Education chiefs in France have caused a stir by inviting boys to wear skirts to school in order to combat sexism and inequality according to the Local. On Friday boys at 27 schools across Nantes in Western France were invited to participate.
The project was called “Ce que soulève la jupe” (lift the skirts), and education bosses claim the plan was suggested by pupils themselves. It was officially sanctioned by education chiefs and was therefore, by extension, approved of by the French Department for Education.
Young men who did not feel comfortable ditching their trousers were allowed to wear a badge in support of the event. The badge read “I am fighting against sexism, are you?”.
Olivier Vial, president of the conservative UNI party said: “We’ll do any old nonsense in the name of equality. This move is inspired by the Day of the Skirt, whose original aim was to allow women to express their femininity in environments where it was often difficult. But this is just denying feminine and masculine identity,” Vial said.
Frigid Barjot, the former leader of the anti-gay marriage Manif Pour Tous, disparagingly suggested that girls should be asked to wear beards in support of the Eurovision winner, Conchita Wurst.
Whilst there have been no examples of similar projects in the UK there have been a few examples of a boys wearing a skirt to school as a protest. On a number of occasions football-crazed young people at schools that do not permit boys to wear shorts have donned skirts as an act of defiance.
They exploit the fact that British school dress codes are not gender specific, and so technically they are as entitled to wear skirts as their female counterparts. In the past these protests have proved remarkably successful, as headteachers are often embarrassed into reversing bans on shorts.