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‘All the Cool Girls are Lesbians:’ In the Same Category as Other Offensive T-Shirts?

By Meredith Carroll |

All the cool girls are lesbians

Is this shirt worth getting your panties in a bunch about?

Hung Like Daddy

Too Pretty to Do Homework

Those are t-shirts that are too offensive to let your kids wear.

All the Cool Girls are Lesbians

Not in the same category. Not by a longshot.

The ACLU agrees, and says that a high school student in the Boston area should not have been told by her vice principal to cover up that t-shirt.

Some t-shirts buy into the worst kind of gender stereotypes. This one is making a social statement about a group that is historically, and currently, struggling for equal rights. Calling lesbians “cool girls” means you’re cool with a lot of cool things. Things that are cool, of course, unless you’re an angry, right-wing ultra-conservative.

A staff attorney for the ACLU who supports the girl and the t-shirt she wore told the New York Daily News that the only disruption of the t-shirt (“disruption” was the reason given by the vice principal at Lynn English High School for telling the girl to cover up) “was the administrator telling her not to wear it.”

The law in Massachussets, the ACLU said, according to the newspaper, is among the most stringent in the U.S. in allowing free speech in school.

The vice principal allegedly told the student the shirt was “political” and “offensive” to some people.

The kick-ass student? She said, “Well, frankly I’m the one who feels offended . . . The word lesbian is not inappropriate. Saying it is, is calling homosexuality inappropriate.”

Fortunately most school officials agreed with her. Unfortunately the school’s principal still stood by the vice principal’s decision, saying anything deemed disruptive is wrong, and the shirt “could have been” disruptive.

Seriously, people? Really? I mean, come on. No matter what you learned from Jesus or the Bible or what you think God told you in your sleep or tried to tell you when you burned that piece of toast that one time in 1983, you get that some people are simply not heterosexual, right? It’s 2012; when will this raging war against anyone not exactly like us end—once and for all? Ugh.

Are you offended by the shirt?

Photo credit: CafePress.com

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About Meredith Carroll

meredith-carroll

Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “‘All the Cool Girls are Lesbians:’ In the Same Category as Other Offensive T-Shirts?

  1. Kayt says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with the idea that disliking this particular shirt makes you a homophobe. I think that there is obviously nothing wrong with being a lesbian, obviously. However, I don’t think that a shirt with the message that cool or not has to do with sexual orientation isn’t appropriate. I also don’t think that it should have been banned. It’s not that bad at all, and I don’t think it was disruptive.

  2. Rosana says:

    What really disturbs me about the T-shirt is that it does not do lesbians any favors. Why do people insist in categorizing them????? Why do they have to be considered cool or uncool because of their sexual orientation. Homosexuals will be treated equally once everybody stops making a big deal (positive or negative) about their sexual orientation and start seeing them as they are, human beings like you and me.

  3. LS says:

    I’m with Rosana – this shirt doesn’t really do anybody any favors. It isn’t a profound statement of support; its the cheeky sort of thing a teen would put on. That being said, the reaction from the school administration was wrong and I am glad the ACLU is taking them to task for it.

  4. G says:

    What would you think if this said “All the cool girls are straight?”

    Also, just because someone has different opinions than you do doesn’t mean that they’re either angry or ultra-conservative.

    That being said, I agree that it should not be banned by the school.

  5. Jess says:

    I’m with the other posters on this one; the shirt isn’t doing anyone any favors, nor is it a profound political statement. And I do believe it is possible to be offended by it without being “an angry, right-wing, ultra-conservative.” Like G said, what if the shirt said “All the cool girls are straight”? Anything that singles out a group as being cool or uncool, especially in high school, is asking for trouble. Teens are always looking for a way to get attention, and the school over-reacted.

  6. Angela says:

    I have no problem with that shirt. I have a problem with the fact that a shirt that said “Cool girls like boys” or “Cool girls are straight” would have been CLEARLY offensive, and that is not right. Why is that? Shouldn’t fair be fair?

  7. Alex @ Before The Baby Wakes says:

    The shirt doesn’t offend me. But what does offend me is the same people who find this shirt ok would also find a “straight” or heterosexual shirt to be offense. The ban tshirts with religious messages on them so why not ban shirts with sexual references?

  8. YL says:

    If I’m offended by anything, it’s this post.

    It seems like the blogger believes there are only two categories of people: those who are “cool with a lot of cool things” like homosexuality or “angry, right-wing ultra conservatives.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t fall into either category, I’m afraid. I get that the blogger is firmly in the camp of the “kick-ass” student. And I agree with a previous commenter that similar wording that promoted heterosexuality would probably be deemed unacceptable by the writer.

    It seems like more and more, the only acceptable target is someone who has the gall to express a faith in Jesus. Too many times, I see “God” and “The Bible” thrown out very flippantly. I’m sorry but I try my hardest to obey God and love Him and love others, yes, even those who are very different from me. And the notion that God just goes with the flow just because it’s 2012 is offensive to me. There is something to be said for dialoguing, but I don’t think that this post welcomes that at all, given the polarizing words chosen.

  9. anon says:

    Take a shirt that means the complete opposite ? Would you be “OK” with a CHILD wearing that to school? If not, then this one shouldn’t have. Lets be fair on both sides. That child will always be known, to her classmates and school admin, as the “lesbian” whether they’ll admit that or not.. I wouldn’t want to be known for being “straight” .. there’s way more to that girl than “lesbian” , just like there’s way more to me than being “straight”. There’s a time and a place to stand up for what you believe in. I don’t know all the details of this story but it doesn’t seem like this was the right time, place, or action.

  10. sarah l says:

    I’m with the majority of commenters on this one. The shirt, to me, is not offensive. It’s also not doing any favors for the LGBTQ community, except maybe giving them a good laugh. Personally, I don’t know if I would ban the shirt or not, because of the reason listed above, referring to if the shirt said ‘straight girls’. I don’t necessarily think the shirt is appropriate for school, it just draws attention where attention isn’t needed – especially considering all of the LGBTQ suicides that have happened recently, and the bullying that contributed to them happening.

    All of that aside, I am a lesbian. I’ve been with my wife for nearly 7 years and we have 2 young children together. I would personally not let them wear a shirt like that ANYWHERE, except maybe a gay pride festival :-)

    And, I would totally wear that shirt – to a gay bar.
    :-)

  11. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    “And the notion that God just goes with the flow just because it’s 2012 is offensive to me.” The notion that I should have to abide by the rules laid out by your fake god is offensive to me.

  12. sarah l says:

    Lmao @ Linda T.o.o!

  13. bunnytwenty says:

    “It seems like more and more, the only acceptable target is someone who has the gall to express a faith in Jesus.”

    Good lord, lady, He was the one on the cross, not you.

  14. Meg says:

    I don’t really care about anyone’s sexual orientation; however, if the shirt said “All the cool girls are straight” it would be viewed as homophobic, and hate speech towards lesbians.

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