A Montana Teen Went Braless The Whole School Year, Fighting Back Against Misogynistic Dress Codes
A Helena High School student in Montana is my new shero, because she didn’t only Free The Nipple, she freed the whole damn boob. This wasn’t some last-day-of school senior prank. Along with a group of friends, Kaitlyn Juvik went to school braless all year, not to elicit unwanted attention, but to be comfortable in class — which academic administrators should encourage, unless they’re some kind of backward misogynists.
Juvik told People magazine her lack of boobie trap was making a male teacher uncomfortable, and he told her to cover up. Normally, this double standard would infuriate me because I’d like Mr. Male Teacher to walk a mile with a jockstrap fastened to his chest like a seatbelt all day, but male students quickly came to her aid by wearing bras over their shirts themselves. Days after the incident, Juvik became a ~viral sensation~ (which was well-earned, dammit), with a “No Bra No Problem” Facebook page and the new moniker “Kaitlyn the Braless Warrior.”
The outfit that was apparently too much for the male teacher was a loose, black off-the-shoulder top, meaning the sight of her bare shoulder was deemed offensive. This wasn’t some corridor wet t-shirt contest. She was even wearng nipple stickers to prevent an unintended nip-slip. But with the school year down to the (bra) wire, she was sent to principal Steve Thennis’ office for her “manufactured crisis,” Thennis told People.
Um, what the fuck kind of word choice is that? Continue to debase women for their sartorial choices, and you send the message that boys are not responsible for what their hormones “make them” do. And with recent events proving just how harmful male privilege can be, you perpetuate the idea that women are never fully in control of how they present their bodies, and what happens to them as a result.
“Boys always get the excuse about their hormones, that ‘boys will be boys,'” the teen hero told People. “But instead, perhaps people should start teaching boys not to sexualize women’s bodies. Wearing a bra is a personal choice. It’s my body. Why is it anybody else’s business whether I’m wearing a bra, especially when I’m covered up and dressed appropriately?”
Girl, I get it — bras suffocate the mind and soul. I would say I’d join you in solidarity by unhooking my bra right this second, but 90 percent of the reason I chose my job as a freelance journalist is because I don’t have to wear a bra, so I’m right there with you. Keep doing you, Juvik.