Advanced search

Sexism and school Uniform.

(27 Posts)
Startail Sun 17-Mar-13 20:54:29

Last year they moaned continuously about the girls wearing inappropriately short skirts, now they are moaning about too tight trousers.

Is it just us or is ever school obsessed with nagging the girls about their appearance.

colditz Sun 17-Mar-13 20:57:08

I would say every male in the school should stop looking at schoolgirls crotches, and then they won't notice how tight the trousers or shirt the skirts are.

landofsoapandglory Sun 17-Mar-13 21:00:33

The girls at DS2's school can turn up with their shirt untucked, no tie on and their top buttons undone, all of which are punishable for boys. Neither sex are allowed to wear tight trousers and the girls are meant to wear knee length skirts, but most of them don't.

Startail Mon 18-Mar-13 00:13:15

It's hard to put into words, but I don't like the way that the letters about uniform always seem to focus on the girls appearance. There seem to be far more ways for girls to fetch up in detention than boys.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 18-Mar-13 01:47:49

Too tight trousers does seem quite a subjective thing - at least with skirts you could say "on the knee" or whatever.

Startail Tue 19-Mar-13 12:48:30

Yes, it's very subjective. School want to specify a couple of styles.

Great in theory, but girls come in an awful lot of shapes and sizes.

Boys might be ok if there trousers are a bit tight in the arse, a bit long, a bit short or way big and bundled up with a belt. Also females develop hips, which adds a whole extra layer of complexity to trouser buying between Y7 and Y10.

Girls get very self conscious and also get teased. DD1 got loads of stick for a) daring to grow, so trousers didn't touch the floor and b) having trousers on her waist.

At present we can walk into big M&S and try on 5 different styles and multiple leg lengths. I simply cannot see or tiny local uniform shop being able to match this.

Whether it should be so, girls are conditioned to want to look 'nice' and conform with their peer group. I think it's wrong of school not to acknowledge this fact.

Also I can hardly see the teachers wanting to rummage down girls waist bands to confirm the manufacturer, so it's not going to be inforced.

FloatyBeatie Tue 19-Mar-13 12:55:59

I'm perhaps playing devil's advocate here, I'm not sure, but when girls' clothing is inappropriately sexualised in the shops, in advertising for clothing, in messages from the media, etc. and schoolgirls are following exactly the clothing pressures that we aim to reduce by things like the Let Girls be Girls campaign and all that, isn't there some proper rule for the school in saying No when girls show up -- in an environment dedicated to learning and developing their whole selves -- wearing clothing that is a result of pressures railroading them in to a certain image of themselves and their bodies?

Boys dress isn't subjected to the same level of sexualising pressure, so there is less of a role for the school to play towards them.

Obv I'm sure there are plenty of examples of the school getting it wrong and penalising clothing wronly, but I do like the idea of schools being a bit of a thin red line against some clothing pressures that girls are socialised into responding to.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 19-Mar-13 13:17:36

Star, do you mean styles like "wide leg", "tapered"?

TeiTetua Tue 19-Mar-13 14:41:05

Following up FloatyBeatie's posting (but being less tactful) there have been threads on other sections in MN about schools which have declared that the uniform for girls is to be trousers, never skirts, because the girls (some fraction, at least) insist on wearing the skirt as short and high as possible, rolling up the waistband if they have to. It might be bearable if they were just looking like slobs, but it's too much sexualization for the schools to endure.

Imagine if the girls were being told to wear very short skirts as part of their uniform! The discussion here would probably take a negative tone. But if it's what the girls themselves want to do even if they're told not to (especially if they're told not to, most likely) then what's the feminist response?

It used to be so much better.

badguider Tue 19-Mar-13 14:46:51

I don't see the issue at all with 'too tight' trousers. I really don't. I don't like short skirts for school because the miniskirt has a specific image of liberal sexualisation which it's had from it's first appearance.

but trousers? who cares - university students around here wear leggings as do children under 10 and my guides wear them for activities (and i wear them for running and the gym) and so long as they're not see through they don't look inappropriately sexual, so i don't see how any other kind of trousers can be too tight.

mungotracy Tue 19-Mar-13 15:04:23

They are talking about legging style trousers, you cant wear leggings at school and you cant wear trousers so tight they are in effect leggings...simple. Its not just that the trousers are a little tight so you cant wear them as some posters are suggesting....... basically a simple issue that has been conflagurated due to the usual crowd wanting to make it an issue of sexism which it isn't.

TheSmallClanger Tue 19-Mar-13 15:10:57

If schools had any interest whatsoever in putting together a uniform designed for practicality and activity, they'd have all children/teens, regardless of gender, in combats and school logo t-shirts.

