The Blue and White

(This will be a short post because I’m on a mini-vacation. The kind where I’m theoretically supposed to not be glued to my laptop. Which is, of course, why I brought my laptop with me.)

It’s graduation season, and for the first time I’ve noticed how many schools have different colored gowns for male and female graduates. This wasn’t true for me in high school or college, so I suppose I didn’t have much reason to think about it until now.

What’s the point of separating the men from the women (or the boys from the girls) in this way? I don’t know if this is a case of me reading too much into something, but I’ve noticed that if one of the color options is white, the girls wear it. Why are the boys never in white? (My high school’s colors were blue and white, so if we’d had two different colors, I would’ve been in white, and I think I would’ve been really jealous of the blue robes.)

And what does that mean for anyone who might identify as genderqueer, or otherwise outside of the binary gender norm?

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5 Responses to The Blue and White

  1. Sig Fig says:

    The all-girls boarding school I attended for the first two years of high school had a tradition where the graduating seniors wore white dresses and carried bouquets of flowers. Some of them would even wear veils. I always felt kind of gross about this. Thankfully, the high school I graduated from went with a more dignified black cap and gown.

  2. KC says:

    I always wondered about the seperation of colors by gender. What always got me is that every school in my metro area has the paler color, and we have outdoor graduations in a state park (beautiful natural rock formations) open to the air. Outdoors in the spring, rain is kind of a given. The paler colors not only show what you’re wearing underneath, but seem to show how clingy they are better than the darker colors.

    I never got the point of seperating them by gneder. GPA or extracurricular involvement, sure, but gender?

  3. JessSnark says:

    The only place I’ve seen this phenomenon is in photos from some of my friends who went to small private high schools. All-black for everyone is probably commonest because it’s simplest, esp when the robes are rented rather than bought.

  4. jbhedin says:

    The medium-sized public high school where I work does this too. White for the girls, dark red for the boys. Watching cap & gown distribution last week I found myself feeling a little squicked out. I was further squicked out by the fact that no one else seemed to think it was problematic.

  5. Sui says:

    At my high school it was caps and gowns for everyone and all of them were the same colour, buuuuut, all the girls had to hold a big bouquet of flowers for their grad pictures. It pissed me off and I kinda protested I guess by being barefoot for the fancy grad ceremony.

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