What seems like a ray of sunshine over the world after the outrageous hate crime in Orlando, state schools in UK have done away with uniforms based on a specific gender.
The policy lets boys wear skirts
As a part of a government-funded drive to sensitize people towards children who’re yet to figure out their sexual identity, about 80 schools – including 40 primaries – have introduced gender-neutral uniforms to promote the freedom of the students regarding their sexual identity.
This policy lets boys wear skirts if they want to wear skirts to school, and allows girls to wear pants if that is what they are comfortable in. It is based on the belief that is shared by a many people in today’s age: that gender is not binary, but a spectrum.
While Allen Croft School introduced this policy over a year ago – making it the first primary in state to have followed it – the policy is envisioned to let the children perceive their gender as they want to, and not base it on a societal construct. Either the schools have shunned the whole concept of “girls and boys” uniforms, or they have asked the students as young as five to wear anything they are comfortable in.
The move is a huge step towards the upliftment of the LGBTQ community which finds little regard in the society as a whole, devoid of rights in about 73 countries. How? Well, children who wish to cross-dress or relate to the gender that their parents didn’t teach them, can do so and the society won’t look at them weirdly.
While a lot of Christian radicals are opposing this policy, calling it redundant, and confusing for children, the LGBTQ activists are all hailing the government for taking this step that was long due.
Acceptance of Gender Neutral Clothing
The first time a woman wore trousers in public in 1919, she was arrested for the “crime”. This was in the time of the French Revolution, 217 years ago. Back then, skirts were unhygienic and very difficult to carry, so for the comfort and equality that came with them, women resorted to trousers. Females wearing pants came to be accepted (to an extent) only after World War 2.
In February this year, a high school in Sydney also adopted a gender neutral uniform policy after an initiation of protest from the students.
Following this league, major shopping brands like Zara and Reebok introduced their new lines of clothing that did not differentiate between the structure of genders. Jabong too, has come up with the trend of “androgyny” calling it a “blurring of gender roles and stereotypes” which shows men clad in skirts (and not the skimpy ones), who look suave AF.
But why should wearing a particular piece of clothing create such a ruckus?
If looked at it from a different perspective, there is still a stigma that is attached to homosexuality. Dispersing these gender norms based on clothing is surely something to be proud of, but why can’t men wear clothes “meant” for women just because they want to?
I, as a woman, shop in the men’s section to find comfortable clothes all the time. Shouldn’t men be allowed the same “privilege”? It is not necessary to attack somebody’s sexuality just because of the particular way they dress up and find comfort as well as solace in.
If men are dressing up in a skirt, should it be necessary for them to be trans? School boys in California and France wore skirts to school (in February and May respectively) to protest and highlight the point that dress code should not favor or discriminate any gender.
It ought to be acceptable for men to wear skirts for leisure, just as it is for women.
But that is a long battle we have to conquer.
Laws will keep changing; it is time to change our perception! Don’t you think?
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.