A night to protect her character

Flyers at Wisconsin high school tell boys prom is “a night to protect her character”

These flyers, which were signed by the school principal and sponsored by a local crisis pregnancy center and a Catholic health care provider, were distributed at Lincoln High School, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin before the big night on Saturday.

A night to protect her character

Hemant Mehta at Patheos spoke to Kelsey Schindl, a senior at the school who, funnily enough, did not much appreciate having her character equated with her virginity. She asked the principal if she could create an alternative poster — one with a more positive message that doesn’t suggest the dance’s theme will be Return to the 1950s. He said no, because it would “tear at the fabric of society.”

In addition to being sexist and paternalistic, since the posters were sponsored by religious organizations and Lincoln High is a public school, they’re also illegal — unless the school allows posters offering opposing views as well. After receiving a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation reminding them of that fact, the school district removed them.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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