School clothing (France)

(59 Posts)
VikingVagine Mon 01-Jul-13 17:55:15

Hello, first time posting in this topic, but I thought it was the most appropriate place to put it.

I'm a teacher in France, in a couple of days we will be discussing what our pupils will be allowed / not allowed to wear at school next year.

By French standards we're pretty strict (the vast majority of schools don't have any dress code at all), we expect all pupils to wear reasonable items (no short shorts/skirts, no tank tops, no flip flops or other beach attire, no underwear visible and no low tops).

I've noticed over the year that these rules are applied more to girls than boys, I've seen boys with Bermuda shorts and no one has batted an eyelid, but girls are intercepted at the gate on a daily basis because their skirts are too short or their tops too low.

I was discussing it casually with the person (CPE) who is in charge of this enforcement and I said that i felt the girls should be allowed to wear short shorts or skirts if they wanted (they're 11 to 14 yo by the way). Her reply was that if the girls wore sexy clothes then they'd get touched up by the boys shock . I tried saying that in that case the problem wasn't with the girls' clothes but with the boys attitudes, but I was generally fobbed off by the other members of staff who agreed with the CPE.

Am I right? If so I need good solid arguments for the upcoming meetings as to why the girls should be allowed to wear what the fig they like within reason for a school.

If not, I need arguments to ensure the equal treatment of both sexes in our school.

ChubbyKitty Mon 01-Jul-13 18:00:04

Personally I think you're 100% correct. Small clothing is not the problem, boys and their wandering hands are. If it were clothes that were to blame then ALL men and boys would be touching us up. As it happens a large portion of them don't, therefore it must be down to the boy rather than what the girls are wearing.

If this doesn't wash then I'm stuck. But I do completely agree with you. smile

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 01-Jul-13 18:06:19

Of course you're right!

As far as arguments go - what sort of clothing do adults at work wear? And what workplace discrimination laws are there? Eg., I'm sure men aren't entitled to touch up women if they're dressed a certain way! angry

I'd say that school is preparing them to be adults so they should be learning to act in an adult way.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Jul-13 18:11:28

I think that the issue is that boys are allowed to wear shorts rather than the fact that the girls are banned from wearing shorts. Although prehaps I am influenced by English culture where its unheard of for children to wear shorts to school once they are over eight!

"Am I right? If so I need good solid arguments for the upcoming meetings as to why the girls should be allowed to wear what the fig they like within reason for a school. "

If there is going to be a strict dress code (by French standards) then it needs to be applied to all children. Prehaps the french definition of what is reasonable to wear to school is different to the English. It would be interesting to know what the parents think.

VikingVagine Mon 01-Jul-13 18:16:18

The parents generally don't seem to care what their kids wear, the do get mightily annoyed when they have to bring a complete change of clothes in because the original outfit was deemed inappropriate.

The staff can wear what they like, my headmaster said that my skirts are too short but I have told him I would wear what I bloody well liked and at he should be paying more attention to the contents of the teachers' lessons than their appearance. He hasn't said anything since and I've been promoted.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 19:30:53

Difficult to answer without knowing more about the sexual harassment / equality laws in France.

In UK I'd suggest that one rule for all fitted with equality laws and the aims of most public sector organisations I know. But not sure whether this holds sway in France.

I agree with your stance, btw

scallopsrgreat Mon 01-Jul-13 20:12:55

I'd point out that they don't seem to be worried about the girls feeling the boys up because they wear shorts so why shouldn't the girls be afforded the same courtesy by the boys?

Boys are capable of behaving properly. They also should be disciplined for sexually assaulting girls. It is illegal behaviour.

Does the school want to be seen to be victim blaming? Because blaming the boy's behaviour on what the girls wear is victim blaming.

Do they want to give out the message that girls are the gatekeepers of boy's behaviour and that boy's bad behaviour is excusable? In other words are girls worth less than boys?

Because those are the messages they are giving here.

bigTillyMint Mon 01-Jul-13 20:14:52

The girls in most of the schools round here wear short skirts (some shorter than others) and I'm pretty sure the boys don't touch them up.

I would be incandescent if DS was touching any girls up.

Melpomene Mon 01-Jul-13 20:37:55

I thought Bermuda shorts were quite long and baggy?

If you mean that the boys are allowed to wear short/tight shorts, then the girls should be allowed to wear them too. Alternatively have a code of more modest dress for everyone.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 01-Jul-13 20:54:00

I agree that the comments made by the head were appallingly victim blaming.

On the other hand, I don't see anything wrong with requiring fairly modest dress in all pupils. There are settings where revealing clothing is not socially appropriate - and I'd put workplaces and schools into that category.

The rules should be gender neutral though. If boys wear bermuda shorts then girls should be permitted to wear skirts and shorts of a similar length.

