Daughters nationwide rejoiced this month as Rhode Island decided to ban father-daughter dances after lawyers representing the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) notified the Cranston school district of a client suing for gender discrimination. If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably thinking that some young girl out there, angry with her father for forcing her to square dance to “Achy Breaky Heart” in matching cowboy hats, sued the school because her brother didn’t have to. And no, that young girl I’m referring to is not me ten years ago — my father and I would never wear matching cowboy hats . . . they were cowboy boots, and yes, I’m still angry.
In fact, it was a single mother who brought attention to the issue when her daughter wasn’t able to attend her school’s father-daughter dance, stating that modern families are not exclusive to a two-parent household. Although the claim sounded ludicrous, upon digging, Cranston school attorneys found that while Federal Title IX legislation that bans gender discrimination gives an exemption for “father-son” and “mother-daughter” events, Rhode Island state law does not. That being said, Rhode Island has been hosting illegal father-daughter dances for decades, which is not all that surprising given the state’s mob-affiliated background.
The Cranston school district announced that it will ban the traditional father-daughter dance, and to make things fair will ban mother-son activities as well, to the dismay of no boy anywhere. But don’t celebrate yet Rhode Island children; to replace the axed events, schools will begin hosting “family dances” instead. So now families can all suffer through this these events together and create new memories to repress, all in matching outfits, of course.
Gender equality is great, but the ACLU has taken the whole “separate but not equal” thing to a new level. What will be banned next? Boy bands, because their managers refuse to hire girls? Or maybe women’s book clubs, because men read Fifty Shades of Grey too? And the Unisex Scouts of America just sounds wrong. Either way, there’s a fine line between pragmatism and the law, and the ACLU is walking it.
Post image from Shutterstock
Guest post by Jeana Brookes, a law enthusiast and avid blogger. Read more of her material at Modern-Parents.com.