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The long and Short of it

(24 Posts)
HeifferunderConstruction Wed 24-Aug-11 15:16:35

I'm not sure if its a feminist issue, but maybe as it only effects school girls it is.

Did anyone catch the discussion on TWS this morning about trousers being enforced as they're more modest, I thought hang on , the skirts aren't immodest, wearing them as a necklqace is immodest if worn properley there fine even tights etc, and another thing from personal experience.

tailored , fitted trousers are a demon if you have curves clinging to everything is hardly modest? In hindsight a knee length skirt with tights would have been in some ways more modest.

I probably sound like a rambling fool just wondering other peoples thoughts on thiss?

Corvax Wed 24-Aug-11 15:19:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UsingMainlySpoons Wed 24-Aug-11 15:20:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeifferunderConstruction Wed 24-Aug-11 15:26:34

not sure. schools have the right to set uniform but when they start waving round words like

why though? I think school is an important place for people to learn how to dress appropriately (by that I mean not underwear showing etc) and there is 'a time and a place'

So when it comes to the workplace people know how to dress? I

HeifferunderConstruction Wed 24-Aug-11 15:27:02

not sure. schools have the right to set uniform but when they start waving round words like 'immodest' I go all hmm

^^ above

HeifferunderConstruction Wed 24-Aug-11 15:28:36

I really do have a problem with schools who 'ban' trousers for girls - that's creepy.

yeah our school tried that ,our headmasters reason was 'some girls don't have the figures for tight trousers'
those are the exact words written on the report

UsingMainlySpoons Wed 24-Aug-11 15:30:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HerBeX Wed 24-Aug-11 15:46:06

Modesty just shouldn't be a consideration in school uniform.

Appropriate, safe, hygienic, sensible, fit for purpose etc. - all OK. Modest? No, not OK, the requirement for only girls to be modest (it's never used about boys' uniforms) is utterly inappropriate language for schools to use about the dress of only half of their pupils.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 24-Aug-11 15:49:12

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Corvax Wed 24-Aug-11 16:23:05

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HeifferunderConstruction Wed 24-Aug-11 16:23:44

Well it does go to both Genders e'g. the trend for boys to have there trousers round there arses iws immodest and usually only applies to men?

not 6 I mean older

Appropriate, safe, hygienic, sensible, fit for purpose etc. - all OK. Modest? No, not OK, the requirement for only girls to be modest (it's never used about boys' uniforms) is utterly inappropriate language for schools to use about the dress of only half of their pupils.

Why is the word modest unnacceptable? like I said its not just girls Am I alone in thinking having someones bodily orifices/underwear shoved in your face is disrespectful if nothing else ??

HerBeX Wed 24-Aug-11 16:33:30

Because modest has moral overtones Heffer and usually, it is just used of girls' uniforms, not boys.

I don't think you can actually buy school trousers that come round your arse, although i'm sure if you can my DS will soon be asking for them. grin

AnnieLobeseder Wed 24-Aug-11 16:41:08

But to be fair, HerBeX, boys don't tend to go around flashing their knickers in too short skirts.

Why do schoolgirls wear such short skirts anyway? To look good for the boys, as far as I know. And of course there is peer pressure to follow the same trend as everyone else.

I would have loved trousers when I was at school. We had to wear skirts, but rules on length were very strict so they were never short.

I'm dreading my DDs getting older and wearing miniskirts. I hate miniskirts on anyone. They're just a way for women to show off their 'produce' to men - just an advert. I feel quite ill seeing so many schoolgirls dressing that way. Do they have any self-respect or view themselves as having any worth outside their appearance?

Perhaps I'm just an old prude.

HerBeX Wed 24-Aug-11 16:43:12

But according to Heffer, they go around flashing their arse-cracks... grin

HerBeX Wed 24-Aug-11 16:43:44

And oh dear, round here many of them insist on flashing their less than perfectly toned chests


AnnieLobeseder Wed 24-Aug-11 16:45:50

Arse cracks and pink moobs on display should be punishable by death, IMO.

All things considered, I'm happy to keep on being a prude....

HeifferunderConstruction Wed 24-Aug-11 16:45:58

Thats a point AL- tailored trousers arent flattering on anyone who has a curve on them clings on to everthing :? I had a reallllly fat arse had to wear tailored trousers just relentless hassle
everytime I bent over like 'woah wheres the sun gone' lol
Short coats were the fashion and I'd get people cover that fat arse, one day after a very bad daty at school I wnet inot town and bought those lycra black trousers that are baggier, not a word since. smile

HeifferunderConstruction Wed 24-Aug-11 16:46:17

Baggy MC hammer trou is the way forward lol

MillyR Wed 24-Aug-11 17:15:48

I've worn mini skirts as a teen and still wear winter mini skirts now in my thirties. I don't think of them as showing off my 'produce' to men, whatever that means. They don't show any more off than a pair of shorts.

I suppose I like them because boots, mini skirt and polo neck jumper is a classic sixties look, and I've always liked the sixties. My mum wore mini skirts into her late fifties, for much the same reason.

tethersend Wed 24-Aug-11 17:23:55

Schools do tend to give out the message to both boys and girls very early on that boys are a victim of their own desire and can't control themselves around girls. They do this by placing the onus on girls to dress 'modestly'. The word 'modest' is used in uniform policies in schools across the country.

