Girls in Trousers

Wouldn’t you like to be in a nice learning environment whilst in a comfortable and flexible uniform? Uniforms should do what their name suggests: unify students, instead of dividing them into gender specific clothing. So why is it there is a great division between female and male clothing? Who gave anyone the right to say that skirts were meant for girls and shorts were for boys? If you are satisfied with wearing a skirt, isn't that a nice feeling: to be comfortable during lessons and focusing on the subject instead of worrying about your skirt doing some silly business? Even though you may feel comfortable, about 50% of the girls in our school say they despise wearing skirts. Only 10% of our student body is really satisfied with their bottom wear and 15% are genuinely uncomfortable with what they wear. Yet, what is being done about it? Last year, as some of you know, a petition was spread throughout the school and was very successful! However, we didn't manage to stick to school policies while preparing it so it was disregarded. However, our point is still out there! All we need to do is find a way to show our thoughts whilst sticking to school regulations so changes can actually be made.

We are in the British School of Guangzhou which follows the British curriculum. If school boys in the UK are allowed to wear skirts and girls to wear trousers under the new “gender neutral” uniform policies, why aren't we making any changes to our uniforms? In the UK eighty state institutions, including 40 primary schools, have either removed reference to girls and boys in their dress codes or have rewritten their uniform policy. A school in Birmingham says “What makes us who we are isn't based on what we wear. We will still look like organized and professional students in our school uniforms but there will be a new feeling in our uniforms: comfortability."

Speaking of which, during the shivering gusts of wind in the winter, shouldn't we wear something that covers all our legs if we prefer to? It does get quite chilly and why should girls only see tights as an option? