As Amanda points out, even the most progressive members of Dude Nation cannot grasp that women and girls are more than “slightly comical pieces of meat.” That certainly seems to be the case with the U.S. Supreme Court, which may be on its way to prioritizing a school’s “right” to perform involuntary strip searches on teenage girls suspected of harboring Ibuprofen in their drawers over the girls’ right to bodily autonomy. Tuesday’s transcript can be found here (Safford Unified School Dist. #1 v. Redding).
The case before the court concerns Savana Redding, who was strip searched in a nurse’s office after some little snitch said the 13 year old had brought white pills to school. She was forced to pull her bra and underpants out and shake them in front of two female employees. The pills were extra-strength Ibuprofen. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the strip search was unreasonable and unconstitutional. Redding described the search as “the most humiliating experience” of her life. She transferred to another school after the incident.
The old men on the Court want middle school girls to get what’s coming to them for being so tantalizing. Almost chortling, Justice Scalia wondered what happens after “you search the student’s outer garments, and you have a reasonable suspicion that the student has drugs … You’ve searched everywhere else. By God, the drugs must be in her underpants!”
And if it weren’t for those meddling kids, I’d be in her underpants too!
Justice Breyer asked whether what was done to Redding is all that different from asking girls to change into their swimsuits for gym class.
They really can’t empathize with women or girls. I’ll bet he also wonders what’s so bad about raping a women who’s conseted to sex in the past. At least Redding had an ally in Justice Ginsberg, who was exasperated by her colleagues’ boneheadedness. She pointed out that the tipster fingered Redding only after she herself was caught with drugs, and sputtered:
What was done in the case … it wasn’t just that they were stripped to their underwear! They were asked to shake their bra out, to stretch the top of their pants and shake that out!
Watch out Ruth, you’re getting your bench-mates all hot and bothered now.
In a display that caused me to suspect it was April Fools Day all over again, Breyer said, “In my experience when I was 8 or 10 or 12 years old, you know, we did take our clothes off once a day, we changed for gym, OK? And in my experience, too, people did sometimes stick things in my underwear.”
Why am I not surprised.
*Stolen from the Slate article.