    Hear hear!!! How utterly outrageous and, given how women wearing pants was once seen as scandalous and a sign of easy virtue, how ironic!


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