Look at girls boys with bare chests
“What do I wear so that people can see me better?” Was the catchy tune for a campaign for more road safety: Schoolchildren were asked to dress in light colors so that drivers could see them better in the dark. The signature campaign on change.org for the Lycée classique in Diekirch is also about clothing, but about those that the school management does not want to see: the school dress code causes a stir on social networks. She stated that "girls should cover different parts of the body" and was therefore "unjust", according to the allegation in a petition by an ex-schoolgirl who had found almost 1,000 signatories by the time of going to press.
It's not the first time that dress codes for boys, and especially girls, have caused outrage. In France, a fight for “correct clothing” is currently raging under the hashtag #balancetonbahut, where especially young women (and men of solidarity) are mobilizing against rules that prohibit crop tops or hot pants in the classroom, for example. There is also female resistance in Belgium.
In the Diekircher Lyzeum girls are not explicitly addressed in the Code de vie, there it says in general: "Underwear, back, stomach, chest and buttocks are covered". Therefore, at least thinks LCD director Marcel Kramer, the code cannot be sexist or even misogynous. "A boy who shows up topless with us is just as reprimanded by us," emphasizes Kramer and he points out that the code of conduct was discussed by students, parents and teachers last year, adopted in winter and then only delayed because of the corona crisis been published. "Other schools in the country have very similar rules."
It is true that the legislature allows schools to make rules of coexistence and that most have such codes. Still, it's not as simple as Kramer thinks. On the one hand, the balance of power in most lyceums is such that students represent only a (not very strong) interest group in the school: there are two representatives on the advisory boards, and if there is no student on them, awareness may be lacking. In addition, the language of many catalogs of rules is questionable or revealing: Poitrine for breast seems neutrally formulated, but fesse for butt sounds sexualizing and that is exactly what brings young women on the barricades: In reality, many of the regulations primarily take girls and their bodies targeted. While baseball caps and low-slung sweatpants are criticized for boys, it is skimpy tops or shorts for girls who may only see them as comfortable summer fashion. If an adult justifies the regulations by saying that they should prevent pubescent boys (or teachers) from feeling disturbed or provoked by “too much skin”, it is not far to the perpetrator-victim reversal: Lighter-clad women are assumed to be themselves to be blamed for sexist pick-ups, stupid sayings or assaults, as they sometimes occur in the playground. Apart from that, the image of a man that assumes boys cannot control themselves and their instincts is just as sexist.
Dress codes that prohibit physical freedom and stipulate restraint (formerly called chasteness) have a long tradition - and they are classically aimed at or rather against women: be it the covered hair in church or in the mosque or high-heeled pumps and a skirt requirement in the Office. What is not addressed, however, is the male-dominated consumer society, which sexualises children itself, advertises hotpants and mini-skirts for six-year-olds in shop windows, prepares girls and adult (lustful) women and sends them to beauty contests. Who can't find anything about it and suddenly gets upset when such “beauty” norms accompany young people to school.
If it were really only about the right clothing for the respective location, as school administrators claim in defense of dress rules, such as swimming trunks and bikini belong in the swimming pool or tank tops and muscle shirts on the beach or in the leisure club, then schools should do something against them Use the sexualizing language of many codes and consider the unequal and unjust consequences. What is hidden is what a pleasant school climate could be in which everyone feels comfortable, including the girls. Incidentally, they (can) have sexual needs as well and apparently still don't allow themselves to be distracted as easily as directors and teachers often assume the boys are.
The fact that girls and women rebel against double standards and hypocrisy, which on the one hand sexualises girls from childhood on in order to accuse them of precisely this sexiness on the other, should be pleased from an educational point of view, as it shows the critical spirit of young citizens who do not have social norms and regulations simply accept, but question their context, the meaning and the consequences.
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