creepy teachers & why they’re an issue*

*Trigger Warnings: rape, abuse, molestation.

School has started and I’ve been too tired to blog even on break. I have decided that I don’t think I’ll be blogging as much about fashion anymore. I don’t like it enough. From now on, my posts will be writing-oriented rather than fashion (but I’ll still have cultural things here and there, like music or films if I think they’re relevant.)

A topic that I have been thinking about and contemplating for some time is that of creepy teachers, the ones at school who may never actually harm anyone but who stare at their students in such a manner that is more out place at a learning institution than Don Draper is being monogamous. In other words, for those who haven’t had the privilege of watching Mad Men, it’s ridiculous and everyone knows it.

First, let’s establish what a creepy teacher IS. We all may have varying definitions of creepy, but according to Merriam-Webster, it means something that is “producing a nervous shivery apprehension.” Oxford Dictionary’s is similar: “causing an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease.” If we took this literally, we could use it a lot more generally–a physics final with a terrible professor, being late to a birthday party where you don’t know anyone, starting college, getting fired from your job–all of these could be creepy. But creepy is a word that is almost never used in these contexts and instead seems to apply to people, usually men, who have “wandering eyes.” And let’s be honest–teachers being creepy are some of the worst types of creepy people ever.

The thing about teachers in general (just like the word creepy, in general) is that  they are supposed to be teaching you how to do mathematics or science or Spanish or history. Something that I doubt has ever been in a teacher’s job application under “criteria” is “must stare at female and or male students in suspicious manners. Must meet with specific “favorites” after class for hours on end and must try to do everything in their power to deny any accusations of peculiar behavior.” And yet, here I am, in high school, worrying and wondering about the fate of these teachers’ current students.

The issue really first came to my attention when my younger brother was in middle school. In a history class in which he was not a student, he informed me, the teacher would purposely line up all of the girls in the front row just so he could see them better. He would meet with them outside the classroom to talk to them about how they were doing but really just stare them down. The girls were forced to wear scarves and jackets to cover themselves up when they were around him. At one point, students claimed, he got a visible boner in front of the whole class because the girls in the front row were all wearing skirts. Now, obviously, seventh graders are going to be over-dramatic and we can’t always be sure if what they’re saying is what they actually mean, but when I started observing said teacher (who was also the dean of students,) it became clear that he was not just a weird person or “misunderstood.”

And yet, the teacher is still there. After all of the things I have seen him do to students (touching a girl’s bare back when it wasn’t necessary, starting at younger girls who don’t even attend the school until their parents have to whisk them away, making the dance group do an unplanned encore performance at a regular Monday assembly) and just being an all around peculiar person, nobody has filed any complains and nobody has been fired. For one thing, the teacher is white. This basically gives him almost all of the protection he needs against being a molester, let alone a suspected “creep.” I’ve attempted to bring it up with other adults, just to see what they think, and all of them try to justify his being in a position. “He’s a good teacher and he really cares about the students,” was one and “maybe you see it that way, but a lot of people like him,” was another. Overall, the vibe I received from adults concerning the issue was “why should we care?”

Well, that’s a damned good question. Why should we care? These girls and boys are only in this class for nine months out of their middle school careers, less than 4 hours a week. They don’t have to see him for the rest of their lives. Once they reach high school, they aren’t required to talk to him for any reason. He’s just a person, just another guy hanging around and doing his job. Ah, yes. Doing his job.

Is being overly touchy-feely with girls doing his job?

No, as mentioned prior, it is obviously and most certainly not.  Sure, maybe the guy hasn’t raped any of the students, maybe he hasn’t molested them, maybe he’s just doing what he appears to be doing. But apparently, that’s not enough to bother people. Until the guy does something like rape someone or molest them, then action MIGHT be taken (and even then people will doubt that it happened.) And more to the point, what does it tell the people going into his class everyday? That being unsafe in a work space is normal? Girls are already taught from an age that seems to be steadily decreasing that our bodies really aren’t our own–they are other people’s to talk about, abuse, and control. The problem with creepy teachers is that they reenforce this idea that a school, a space that is supposed to be safe and encourage people to reach their highest potential, is just another place. Another place where people in positions of authority (white men) can do what they want.

And maybe, just maybe, this idea could come into the workplace? Other people in positions of authority (partners at a firm, say, colleagues of the head of a department at a television network) are probably aware that the CFO (position of power, but not as high,) John, keeps making crude comments to the women and/or men and may even go so far as to touch them more often than is necessary. And will they do anything about it? Probably not. Because it’s annoying to hire someone new, and more the point, why should they care?

