Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Expelled for her Mini-Dress

Late October, a Brazilian woman, Geisy Arruda, wore a short dress to her University. Coming from a University in Southern California, where some of us wear mini-skirts with Uggs in December, this doesn't seem all that weird a concept. (Since a lot of warmth escapes from the feet, wearing fuzzy boots somehow magically keeps the rest of the body from freezing. Of course, more people in San Diego prefer flip-flops, and somehow don't freeze to death. 60 F is cold, people!)

She was hounded by hundreds of students, who shouted things like "we want to rape her!" and "whore!" She finally escaped the mob borrowing a professor's long coat, according to the Associated Press.

The School's response? Expell her.

Bandeirante University published advertisements in the newspaper accusing Arruda of disrespecting "ethical principles, academic dignity and morality," that she wore "inadequate clothing," and that she had an "attitude" that was "incompatible with the university environment." The University claimed that it had warned her to change her attitude and dress style, but in an interview with Brazil's Globo TV, Arruda said that she was never incriminated by anybody, the AP news reported.

How about the hecklers? The people who nearly attacked her, verbally abused her and threatened rape? Some of them may be temporary suspended. (The university claimed it would be suspending people, but it didn't say how many or for how long.)

The most recent development is that the University has rescinded their expulsion decree, in response to student protests and a demand from Brazil's minister on women's affairs that they supply a good explanation for their decision. One of Arruda's lawyers said if she does go back to that school, she will need safety guarantees.

Arruda has been offered full-time scholarships from two other universities.

Photo Credit: hello jenny on flickr.com


La_Sabre said...

FYI: Seasons in Brazil are the opposite of what they are in the US so it's spring there.

Kat said...

Thanks for pointing that out. The intent of this article wasn't to imply that it's currently Winter in Brazil--rather, the initial comments were toungue-and-cheek poking fun at fellow Californians. My opinion is, whether its hot outside or cold outside, women shouldn't be verbally or physically assaulted because of the clothes they wear.

La_Sabre said...

right. I live in Texas and I've seen other young women wearing miniskirts when it's literally freezing out.

From my experiences of street harassment (nowhere near as bad as this) is that it has nothing to do with what a woman is wearing.

I showed this to one of my friends who is Brazilian and she said, "I've been reading about this in the Brazilian newspapers. It keeps getting worst, even the secretary of education had to intervene and this university will probably be punished, as it should. Did I mention they are calling this university 'Unitaliban.'"