Discrimination against people that love their mothers

A high school just announced that it would not allow a student to take her mother to the prom. So is this discrimination against people that love their mothers?

What “rule” would that break? Where’s the article? I’ve seen people do it before.

Also, may I ask WHY she wasn’t allowed to bring her mother?

There’s a big difference between saying “Students aren’t allowed to bring their mothers to the prom” and “This particular student wasn’t allowed to bring her mother.” The latter could conceivably be justified if the mother has a history of being disruptive, for example.

I’d like to see the article…

Is the mother being excluded under a rule which applies only to mothers or under a more general rule which might exclude, for instance, people over 25 or non-students?

Is the gender of either the student or the mother relevant here - ie, would a student be allowed to take a parent of the opposite sex?

Is the family relationship relevant - would the student be allowed to take an unrelated adult of comparable age?

Is the school private or public?

Is what underwear the mother wears a relevant issue here? (OK, I apologise for that one, but it IS kind of appropriate).

As no presumption can be made about the students feelings for her mother, I don’t see how it can be argued that discrimination is against students who love their mothers.

You need to refine your hypothetical and give us some more information, including what country this scenario would be based in.

Maybe they thought her mom would sneak alcohol in… :wink:

In addition, this is not discrimination against students who love their mothers. They may love their mothers as much as they wish. They simply cannot bring them to the prom.

    If, as you have stated, prohibiting a gay student from taking his boyfriend to the prom is not discrimination against homosexuals, then banning a student from taking their mother is not discrimination against students who love their mothers.

The mother was excluded under the schools “no adults at prom” policy. The town is Lee, Massachusetts. Alicia Powers, 18, wanted to bring her mother, Brenda McDarby, 38; they’ve already picked out their matching gowns.

Here’s a link to the story; other links via the Associated Press are probably available.

Loophole alert?

Is not, at 18 years of age, the younger Powers’ an “adult” also?

It’s probably there to avoid possible dates like a 32 year old man and a 17 year old girl (or vice versa), but it sounds too ambiguous a rule for it to be upheld. It doesn’t necessarily scream “discrimination against people who love their mothers.”

Well, who is this going to affect more: students that love their mothers, or students that don’t?


And conversely, if this is not discrimination against people that love their mothers, then prohibiting same sex dates is not discrimination either.

Isn’t the age of “adulthood” 21 in some US states?

I suspect the rule reads “no adult PARTNERS/DATES/ or whatever allowed”. It’s difficult to see how adult supervision of the event (and I’m damned sure there’ll be adult supervision) could be justified.

OK, I’ll give this a shot The Ryan - please take into account that I come from a country with extremely strong anti-discrimination and anti-vilification laws which are legislatively encoded.

This “rule” seems to be a “generic” law, in that it affects all students equally. Here, at least, the intention of the law plays a significant role in its ultimate interpretation. Thus, despite the fact that discrimination on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and a whole heap of other characteristics is illegal in Australia (at both Federal and State levels), we still have same sex schools, and we still have women’s health centres.

Here, you have must demonstrate reason to be exempted from our anti-discrimination laws. Beauty pageants were not able demonstrate an adequate reason under law and have therefore all but disappeared in Australia. Unless the rest of the Western world has abandoned the rule of law, I suspect that elsewhere incidental and unintentional consequences of a given law (and a high school rule is very different from a law) will generally be given individual consideration as to whether they are within the 'spirit" of the legislation as well as the letter.

Here, it would be perfectly possible for this student to prevail legally about her mother attending, while the school’s original policy would also be found legally valid; the reason why this is so- and I’m sure Princhester will be along any minute now to quote the relevant statutes and case law, is because the primary purpose of the existence of the rule is sound (perhaps even moreso in the US than here) and the mother’s exclusion is an “unintended consequence” of the rule/law.

By contrast, the rule excluding same-sex dates would appear to have no higher purpose than enforcing an arbitrary moral standard.

Thanks for the link, Prince - this whole “debate” would have been much less confusing had The Ryan provided it in his OP.

Well, legally (at least in Hawaii) the legal adult is an 18 year old.

I can’t see why the “kids who love their moms” has really anything to do with it. I’m sure most kids who take their mom do love them, but I don’t know if that is a legally “measurable” thing? I don’t know, IANAL. It just seems a weird thing to be debating about.

Someone warn the Three Billy Goats Gruff about this thread. :rolleyes:

There’s no discrimination here, The Ryan. There was a pre-existing rule concerning adults attending the prom - presumably adult partners.

Your assumed ignorance - What? She loves her mother? The poor girl! - isn’t entertaining or informative; it’s just stupid.

The bee in your bonnet about the godless homosexuals who dare to wish to take their partner to the prom is getting tiresome. You seem to wish to compare the two, when they cannot be compared.

Case A: “No same sex partners”

Discrimination because it discriminates against something gay people do, while allowing straight people to do the equivalent. A partner is often a significant other, (hence the tradition of taking a partner of the opposite sex) and I would assume that in almost all cases, where a significant other is available they would choose their SO to be their partner. Gay people, who tend to choose significant others of the same sex are being discriminated against because they cannot take an SO.
Case B: “No partners over the age of 18”

Not discrimination, because it is making a rule concerning all adults. The mother is an adult, hence she cannot attend. ‘People who love their mothers’ do not usually take their mothers to the prom, not would most of them wish to do so.
Are you next going to tell us that a law forbidding worship at a synogogue would be just, since it prevents all people worshipping at synagogues, not only Jews?


Your logic and analogy are flawed.

The situations can be compared if and only if the girl was dating her mother. If her love was of the standard (drat I know fillial is the word for sons. But, I can’t recall the word for daughters) fillial variety however, the situations are not comparable. Loving your mother does not mean you desire to take her to the prom. Romantic love/puppy love/infatuation/crush/etc feeling for an individual who reciprocates those feelings does mean that you desire to take that individual to the prom.

I disagree. Let’s assume the 18 y.o. girl has a 30 y.o. SO (or 19, or 50). That’s her business. If the school doesn’t allow her to take him to the prom, it’s a discrimination based on the moral view the school has about who she should or shouldn’t date. No difference with the “no gay partner allowed”.


Isn’t that a main feature of religious schools?

gex gex

The implication that I have something against homosexuals taking a partner to the prom is unfounded and extremely rude. These pathetic attempts at character assasination have no place in civilized discourse.

So what if we were to exhange “love their mothers” with “want to take their mothers to the prom”, would that take of your objection?


You are clearly wrong, as this case demonstrates.

The Ryan: Are you then implying that anyone who does not desire to take their mother to the prom therefore does not love their mother?

I still don’t get WTF does “loving their mother” has to to do with anything.

Let’s say…an overbearing, protective mother wanted to accompany her son. She’s overbearing to him, so he hates her. She forces him to take her. She can’t go because of the rule.

Is this sounding more and more ridiculous?

I thought so.

It’s still discrimination against adults, and students who are in relationships with adults.

I mean, by your same logic, “no partners who were born in Canada” would be okay because it’s a rule concerning all Canadians.

I think that gex means that it is not discrimination specifically against people that love their mothers. That is, he is answering the question asked in the OP.