WoTmania Mon 01-Jul-13 22:34:38

I lived in France as a child (last few years of primary school) and depsite wearing t-shirt/shorts or jeans/jumper type clothing I used to get grabbed/touched up etc and the problem was most definitely the boys' attitudes rather than what I was wearing.

I absolutely agree that it's the boys who need to be dealt with and the clothing rules need to be applied fairly across both sexes.

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 01-Jul-13 22:43:56

I had the same question regarding shorts. To me Bermuda shorts are close to knee length and "short shorts" are really short. I live in Florida where many high school students are allowed to wear shorts, but the rules are the same for all (Bermuda-ish styles). Equality is the key issue, I think.

And this of course: Because blaming the boy's behaviour on what the girls wear is victim blaming.

MyHumpsMyLovelyBabyBumps Tue 02-Jul-13 01:10:57

scone whereabouts in florida?

(nosy)

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 02-Jul-13 01:22:46

MyHumps, the northern part.

VikingVagine Tue 02-Jul-13 06:31:09

Yes yes Bermuda shorts are long and flowery, they are forbidden because considered beach wear (the kids are at school, not at the beach and we've found that their attitude is quite different depending on their clothes!). What I was so shocked at was the comment about the reason why girls can't wear short skirts. I think we need to focus on the no beach attire rule and not say anything about boys teachers being tempted. There are some beautiful short summer dresses and skirts out there which aren't beachy at all, if boys are allowed to wear smart shorts, then girls should be allowed to wear smart short skirts.

By the way lots of boys and men here wear shorts cause it gets very hot from about May to September!

SavoyCabbage Tue 02-Jul-13 07:18:18

At our primary school, in Australia, the girls HAVE to wear shorts under their dresses in case the boys see their knickers. I don't like it as knickers are already to protect your modesty.

How far will it go? Bloomers to stop people seeing your shorts?

The next school along, has banned dresses altogether.

curryeater Tue 02-Jul-13 10:03:01

I think you need to separate several issues:

1 - make sure that the code, whatever it is, is equal and is objectively expressed. I have come across this problem at work - in summer, managing young barely dressed women, I would have liked a code to point to that said "no bare shoulders" or something, cross-gender, instead of the STUPID DEMEANING AND POINTLESS email sent by a male member of staff to the whole company saying that women should not dress "temptingly" angry. So if long, knee-length wide shorts are allowed in sober prints or solid colours, then define this very clearly and do not leave open questions as to what is "appropriate" or "tempting" or "beach wear" (you can wear anything on a beach if you want). And try to make it apply across the sexes. It may be that girls are more given than boys to wear backless tops, but you can just forbid backless tops for everyone. If you allow knee length skirts, be prepared for boys to wear them though! (I see nothing wrong with this)
Offer to write it yourself and present it for comments / approval

2 - enforce the code objectively and equally. If it is written properly there is no need to turn a blind eye to this rather than that, or waffle about the "spirit as opposed to the letter of the law". Write the damn thing properly so the letter stands up - and then enforce it.

3 - address sexual harrassment as a separate issue

PromQueenWithin Tue 02-Jul-13 10:57:34

I agree with curryeater's suggestions.

Startail Tue 02-Jul-13 11:03:15

YANBU
All discussions of school uniform seem to end up back with girls trousers being too tight or their skirts being too short.

Personally I think the male teacher who told DD off for the length of her skirt should be teaching not looking at a 15y legs.

(DDs skirt is shorter than the rules, 100% of the girls skirts are, but not that short)

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 02-Jul-13 14:07:15

Personally I think the male teacher who told DD off for the length of her skirt should be teaching not looking at a 15y legs. Yes. I've noticed people's eyes wandering. I wear short skirts when I feel like it and can certainly notice that.

Has anyone read Persepolis? There's a strip(? What's a couple of frames of comic?) where the religious police caught up with Marjane when she was running for the bus. They said she shouldn't wiggle her bum so, and she told them they should not be eyeing her arse. The principle applies, I think. smile

MyHumpsMyLovelyBabyBumps Tue 02-Jul-13 15:11:17

oh thinking about it i may have asked you before. sad

(southern ish part here)

MyHumpsMyLovelyBabyBumps Tue 02-Jul-13 15:21:04

its a proven fact girls do better at school when clothed, so i would insist on a good length of clorhes for all students for their own benefit regardless of sex.

Not for the benefit of "boys who can't help themselves". I don't think most teenagers are prepared to choose common sense clothing over fashion so the decision should be taken out of their hands for school.

those boys are sleeze bags and will be so regardless of girls clothing. those kinds of comments just take the blame off the person it belongs to

PromQueenWithin Tue 02-Jul-13 15:24:23

They will be warmer when clothed, to be sure grin

MyHumpsMyLovelyBabyBumps Tue 02-Jul-13 15:36:13

you laugh, but i lived in essex in the winter! grin

MyHumpsMyLovelyBabyBumps Tue 02-Jul-13 15:37:04

chicken skin doesn't even look good on chickens

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