It seems that while there are many creepy teachers who don’t actually show signs of being weird and then abuse children, there are just as many who do show signs, and before the attendees of the school and their parents know it, someone’s life has been changed. I am not saying that every creepy teacher needs to be fired immediately, but the least we could do is create an environment in which its acceptable to talk to people in positions of authority if they make us feel uncomfortable and have the power to stand against them.

Creepy teachers bother me because they’re just another part of the puzzle of victim blaming since nobody wants to acknowledge their behaviors, which are already traumatic enough, until it’s “too late.”. Creepy teachers are often ones who never shut up about the dress code because they want to be able to act like they are letting “girls respect themselves” when in reality, they want to justify their feelings towards their students by acting like it’s how they dress since they are obviously dressing for other people, another large component of victim blaming. They just aren’t as innocent as they seem and their destructive actions need to be taken seriously. They can’t be waved off.

Comment↓ if you’d like, discussions are always fun to have!

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Fall Vibes

School started in August and it’s not TECHNICALLY fall yet but it was Rookie’s one year anniversary yesterday so who’s counting?


outfit inspo: a night out
-Jessica

Sleigh Bells, Joseph Szabo, Emma Watson photographed by Alasdair McLellan for the T Magazine, Michael Kors Fall 2012, Lula Fall/Winter 2011/12, High schoolers reenacting their sorority’s initiation ceremony, photographed by Nina Leen, 1944, Bedrooms and Broomsticks by Ellen von Unwerth for Lula, CHRISTIAN LACROIX FW 2007, Girl-Guts Polyvore, Florence Welch, Ashish Fall Winter 2011/12, Lindsey Wixson from___.

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Notifications part whatever

Okay so basically this posting daily thing obviously isn’t working and I’m not going to continue with it until summer comes around again. It’s only the first week of school and I’m already busy and worried and dying.

I hope your Augusts were good!

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Tweet, tweet (part II)

All right, I know I already did that post on Twitter less than a month ago but I follow some of the funniest people ever. To be honest, I can understand why some people don’t like Twitter and find it obnoxious–after all, it really can be just a series of mundane life updates. I think that they fail to see so many people who are actually hilarious or interesting on Twitter. You’d think that 140 characters wouldn’t be enough to make you slouch over in your chair laughing, but it is. Plus, nobody makes you follow people with stupid instagram pictures of their lunch and sentences about how hot it is outside. Here are some of my most recent favorites:

1. Gabby Noone@twelveoclocke

Please tell I’m not the first person to think of making a fashion mag for menopausal women called Haute Flashes

You know what guys, say what you may, but I sincerely think that Gabby’s Twitter is one of the best thing ever. I probably favorite her tweets everyday and I never regret it.

2. Hazel Cills@hazelcills

i can’t even deal with the new grimes video. like the pig tails and the banana snake and the meteor hammer and the limo ohmygod

All right okay I KNOW I PUT HAZEL on my last post about Twitter but I favorite almost all of her Tweets as well, and guys, this is totally justified, I mean LOOK at the new Grimes video:

Yeah, that’s right.

3. Autumn Quesnell@daiseasdaiseas

“Ugh take me back to the 90s, I miss my childhood, the 90s were better” says the girl born in 1998.

Autumn is one of my favorite bloggers if I didn’t mention that already, and her tweets are even better. Also, accuracy.

4.EMA@EMAthorstar

also, do I have any obligation to keep my old retainer? ALMOST tried to put it in my mouth…

EMA’s music is my favorite and also this is an undeniable resemblance to my life as I often try to put my retainer in my mouth and then don’t.

5. maddie@hexgrrrlfriend

i want to date a boy who is mute so i don’t have to listen to hetero male drivel.

Maddie is hilarious and this is no exception. Even though she’s not as “famous” as the other people I posted here, she is pretty damn great.

6. Jamie Keiles@msjamiekeiles

the only ppl who should be allowed to eat hotdogs and watch fireworks on july 4 are the people who are doing shit to improve this country

“Preach it!” I said, reading this tweet. “Oh, look, hotdogs!”

7. Ali Koehler@hernameisali

West coasters don’t appreciate summer like east coasters do. You’ve got three months of that shit, you gotta live it up.

More preaching involved here. Ali Koehler’s tweets are some of my favorites.

8. Caitlin@bollykeckers

i started crying at autoplay on a blog, ok time to turn the internet off

The sad part about this is that I’ve probably done that numerous times because autoplay is disgusting.

