Former teacher reveals she quit her job at a boys' school after boss said her skirts were 'distracting' pupils
Former teacher - and now journalist - Nadia Bokody has recounted an occasion when the headteacher of an all-boys school summoned her for an "urgent meeting", during which they were to discuss the way she dressed.
Writing for news.com.au, Bokody recalls the "astonishment" she felt at the subject of the meeting, which she had been trying to decipher beforehand, "My brain’s performing an audit of offences that could have landed me here (falling asleep at my desk last week? Not replacing the can of Coke I took from the fridge?)".
Yet it was to be a condemnation of her attire, not an admonishment over a carbonated drink. Bokody writes thus of the meeting;
Nadia talks about how to last longer in bed:
"“We need to talk about how you’re dressed,” he begins, taking a seat in his reclining desk chair.
“We’d prefer if you didn’t wear skirts or anything figure-hugging. It’s distracting the boys from their work,” he continues, running his eyes down my body disapprovingly.
I nod back in silent astonishment, feeling the tears prickle at my eyes."
Bokody reveals that this was her first job after leaving university (teaching English at the all-boys school), but the meeting left her feeling, "less like one of the staff, and more like one of the students."
The journalist goes on to discuss the misconceptions that exist surrounding women and the way they dress - citing a study from PLOS One, which presented participants with images of women in an array of outfits, from conservative to revealing, before asking them to rate each woman's openness to casual sex, perceived morality and intellect based on the pictures.
Nadia in conversation with an ethical porn star:
You can read Bokody's in-depth riposte to the absurd onus that is placed on women to "stave off male attention" here.
Summing up the story of her meeting with the headmaster at the all boys school, the journalist writes;
"I handed in my resignation two days after that meeting with my boss.
"Not because it made me feel uncomfortable (though it did), or because I no longer felt respected as an intellectual equal (though I didn’t), but because I believed the young men I’d taught were capable of far more than fixating on what I was wearing."