Since last month, female French high-school students have been mobilizing against rules on indecent dress code. There have been waves of protest movements in middle schools and high schools in France, against internal regulations requiring a « decent attire” with no specific definition. Some of them have been turned away for violating this requirement.
A study entitled « What is a ‘correct outfit’ for a girl in high school? » was carried out by Ifop. Among the results, we learn that 62% of those questioned agree to prohibit plunging necklines for high school girls and that 66% also wish to ban the “no bra” from establishments. Another figure is that some 55% of respondents are in favor of a ban on T-shirts showing the navel.
It is time to stop sexualizing, policing and politicizing young girls and women’s bodies. This example illustrates on how society pressures women to cover themselves, even in the Western world. Or else they will be considered as provocative, which intensifies rape culture at all levels. We should all support these young women who are denouncing this sexist oppression. Why is it that we always blame victims and perpetrators aren’t held accountable for their actions most of the time? It is time to educate our boys instead of ‘protecting’ our girls. We see with this study case that our girls are fierce and capable of having their voices heard.
Our clothing was not, is not, and will never be the problem. Let’s tackle the REAL problem in our societies which is rape culture, sexual harassment, aggression, rape and more. Punish sexist behaviors, not girls’ decisions on what to wear and what to do with their OWN bodies.