France: Enough Sexism! Students Rebel Against Dress Codes in Schools!

Image credit: Haanala 76 / publicdomainpictures

From a friend of Speak Out Now in France

A feminist movement has gathered momentum across France to protest against clothing discrimination between young men and young women. While young men are allowed to wear shorts and tank tops, in some schools young women are prohibited from entering if the hem of their skirt is above the knees. Angry and fed up with this double standard, some students led a call to come to school on September 14 wearing prohibited outfits (shorts, crop-tops, or mini-skirts). It appeared on TikTok and was very popular!

A young girl said: “There, my friend has just had a warning because she is wearing shorts the same as a guy, who was told nothing! “.

And what are the reasons for this discrimination? School administrators say that certain female outfits could distract male students. Instead of educating the boys, girls are forbidden to wear certain kinds of clothes. This is a clear example of our society’s “rape culture.”

The students’ protest has caused a lot of reaction, even from the Minister of Education, who said that “girls must have … normal outfits.” But normal for whom?

After the #metoo movement, there have been many testimonies on social networks. For example: “I do not find it normal that women are sexualized and thus are told we do not have the right to dress as we want, because it ‘excites the boys.’ We have been told that since we were small. We should have the right to dress as we want, whether it is low necklines, mini-skirts, etc…” 

This is only the beginning of an action of revolt by very young girls against the sexism of our society, which persists everywhere. It’s another fight in the long list of battles for gender equality.