Eighth-Grader's Class Picture Photoshopped Because It Had F-Word On It ('Feminist')
Yes, in case you were wondering, "Feminist" is actually a dirty word -- dirty enough to get retouched out of an 8th-grade class photo at Clermont Northeastern Middle School in Batavia, Ohio, at least. Thirteen-year-old Sophie -- real first name, last name withheld -- had worn her homemade "FEMINIST" t-shirt to school without any issues a few weeks back, according to a letter from her mom to the Women You Should Know blog. It was also class photo day. But when the class photos came back, Sophie's shirt was cleverly retouched to a nice uniform black, with no trace of her handiwork:
Sophie went to the school principal, Mrs. Young, to find out why this happened. Mrs. Young said, “the photographer called me and brought it to my attention and I made the decision to black it out because some people might find it offensive.”
Principal Kendra Young wouldn't talk to Sophie's mom at first, and didn't reply to her emails, but explained to a local TV station that the word was removed to "avoid controversy." Congratulations, Ms. Young! You've just gotten an object lesson in the Streisand Effect!
Eventually -- after the teevee people talked to her -- Young met with Sophie's mom, who says the principal apologized profusely, and then, at mom's request, apologized to Sophie, too. Sophie will be getting an unretouched version of the group photo for her very own, but because there is a limit to just how much people are willing to set things right, the censored version is what's going on display in the hallway of the middle school. Here's the uncensored version, only re-censored with the kids' faces blurred for privacy (Sophie's in the middle of the front row):
And Sophie seems to understand how this whole troublemaking activist game works. She's making a whole bunch of "FEMINIST" shirts for all her friends to wear to school Friday.
We bet none of this kerfuffle would have happened if Sophie had been wearing Wonkette's Elizabeth Warren t-shirt. Or maybe the school would have spontaneously combusted. Or become an autonomous collective! You just never know.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.