Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Puritanism in Brazil - An Update

After the disgraceful and ridiculous decision to expel a student because of a short-but-not-revealing dress brought Universidade Bandeirantes negative attention and after the Brazilian government demanded an explanation, the school has reversed its decision, allowing 20-year-old Geisy Arruda to return to classes at the university. The story caused international outcry, and some pointed out the hypocrisy between the emphasis in Brazil on a woman's physical beauty and the students' reactions to Arruda's dress. Additionally, the school has apparently suspended a number of the students caught on video shouting "Puta!" ("whore" in the most pejorative cultural sense) at Arruda as she was escorted from the university last week. And the school's legal advisor has insisted it wasn't the dress that led to the original expulsion, but because of "'"gestures" and "attitudes" she had manifested." It's definitely good that she's been allowed back into school, though, and hopefully she'll be able to get her degree and do something with it (degrees still being pretty important commodities in social mobility in Brazil. And as for her "gestures" and "attitudes," I could think of a few gestures Arruda should probably offer to those who humiliated her.