DD's school is trying to trial kilts for girls as of next year, although we are miles away from Scotland. I know that boys' uniforms are policed, but the level of detail that girls are subjected to annoys me. Boys will not have to wear kilts at DD's school next year, like they do not have the length and cut of their trousers scrutinised. Some of the older boys a couple of years ago were wearing skinny-fit trousers and little was said.

badguider Tue 19-Mar-13 15:59:30

Well I don't see leggings as a sexual item of dress so I don't see the issue with girls wearing them.

Beksybob Tue 19-Mar-13 16:03:45

In my old school the girls still have to wear skirts - no trousers allowed!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 19-Mar-13 23:36:55

Mungo, startail hasn't said if they are talking about legging style trousers or not.

SingingSilver Wed 20-Mar-13 00:31:01

I'm slightly concerned at the way my niece dresses for school. She is only 14 and she wears skintight trousers. I agree that boys and girls should have the same uniform guidelines. When I was at school the girls trousers were the same style as the boys', just regular straight school trousers. We had the option of a skirt instead, but otherwise we looked very similar. Now there is peer pressure for girls to look as sexy as possible in uniform.

Schooldidi Wed 20-Mar-13 00:52:17

Our school uses the wording 'trousers must be of a style that would be acceptable in a traditional office' for our uniform specification. That's for both boys and girls. The girls do end up being in toruble for it more often but that's because they don't seem to accept that a traditional office wouldn't allow them to wear the skin-tight, very low wasited styles they insist on wearing. The boys just turn up in basic trousers, which doesn't get them in trouble.

We do tend to have more boys in trouble about the style of shoes they wear, as the boys are more likely to try it on with trainer styles than the girls.

Startail Wed 20-Mar-13 01:30:05

school just moaned about tight trouser and black jeans style trousers.

They want DCs to learn to wear clothes appropriate for work, what ever that means.

Appropriate for a traditional office, seems to be what they mean. Round here that office is quite likely a shed on a farm and jeans, hoody and gilet is appropriate office wear. DF was smartly dressed when the vet turned up and she found herself bearding cows.

The whole concept of uniform is out dated rubbish.

In anycase why shouldn't girls wear 'sexy' clothes if they want to? Why because it might distract the boys. Hmmmm, that's getting dangerously close to the notion that what women wear is responsible for mens behaviour towards them and that is a very slippery slope.

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 20-Mar-13 01:46:52

"In anycase why shouldn't girls wear 'sexy' clothes if they want to? Why because it might distract the boys."
Or maybe, because it encourages the perception that they HAVE to wear sexualised clothes if they want to fit in/not be teased by the 'queen bees'? And as for 'if they want to' - why do they want to? Because the media has suckered them into thinking they must? How dare the schools resist the fashion industry!

HairyHandedTrucker Wed 20-Mar-13 15:55:33

I agree with where you left it.

HairyHandedTrucker Wed 20-Mar-13 15:56:57

can't see why uniforms aren't "uniform " anyway. why aren't the girls and boys wearing the same?

Schooldidi Wed 20-Mar-13 17:45:05

I agree with Whereyouleftit as well. I don't think it's wrong for school to specify a couple of styles of trousers for both boys and girls. No low-rise or skinny styles seems fair enough to me.

Startail you say that the concept of uniform is outdated. Would you like to tell that to nurses, police officers, the military, Tescos, etc. There are an awful lot of jobs where you need to conform to a uniform. The concept of certain clothes being more suitable than others at different times and places is quite an important one for young people to learn imo.

HairyHandedTrucker Wed 20-Mar-13 18:38:45

in the states it's mostly only private schools where the children where uniform although it looks as though it will eventually go that way. Wearing what "you want" is over rated because it very rarely is what you want to wear and is usually just what's in fashion. And what's in fashion for teens and tweens is usually over sexualized clothing. The kids who dress differently get bullied, the poor kids get bullied. And it's a proven fact that if you stick a woman in a bikini she'll test worse than she did in clothes so I think makes sense for young girls to be dressed in a comfortable way not underdressed because they don't want to look weird. and maybe most importantly skinny jeans looks like a really nasty recipe for thrush to me

OddBoots Wed 20-Mar-13 18:46:34

The school here has strict rules, exactly the same for boys and girls. All trousers are Trutex (available in a range of waist sizes and leg length). Skirts are knee length, hanging not fitted and can only be worn in the summer term.

Trekkie Wed 20-Mar-13 18:57:40

I think that what needs to change is society viewing young girls as "sexy" or otherwise... A 13 yo girl wearing a short skirt should be seen as simply a 13yo whose legs you can see a bit - and I mean blimmin eck they're just legs.

Parents have to buy what is in the shops, children want to follow fashion and so on.

The problem is that adults are looking at children in certain attire and inferring adult intent. That is just simply all wrong.

If you buy a pair of trousers and your hips widen then you have tighter trousers. To deem this a "sexy look" on girls and make no comment when boys trousers get too tight around the arse is, well, sexist in itself.

This is a very thorny problem and one that won't be resolved until adults stop viewing schoolgirls in the way that so many do.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now