I dislike school uniform intensely. IME, when teenagers are allowed to express themselves through their clothing, they stop having to 'rebel' by shortening their skirts. For most girls, a short skirt is a fashion statement, not a sexual signal.

sunshineandbooks Thu 25-Aug-11 08:18:13

It's slightly off-tangent because it concerns both boys and girls, but we need to be asking what we're trying to gain from getting ALL children to wear uniform in the first place. StewieGriffinsMum made a fabulous post on this a couple of years ago which I've taken the liberty of copying and pasting here (with her permission smile).

This might be very disjointed and take several points to get across because I've come to this point from several areas: a background in education and social care, as a mother, as a feminist, and as someone who is beyond angry at how children, and more specifically teenagers, are demonised in Western culture.

1) Educational aspect: the theory is that children in uniforms learn better because they aren't concerned about clothing and that uniforms denote respect and causes children to behave better.

As a teacher, I think the theory that children behave better in uniforms is horseshit. Children respond to adults who respect themselves, their colleagues and the students. Behaviour is better in schools which have effective management teams with good teachers who are supported. The best uniform in the world won't make up for shit management. It can't compensate for serious social problems in children's families or poor teaching. Kids in jeans in a good school with a good headteacher will preform well because they are respected and want to not because they are wearing a tie.

Many, many countries do not use school uniforms and have just as much good behaviour, bad behaviour and 'results' as UK school.

[It must be noted that most schools will still have a uniform policy banning offensive t-shirts, non-existent skirts, and, in inner-cities, banning gang colours]

2) Poverty; The theory is that all children in the same outfit means that kids won't get bullied over clothing. This is wrong. If your school has an expensive uniform available from only one shop, the poorest parents won't be able to afford it anyways. Kids can tell the difference between clothes from Tescos and clothes from M&S even in schools which have generic cheap uniforms. They can tell the difference between boots bought from Clarks and knock-offs from ShoeZone. If they are bullied for clothing, they are just as likely to be bullied for wearing thread-bare too small uniform as they are for wearing Tescos brand jeans.

This argument also fails to address the issue of bullying. Bullies go after the weakest link. If it isn't uniform, it will be something else. The problem is not that the children are dressed the same or not, the problem is that the school has a culture of bullying which is not being addressed effectively. That's the definition of a shit school. Pretending that clothes will make it go away is naive and disrespectful to the children who are victimised by bullying. It makes them responsible for being bullied because they aren't dressed appropriately rather than blaming the bullying on the bully and the school environment which allows them to continue without intervention.

Bullying and our bullying culture is part of the patriarchal structure of our society which sets up everyone in a hierarchy of importance. It also marginalises any child who does not 'fit' the mold.

3) conformity - I think maintaining conformity is about maintaining our hierarchical society. I believe it is misogynistic as well as classist: setting out a clear difference between those who are important and those who are not.

4) Uniforms themselves: tend to be of poor quality, prone to dye problems and rip easily. it is more expensive to keep replacing cheap items of clothing that it is to purchase new better quality clothes. jeans from Tescos (£10) last a lot longer on a physical child that a pair of cheap nylon trousers. If you have more than one child, you are more likely to get more wear out of Tescos jeans than you are the cheap nylon trousers.

5) Respect: This is where I think the issue of uniforms moves into questions of patriarchy. I think, in many ways, they are outward emblems of social control designed to make children 'others'. If you think of the work which requires uniforms, most are of low status and equally low pay [sanitation workers etc]: jobs which are frequently preformed by women.

I think it is also the outward signifier of respect: those in power require these to make themselves feel better. Its like the idea that you can never be rude to your 'elders' because they are old, they must be obeyed. Why should you have to respect a 90 year old man because he's old. He may also be a paedophile, have committed severe violence against his wife or children, be a violent alcoholic. Requiring respect for being old means that the opposite, children, require no respect.

I think, as a society, we are reaping serious social damage due to our lack of respect for our children.

There are so many other things that schools need to worry about [children who are being abused at home, being bullied, ensuring that all kids leave literate even if they have serious social problem which makes continuous school attendance difficult] that arguing over a tie just seems petty. The argument becomes you must wear the tie because I told you to not because it is of any benefit to you.

I think all of these arguments together imply that uniforms on children is about a form of social control which denigrates them as 'human'.

There's a lot of similarity between these arguments and those about women and clothes/make-up/sexuality, etc. Start talking about the length of girls' and am I the only one left thinking that going into such minute detail about what girls wear at school is almost like a form of conditioning to a lifestyle about conforming to a patriarchal ideal of what is acceptable? I'm sure that 'on the ground' individual teachers aren't applying these rules with this in mind and they're probably not even aware of it (thinking solely about what is 'smart' and 'appropriate' in their eyes), but you don't have to be aware of something to be causing damage by doing it.

HerBeX Thu 25-Aug-11 09:27:45

Bloody brilliant summing up there

fewcloudy Sun 28-Aug-11 08:36:12

As a teacher, I disagree with just about all of that...

HeifferunderConstruction Sun 28-Aug-11 10:07:40

As a teacher, I disagree with just about all of that...

what parts?

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