TeenPacters Speak Up: Part Five, TeenPact and Women

TeenPacters Speak Up: A Series by Between Black and White

HA note: This series is reprinted with permission from Between Black and White. Part Five was originally published on May 22, 2013.

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Part Five: TeenPact and Women, by Kierstyn King

Kierstyn King blogs at Bridging the Gap.

To my knowledge, there have only been two female governors in Maine, and none (to my knowledge) in GA. Maine is seen by the staff as the more liberal/wildcard state where things happen there that don’t (or aren’t allowed?) happen in other states. Maine and Hawaii I suppose, because there’s surfing there and every staffer wants to staff those two states.

I know both of the female governors closely. Women taking on a high leadership position that isn’t somehow under a male is almost unheard of. I was shocked when I won “president” at Back To DC in 2007, but I think that was because the dude who was running before was an obnoxious 13 year old who wasn’t even going to stay the whole time and I had previously attended the class and the one other alumni there was on my campaign. I may have won favor with the staff when I shared that I was struggling with running for the position (because *gasp* I can’t lead), instead of running the campaign (because that was completely different).

At National Convention, women are allowed (I wouldn’t necessarily say encouraged) to run for Representative and Senator, and even Vice President. In my time there, I only ever saw Boy/Girl Pres/VP teams, because women running for president, while not directly prohibited was just known to be taboo. I ran for representative but never made it past primaries – although some women definitely are elected, the majority of the faux positions are still filled by males. I know this parallels real life, but here it’s encouraged. Women in leadership positions is allowed, but sketchily, always under men.

In fact, we are told, many times, in no uncertain terms that we (women) are supposed to just go along with whatever the men say – even if we disagree with it, and to not speak up if we do. They’re supposed to lead, after all, and we’re supposed to submit.

In “girl talks” a session where the guys go out (to talk about opening doors) and the women stay inside we learn that modesty is on us. completely. It is our job to cause our “brothers” to not stumble while we’re at class. We’re told exactly how to wear and to not wear items of clothing. In State Classes we must wear skirts, and they must be over the knee when you sit, never too tight when you move or bend over. All clothing must be able to hang or give at least an inch from your body, but simultaneously, should also be cute/professional and not frumpy. Just to be safe, I wore several layers – in the middle of summer, in the hot GA sun – just in case I got wet, or the sun caught something and my one-size-up tshirt were suddenly opaque.

We must be vigilant, and tell our “sisters” if they’re wearing something we think is too tight or revealing. Lady-Staff will confront girls to change their outfit if they feel it’s inappropriate. Because, again, it is our responsibility to show ourselves as non-human-shapeless-forms so our “brothers” don’t accidentally see our bodies and think something bad.

Boys aren’t told how many fingers width a neckline is allowed to be before it’s “too much”. They don’t have to reach up, and bend down to check and see if any skin shows.

But we, we seductresses in our pubescent awkwardness, we must never show any more skin than necessary to avoid heat exhaustion – and even then, pants must be loose!

I hate using the phrase “rape culture” but the more I think about it, the more this perpetuates it – because regardless, it is always the women who are at fault. We are essentially told as much, and this is coupled with “don’t tell a man no” is just a setup for abusive environments and relationships to thrive.

To be continued.

6 comments

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    We must be vigilant, and tell our “sisters” if they’re wearing something we think is too tight or revealing. Lady-Staff will confront girls to change their outfit if they feel it’s inappropriate. Because, again, it is our responsibility to show ourselves as non-human-shapeless-forms so our “brothers” don’t accidentally see our bodies and think something bad.

    The exact rationale Extreme Islam uses to justify the burqa and locked harem.

    Are “Lady-Staff” a kinder, gentler version of The Religious Police?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Male Supremacist, Woman, SUBMIT, grow up to take back America, Culture War, Christian Nation(TM) — where have we heard this combination before? And again? And again? And again?

  • Heidi Underhill

    I dress modestly and hope my children do to. To honor God and others. I don’t think it is that big of a deal. I might not agree with all the Teen Pact rules but choose to dress modestly as a young teen – my parents were not Christian and did not care how I dressed. I thing the whole women not running for high positions is a load of crap. Good for you running and winning!

  • Dressing modestly because that is what makes you comfortable is one thing. Great–dress as you please. Being made to dress a certain way as a means of controlling someone ele’s thoughts and behavior is quite different. If men are so great at being in charge of everything, why don’t they start by being in control of their own actions?

  • This literally expresses my thoughts exactly, as well as my frustrations every time I go to TeenPact! Excellently put!

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