Colette Scorzetti, a student at Cardinal O'Hara High School in Pennsylvania, went to an all-girl student assembly this month while her male classmates went to their own assembly. The girls were told to dress modestly so as to not distract the boys and that their virginity was "a gift to their future husbands." The boys were thrown a dance party. So Scorzetti wrote this open letter to the girls at her school:
Okay Facebook, it's story time... So on Wednesday, O'Hara was split between boys and girls for two different assemblies. The boys had a dance party, while the girls were given a disturbing talk about "modesty". The following was my initial response, but at the time I was afraid to post it because I thought I was the only one to think this way. During school today, however, I have learned that everyone else was equally disgusted as I was, and I think I would like to share my thoughts from Wednesday.
Dear fellow O'Hara students, (specifically girls)
Today we had an assembly. An assembly that was supposed to be about "modesty", or as the PowerPoint said "the female body, inside and out". Going into this assembly, I'm sure we all had a gut feeling that it was going to be awful. Let's be real, a lot of our speakers can seem to drag on forever.
However, I can honestly say that what we got today was not what I expected, and not in a good way. I understand that we are a Catholic school. I understand that there are certain moral guidelines that we are expected to follow. I understand that modesty is not nearly as relative to the church as it is to the rest of the world...
But let me get one thing straight. That does not give anyone the right to tell you that you shouldn't be in charge of your own body. YOUR body. Sitting in that auditorium today, I was infuriated by what I heard. These are the exact lessons we were taught today.
1.) we were told that girls need to dress appropriately so as not to stimulate the boys. This is promoting RAPE CULTURE. It is destroying the self esteem of girls across the world and replacing it with fear and hatred of our own bodies.
2.) we were told that our bodies and appearances don't make us who we are, by a woman who was in fact wearing makeup and had her hair done, and modeled professionally for several years.
3.) we were taught to treat our virginity as a gift to our future husband. Not to do it for yourself, but a gift for your future husband... We were given the analogy of a birthday present that had already been used and was therefore worthless.
4.) apparently learning to love yourself for who you are and helping others do the same is a crime against God, because "Lady Gaga went to a good Catholic school and she had such a beautiful voice, but she's using it for the wrong reasons!" -- side note, she was BULLIED in that "good catholic school", no wonder she wanted to forget it.
Look. I understand that the talk was coming from a place of good intentions, but it was wildly inappropriate and frankly absurd. As someone who believes in a God that loves everyone, no matter how you dress or who you are as long as you spread love and compassion, this talk was as far from what God wants from us as it could be.
During the talk, she quoted Saint Frances DeSales... Well, I'd like to quote him as well. But in a positive, non-shaming manner.
"Be who you are and be that well."
Funny how there's no mention of me going to hell for wearing a bikini.
As one commenter on her Facebook post said, "I can't tell if I'm more appalled that this assembly happened or that the boys didn't get one."
Someecards has reached out to Scorzetti and Cardinal O'Hara High School for comment.