Cheerleaders at Timpview High School, Utah, are complaining of being body shamed after they were told not to wear their uniforms on game day. The reason: a male student, who had no control over his imagination, was having “impure” thoughts.
The unidentified teenager complained to a student counselor about the uniforms being distracting. His mother also emailed a school official, notifying them of her son’s “problem.”
Upon receiving complaints, the cheerleading coach instructed the girls not to wear their uniforms to a football game.
“All of us were trying to decide which skirt to wear on Friday and our coach told us that we couldn't wear them anymore,” a cheerleader told People.
“Why should this boy have control over what we wear?” one of the cheerleaders asked.
The school is located in an area mostly occupied by Mormons.
“In a culture where females are responsible for all sexual ‘sin,’ it unfortunately makes sense that girls – even talented athletes and performers – would be shamed for what they wear,” said Kate Kelly, the founder of Ordain Women, an organization that works towards gender inequality for Mormons.
Meanwhile, the school administrators are calling the incident a misunderstanding.
Caleb Price, a spokesperson for the Provo City School District, said the school is looking into what message was given to the cheerleaders, since they were never supposed to be stopped from wearing their uniform or dressing in a certain manner.
“It's a misunderstanding between the cheerleading advisor and a member of the school administration who gave her a message about the boy's concerns,” he explained.
Young women in the Mormon dominated area of Utah are told, “Modest is hottest,” which simultaneously sexualizes and shames them for the clothes they wear.
Boys who are preparing to become missionaries for the church at 18 are told to be careful of girls so they can maintain their “purity.” As a result, girls are told to watch how they dress and act in order to stay safe from sexual advances, while men are seen as “victims” of sexual moves made by girls.
In a day and age where the idea of gender equality is on the rise, it is about time men are held responsible for their actions and thoughts, and women do not have to alter their lifestyle to stay safe.