9. abby@abigailitaa

I still call memes “me-mes” probably because I’m so self involved…

I kind of find this the best thing ever.

10. Abigail Weinberg@abigailweinberg

Why aren’t I famous yet ugh

Things everyone can relate to. I’ve talked about Abigail’s blog a few times and she has the best tweets.

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July in August

Apologies for the lack of posts…I know my last few haven’t been getting much attention (why? I don’t know?) but regardless, I WILL MOVE FORWARD because I watched Miranda July films and they are amazing. I also changed my Twitter icon to something more suitable than the neutral and weird picture of me in front of the ocean.

First, I watched “The Future” and I really liked it. It’s a lot more hidden meaning-heavy than “Me You and Everyone We Know,” which I also watched, and which is a little different in that it’s more realistic whereas “The Future” has what seems to be a lot more symbolic. The film starts off with the narrations of what at first sounds like a small small child but is actually a cat that Sophie (played by July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) are attempting to adopt, as they rescued it.  The vet claims that the cat is in an unhealthy state but that if they care for it, it could live for five years. Sophie and Jason both realize (decide) that in five years, they’ll be in their forties, which, according to Jason, “is basically their fifties.” Each embark on their own adventures with different people in order to try to live more, but in the long run, you get the sense that it’s what kills them.

Sophie and Jason in their hipster LA apartment.

This is how the film starts out, with both of them sitting across from each other on a couch. At first, I thought their relationship was going sour but it actually starts out well, despite what the first few minutes of dialogue may tell you. I think Miranda July has a knack for making you feel like you’re watching a documentary without any narrators–you have to figure out a lot of things for yourself and because her films have been relatively short, a lot of it is up to your interpretation. If I talk more about it, I’m afraid I’ll give more away.

The second film I watched (which I guess I enjoyed more but I think it’s too early to decide) was “Me You and Everyone We Know” which is a lot more simplistic and is more of a “slice-of-life” film about a group of people living in LA whose lives get somewhat tangled. I guess I’m a sucker of realistic films about everyday people but this really is one of my favorites. It still has its indie-weird charm but it’s not overbearingly so (like in 500 Days of Summer, which, even after Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s quotation, still makes me irritated.) Miranda July isn’t the main character in this, rather one of the more supporting ones–they’re all supporting, which is what I liked about it. Nobody’s life is the center of attention because everyone’s life seems to matter to her. The cat’s life mattered more than anything in “The Future,” just as the kids’ lives matter as much as the teenage girl’s down the street. Everyone deserves to be documented, everyone seems to be significant.

This was one of my favorite scenes in the history of ever, the way they connected was one of my favorite parts.

Aesthetically speaking, there was a lot of pink. And who doesn’t like pink?? Don’t answer that.

The teenage girls were some of my favorite characters. While I always like seeing the way adults portray teenage friendships, I think that these two were definitely a weird pair but I liked them a lot because of it. They were a little competitive, which bothered me, but I guess that’s often true in friendships, sadly enough.

Carlie Westerman played Sylvie, a girl who is obsessed with cooking and house tools and speaks like a 30-year-old. I loved her character as well because a lot of kids have interests in really weird things, things that aren’t race cars or dolls and I think that it’s good it was documented (it’s probably a really deep metaphor and I’m just missing the point.)

Littletroublegrrrl, Talia (theshadowofyoursong), Riotsqurrrl, Ebertfest (old old article lol), thereeldeliansblog, Rotten tomatoes, allthingsfangirl, spfw, artbizblog.

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Polymore (shitty titles 2k12)

I’ve been writing a lot about different shows/films/etc. in which I make a Polyvore set having to do with a certain character and decided to do a post dedicated to my favorite Polyvores–some people are so talented at making them. It really is an art in some ways, finding exactly the right shirt to go with the right pants to go with the right shoes, and not to mention other things Polyvore has, like perfume, hair dye, scarves, and jewelry. It’s all really overwhelming but I’ve seen some people who seem to get the hang of it. To be honest, I think that Polyvore is great because it’s very simple but everyone can do it and it’s actually quite entertaining.

1. I’ve talked about Tess a lot, but she did this great Witch set which I really enjoyed.

convent school witch

AX Paris black dress
$16 – axparis.co.uk

Tight
modcloth.com

Dr. Martens velvet shoes
drmartens.co.uk

Black jewelry
romwe.com

Rosary cross necklace
$16 – peeptoeshoes.com.au

Kat Von D lip stick
sephora.com

She really emulates the fall witch vibes which I think that we all put on our blogs, whether we like it or not. Also, those Doc Martens are amazing and I think I would completely wear this outfit given the chance.

