Voices

Following ‘ladylike’ rule to the letter worrying

Following ‘ladylike’ rule to the letter worrying
TODAY file photo
From

Stefanie Yuen Thio

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Published: 4:02 AM, August 7, 2013
Updated: 4:45 AM, August 7, 2013
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Hair For Hope is an initiative to support children with cancer who lose their hair due to chemotherapy. (“Case-by-case approach for pupils who want to support causes: Schools”; Aug 3)

They are already devastated by this disease; standing out because they are bald makes matters worse.

Hair For Hope allows members of the public to express empathy and solidarity with these children. It has grown into a movement where awareness and funds can be raised for the cause.

I applaud the young ladies who had the personal courage to be shorn for this cause.

I confess that I lack the bravery to do this. And so I read with dismay and disbelief that St Margaret’s Secondary School had taken three students to task for not wearing a wig to school.

First, wearing a wig defeats the purpose of shaving one’s head for the cause.

Second, it takes even more courage to appear in public without hair than with a wig, which should have been factored into the evaluation of the students’ actions.

Third, surely an act of charity trumps technical compliance with rules on ladylike appearance.

Fourth, it is important that educators espouse and communicate the substantive objectives behind rules.

The rule was to avoid “punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles”. If it was apparent that the reason for a bald head was not a style choice but for a good cause, then the mischief the rule was intended to prevent was not a relevant consideration.

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