Education May Never Be “Great Equalizer,” But Must Model Equity
Model and actress, Emily Ratajkowski gained fame from a misogynistic and exploitive music video, but has since emerged as a complicated and important feminist voice confronting the sexualizing of women and body shaming.
Ratajkowski’s Instagram account mainly offers personal and professional photographs of Ratajkowski in various states of undress, but she is also prone to using that platform for the occasional political message.
Recently, she posted a grainy photo of crudely taped note challenging dress codes in schools for discriminating against females; as the note states, “INSTEAD OF SHAMING GIRLS FOR THEIR BODIES, TEACH BOYS THAT GIRLS ARE NOT SEXUAL OBJECTS.”
I shared this on social media myself, and encountered a number of not surprising responses—many of which where the typical “but” offered by men when sexism is exposed.
The central message of the note posted by Ratajkowski is both well documented  and urgent in terms of the essential inequity found in many traditional school policies such as dress codes and disciplinary guidelines and outcomes: Dress codes are sexist and school discipline (notably suspension and expulsion) is racist—paralleling the same inequities in U.S. society.