As promised, daughter has done some research into cutting off padlocks. All friends have now seen Chrisy video. Nobody knows anyone who has actually had their padlock cut off. However they do know of a girl in another school who has dumped boyfriend but is still wearing lock. Her friends are trying to persuade ex-bf to give her the keys. Daughter doubts they will succeed. Meanwhile girl hiding lock with hair.
Daughter then went to shoe-repair-locksmith shop where her padlock came from. First she pointed out that model on the shelves. "If I locked something with that and lost the keys, could you cut it off?" No problem at all. Bring it in. Then she showed him the lock through her own ear. "So you could cut this off?" No. No chance. No possibility of using tools so close to flesh, too much chance of drawing blood and being sued. (And to judge by Chrisy video, he is absolutely right.) Sure that every other shop would say the same. Suggested going with parents to, yes, fire station. (There is one quite close.)
Apparently none of her friends had thought to ask the second question, probably because they didn't want to say what they were going to do with the lock.
Rose-of-London wrote: She may be more committed than she thinks.
Flurry of calls and texts to friends, followed by second wave of calls from friends to bf's to check that keys not lost. Especially from 24/7 girls who haven't seen the keys since they were given their "earring", in some cases two terms ago (when this fashion seems to have started, at least round here).
However, daughter shrugs off these new developments. "So it's hard to get off. Isn't that the point?" She has decided to put it all to one side and concentrate on her exams for the next few weeks. I agree wholeheartedly.
Rose-of-London wrote:And what does her school say about such unusual earrings? Do they have a dress code?
They do, and it's officially studs only (allegedly for health and safety reasons). But many girls do wear rings and small hoops. Daughter says some of the padlock-wearing girls have been talked to by staff, initially to make sure they are being worn by choice. (She has the impression the staff thought there might have been some kind of girl-gang-bullying-initiation-ritual thing going on.) Once they were reassured that it was the girls' free choice, they decided to downplay the issue and turn a blind eye, since the girls are all in the run-up to exams and about to leave school anyway (if they come back into the sixth-form they can wear what they like). Some girls were informally advised to wear their hair so as to keep the lock out of sight as far as possible.
Also there would have been practical problems. Normally an unsuitably-dressed pupil would be sent home to change, but if nobody at home has the key? In theory they could contact the bf and say "Your girlfriend is suspended until you give her the keys", but was anybody really going to do that just before the exams?
So the girls are wearing their "earrings" in the exam hall, and the school is hoping it's just a passing fad to be forgotten by September (there have been a lot of these). I don't know what other schools are doing though.
Rose-of-London wrote:As for what's making you uneasy, is it the men-treating-women-as-owned-objects sexist look of it? He's treating her like luggage? On that topic, why isn't the boyfriend wearing a padlock locked by your daughter? Or is he?
He is not. It's entirely a girl thing. I don't know why, and asked daughter. "Because it would look gay on a boy." I don't think this is prejudice. She has discussed it with gay friends, and they too say it would look gay on a boy.
And bf is certainly not a sexist pig. He is always courteous and truly seems to care for her. If anything, daughter is the bossy one in the relationship, from what I've seen. Maybe this is why the padlock thing works for them, kind of evens things up.
And among daughter's friends, it does seem to be the more independent-minded girls who wear the padlocks. Though perhaps the timid ones would like to but don't dare. It's certainly not a sign of submissiveness.
With "Zone" stamped on it, however, it does look like a sign of being luggage. Daughter agrees (and actually laughs). Older brother of friend says it can be ground off and replaced with engraved initial of bf, and she is going to investigate this. But not till exams are over.
Rose-of-London wrote: an "electronic tattoo", where you pay Facebook £100 to put a design on your page. And it stays there for life, or until you pay Facebook £1000 to remove it.
You are definitely onto something there! And you could have a privacy setting, where you can choose "Everybody can see my tattoo" or "Only my friends can see my tattoo". If you could do that with real ones, I might have had more! I only have one (cover-up on my shoulder) but it is quite visible, as daughter has been reminding me recently.
Thanks for talking to me, by the way. It's been a lot easier for daughter to read these posts and then comment on them than to do it all face-to-face. At least on this issue, which began with a big argument. And your advice has been very helpful.
Anyone else out there have any views on this? Am I being too protective, too tolerant or just too long-winded? It does help to write it all down, if only so that daughter can see what I'm worrying about.