2. Autumn is another one of my favorite Polyvore-makers. She has made so many sets and they’re all elegant in some way or another. It was hard picking just one. She also uses lyrics from the best songs just to make them even better. See Arctic Monkeys reference down here:

you used to get it in your fishnets

Repetto bow flat
ssense.com

Carven Anastasie flip-up round-frame acetate sunglasses
$370 – net-a-porter.com

She always makes the most classy sets, things that could easily be set in a French film. I want to wear all of the clothes she posts as well (wait, what else is new?)

3. She is one of my favorite Polyvore users. I think she is really good at making different sets that have a lot of things but they all adhere to one certain aesthetic. It was so hard picking one of the sets, but I settled on this one for its glitter (Halloween is just around the corner, kind of.) And the title, of course (who doesn’t love a good Bikini Kill reference once and a while?)

Alien She

Earrings
tumblr.com

Sunglasses
tumblr.com

Silver eye makeup
ikickshins.net

photo
mimi-memek0.tumblr.com

white+docs.jpg (240×240)
blogspot.com

4. Abigail has a great blog that I mentioned before, and she also has a great Polyvore too. I really like the sets that she makes because they’re more like collages than clothes floating about the way I make them.

midnight blue on a sunny afternoon

Blue pants
etsy.com

Black pencil skirt
$31 – desireclothing.co.uk

Platform shoes
solestruck.com

Vintage handbag
boutique1.com

Stila eyeshadow
stilacosmetics.com

George Washington Administration Newspapers
nytstore.com

I actually have no idea how to make collages, which is quite a shame as they’re really fun to look at and probably create as well. This definitely reminds me of the beginning of the spring, where it’s still “appropriate” to wear black (not like you should let other people dictate what you wear based on old antiquated standards.)

5. And then there are the people advertised on the front page of the website. While I really think that a lot of people on Polyvore make dumb sets (just Tumblr search it) and that can be seen a little too often on the front page (white shorts and a blue top with a skinny white girl in the background as the collage inspiration, how original) I do think that some are well deserved, like this one:

OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS!

TIBI skinny pants
net-a-porter.com

Repetto small heels
net-a-porter.com

Proenza Schouler genuine leather handbag
$1,815 – net-a-porter.com

Marni resin necklace
$265 – net-a-porter.com

Gee Beauty lip makeup
$135 – eluxe.ca

NARS Cosmetics nail polish
narscosmetics.com

FASHION
fashionmodeldirectory.com

Palácio da Pena
wishwishwish.net

Palácio da Pena
wishwishwish.net

Palácio da Pena
wishwishwish.net

Palácio da Pena
wishwishwish.net

Palácio da Pena
wishwishwish.net

Palácio da Pena
wishwishwish.net

Palácio da Pena
wishwishwish.net

This one was nice because it has a personal aspect to it since it was her clothing, and also I liked the layout, which really seems to be the main decider of the featured sets since the clothes are so bland to me. Some people are really talented at designing where the clothes are at what words go where, and there’s something to be said for that, but to me the clothes are more important. As I said, I do like this set and I think its being featured was justified.

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Eh

I am really obsessed with Natalie Kucken‘s photography right now. She takes the most beautiful photos, and they look very Sofia Coppola-esque film to me. I like looking at all of them, but she updates her tumblr a lot and a I have a Tumblr so it’s easy to get updated that way (trust me, you’ll want to.) These are some of my favorite ones–personally, I like the photos she tags as “diary” because they’re personal. The thing I find so fascinating about her is that she just packed up from her home after graduating high school and moved to New York. She’d worked during all of high school so that’s where she got some of her money, but I find that inspiring. It’s really not the same thing as going to university. When you go there, you look back. You look back on winter break, during spring break, during the summer, you’re always seeing what was (even though you’re simultaneously seeing what will be.) Anyone who has the guts to just pack up and leave is pretty driven.

“My bedroom”

More diary photos.

Lissy elle

She always takes photos that are really faded, which I think help the whole Sofia Coppola vibe. It also adds an air of mystery (at least to me) even though they’re pictures of everyday life.

metin’s roof on 19th street

This is one of my absolute favorites (though I’m pretty obsessed with all of them.)

From “me-being-creepy-in-crowds diary photos”

view from my new bedroom window

I don’t want to repost all of her work, but you can definitely some more of her photos on her Tumblr,website,and on her blog.

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