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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.

dreamingbohemian Thu 04-Jul-13 12:23:19

wem -- I don't approve of the victim-blaming aspects of the culture, no. Young women should not be told to cover up or it's their fault they get groped, it's ridiculous, and I do hope eventually things will get a bit more enlightened here.

At the same time, it's kind of nice living somewhere where young girls are not usually dressed in an oversexualised manner. It's a bit of a fine line issue, for me.

VikingVagine Thu 04-Jul-13 16:37:14

When I say Bermuda shorts, I am indeed referring to the flowery things you really would only wear to the beach/river round here.

CPE isn't my boss, I have no idea what the equivalent is in the UK, sorry. Incidentally she's the one who is at the gate in the morning checking pupils' clothing.

I'm torn about it really, I hated wearing uniform as a kid, and it still troubles me today! Then again I agree with the idea that the kids are in school, so need to wear school appropriate clothing. We all seem to have different standards of what we consider appropriate though!

Bonsoir Thu 04-Jul-13 17:40:08

I do think that if a school has a dress code, it must be (a) clearly communicated (b) easy to enforce (c) enforced.

duchesse Thu 04-Jul-13 21:42:12

Agree that French boys are horrid. It doesn't matter what the girls wear- there is something much larger at play in French society, that permits boys and men to behave like this and the onus on girls women to prevent it. Feminism has made very little headway in France, and as far as I can tell from my frequent visits back and my family still living there, very little progress indeed has happened in women's rights since I stopped living there full time 28 years ago. I resolved when I was 17 never to marry a Frenchman for this very reason. It makes me so angry I feel like exploding when I see the crap that my sister speaks and views as normal, and what friends have to put up with in their marriage, at work and going about normal life. Many French women feel under-appreciated if they don't get felt up or have suggestive and inappropriate comments directed at them. Talk about Stockholm syndrome. A friend was recently telling me how her headteacher suggested she could get a pay rise. I was shock.

I feel blessed to live back in the UK sometimes, if only for this one reason.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WoTmania Thu 04-Jul-13 23:32:44

Duchesse - I only lived in France for a few years as a primary school child but that was enough! Doesn't sound as if it has changed much.

duchesse Fri 05-Jul-13 01:14:54

It was worse from collège level WOT. I escaped a lot by being pretty flat-chested but there was still a lot of bum-pinching even from 11 onwards.

VikingVagine Fri 05-Jul-13 07:07:40

Umm I think making such a sweeping generalisation is a bit hash! Not all French boys are horrible! <looks at French DH and DS>

BadSkiingMum Fri 05-Jul-13 07:20:51

I disagree with some of the comments from the CPE.

But then again, I don't see why both genders don't just follow the rules. Sticking to knee length for both shorts and skirts should be fine - if shorts could be added to the acceptable list.

Or, is it an issue with what is sold in the shops?

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