A Canadian Boy Wears a Skirt, but Canada Somehow Survives

Our current dress code rules do more harm than good.

A+Canadian+Boy+Wears+a+Skirt%2C+but+Canada+Somehow+Survives

Lizbeth Ochoa, Staff Writer

A group of boys in the town of Gatineau, Canada decided it was time to protest against the constant sexualizing of women and the systemic forms of oppression against queer students on their campus. In order to protest, they decided to wear skirts to school. 

The young man who started this movement is Zachary Paulin, when he posted on Instagram on October 9 a picture with himself and his friends in the skirts and explained his motives. “Basically, the fact that a boy wears a skirt is a sign of resilience, solidarity and support for the intersectional battle of gender equality,” said Zachary

Zachary told Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that he was inspired by the boys in Montreal, who were also wearing skirts to their school to protest their unfair school dress code. To clarify, the girls had to follow skirt-length requirements, while the boys didn’t have any length requirements for their own shorts. The rules were sexist and unfair, just as it is at many other schools. Zachary took the opportunity to do the same at his school, and in addition he decided to raise awareness on the oppression of the queer community. 

The students in Montreal had grown tired of their restrictive uniform. There were many non-binary students who didn’t feel comfortable in the set uniform. Students like Giuseppe Cosentino were helping other students in his school feel more comfortable in who they were by removing gender from the skirts and pants. They managed to get the attention of the administrators at their school, College Laval,  and they are now working on changing their uniforms. 

It is the year 2020, so you’d think many people wouldn’t bat an eye at the boys who want to wear skirts for any reason other than as a protest. However, after a group of boys in England wore skirts to convince their administrators to let them wear shorts for the heat, many felt “uncomfortable” and said their methods were “insane.” To this day there is a lot of controversy on what people want to wear. However, this is something we now need to normalize.

The boys in these schools jumped at the chance to protest many things, like disgusting gender roles, oppression, sexism, and toxic masculinity. However, the girls didn’t sit on the sidelines. 

A student named Chloe Verret saw the movement happening at a school near hers and decided to spread the movement to her own school. The next day, 50 boys wore skirts to school without letting the administrators know. They were removed from classrooms during their learning time and were taken to the cafeteria. The adults assumed it was a sign of rebellion.

The boys loved protesting toxic masculinity, and the girls appreciated the fact that their message was also being spread. “The message we wanted to show with this movement is that our legs, our skin, our bodies are not a distraction, and showing them should not deprive us of an education,” Chloe said. It is not fair that the length of a girls skirt gets restricted whereas the boys are able to hike up their shorts as much as they want. 

Having these dress codes in schools tend to do more damage than good. For example, it sexualizes the shoulders and legs of every girl. Our shorts are measured with our arms, and our straps are measured with our fingers. We are pulled out of class to change into different clothes for the rest of the day. Schools don’t want the girls to wear clothes that would be too distracting. But distracting for whom exactly? The girls? The boys? The teachers? 

We need schools to start normalizing gender neutral clothing, and they should allow shorts and tank tops for hot days. In order to help the students remain focused, all students need to be comfortable with how they choose to dress. Students shouldn’t have to worry about getting bullied for wearing clothes that aren’t “for their gender.” Students should also not be penalized for “distracting other students” with their outfits. It’s a ridiculous idea. 

So let that boy wear a skirt with his outfit and let that girl wear her tank top, and you will watch how the world will keep turning.