Ever since I heard about Constance McMillen’s story a few months ago, I’ve been a little heartbroken for what she’s had to go through. In case you don’t recognize her name, she’s the 18 year-old in Mississippi whose school principal told her she couldn’t attend her senior prom with her girlfriend as a date.
The good news? A court ruled that her school district couldn’t cancel prom and deny access to Constance and her date. The bad news?
To avoid Constance McMillen bringing a female date to her prom, the teen was sent to a “fake prom” while the rest of her class partied at a secret location at an event organized by parents.
McMillen tells The Advocate that a parent-organized prom happened behind her back — she and her date were sent to a Friday night event at a country club in Fulton, Miss., that attracted only five other students. Her school principal and teachers served as chaperones, but clearly there wasn’t much to keep an eye on.
The anti-choice approach on late abortions is consistent with one viewpoint: the misogynist one. Let’s assume for a moment that the motivation behind anti-choice activism is not a love of life or a belief that a fertilized egg is the same thing as a baby. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, they’re motivated by a belief that the main role of women in this world is to be baby machines, and that women should mindlessly reproduce even if it kills them. Is this viewpoint consistent with the focus on late abortion?
Absolutely! If this is how you feel, you’d be extremely interested in portraying women as callous, stupid, and mercurial, then you’d be all about portraying late abortion as something that happens because stupid, heartless, fickle women change their minds 6 months into a pregnancy. You wouldn’t be interested in the truth about the medical indications that lead to late abortions, because in your mind, if they can’t have babies, they should die trying. You’d relish the opportunity to use graphic imagery and language to shut down people’s rational thinking, and get them to react to an “ick factor.” And you’d be indifferent to the suffering you caused real women, like Tiffany Campbell, who had to abort much-wanted pregnancies because of fetal abnormalities—their feelings don’t matter to you as much as the production model of their uteruses.
School officials in a rural Mississippi county told a lesbian student to get “guys” to take her and her girlfriend to a high school prom and warned the girls against slow dancing with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to documents filed Tuesday in federal court.
[…] Superintendent Teresa McNeece told the teen that the girls should attend the prom separately, had to wear dresses and couldn’t slow dance with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to court documents.
The school district last week said it wouldn’t host the prom “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events.” District officials said they hoped private citizens would sponsor a dance. The decision came on the same day the ACLU asked the district to act on McMillen’s prom requests.
High school sucks enough without being discriminated against by the school’s administration, and then being blamed for the cancellation of prom because of the someone else’s homophobia.
Yes, there’s been a case filed in federal court over what happened to Constance — but if anything, what’s happened in Mississippi should be instructive to show just how hateful some people can be out of religiously-inspired ignorance and fear.