Should boys be wearing skirts?

This is the reaction of New Zealand designer (and all-round nasty individual) Denise L’Estrange-Corbet has to the idea of gender-neutral uniform options being considered by schools.

Yes, Denise. If a boy wants to wear a skirt then there should be absolutely no problem with him doing so, because gendering clothing is unnecessary and ridiculous. A boy should be allowed to wear a skirt or a dress any time they wish, just as a girl should be allowed to wear shorts or trousers, or a kilt for that matter. Non-gender-conforming people should have no troubles with what they are allowed to wear, leaving them only the problem of choosing which of the options available to them they wish to select.

People like Denise-of-the-overpunctuated-surname and their sneering attitude toward what is a big deal for the minority of students who dress in ways that don’t necessarily conform to the norms of their birth gender are an impediment to the progress of society. Gender non-conformists are people too, with the right to be treated well, and without prejudice. If we stop making a big deal over gender norms, and start looking at people as people rather than categories, there are many who would live a better life because of it.

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2 thoughts on “Should boys be wearing skirts?

  1. cmdelislefm

    How do you feel about uniforms generally? I remember people arguing that they were good because they encouraged cohesive group identity and avoided spotlighting class differences, or bad because they thwarted individual identity and were expensive for poorer families.

    Reply
    1. Wombat Post author

      I’m somewhat ambivalent about them, but I fall more on the side of not good. They make mornings easier and they mean that everyone has some good quality clothes to wear, but they are hideously expensive, and I’m not sure I’m a fan of the mob mentality they encourage. I’ve seen kids harassed and even attacked for wearing the wrong uniform in the wrong place. I don’t think they really do much to camouflage class differences – by half-way through the year you can tell who the poor kids are because they only own one shirt and one skirt/pair of shorts, and they’re fading from washing more often than other kids’, or they don’t smell so good because they don’t get washed often enough. Sometimes it’s even obvious from the first day, as poor kids turn up in older, more battered second hand uniforms than their peers. So in total, I can see the arguments for them, and I have some sympathy for them, but overall I think we can do without them.

      Reply

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