Writing Prompt: Tell us about a time when you fought authority and took a stand against “the man.” Did you win?
When I was 14 years old, our Middle-School implemented a new rule that said wearing skull graphics on clothing was no longer permissible, which did not go over well with the student body (this was circa 1989). While I was a fan of the skateboarding culture that was popular at that time, I did not wear the clothes that went along with it; I was more of a stone-washed jeans and LA Gear high-top kind of girl.
My older brother, who was heavily into metal music at the time, gave me a t-shirt of his that had a skateboard on the back. I wore it to school one day, not realizing it had a tiny skull displayed amongst the graffiti. The principal saw the skull and ordered me to turn the shirt inside out, I refused saying that I would wear my jean-jacket over it instead. The principal threatened to call my mother and make her bring me new clothes to change into if I didn’t comply. I shrugged my shoulders, followed the principal to her office, and warned her this action would be pointless. My mother was not a fan of censorship. I’m not sure what their conversation consisted of but I was told to go back to class with no further instructions.
I didn’t wear the t-shirt again, I didn’t like being a trouble-maker, but I wasn’t going to be bullied into something that didn’t have a solid explanation behind it (prohibiting the pentagrams and anarchy signs that also covered the shirt would have made more sense but to focus on that minuscule skull, did not) Later in the school year the students organized a walk-out as a form of protest against the dress code. I didn’t take part because I felt it was organized for disruption’s sake only; I was ruled by my principles, even then.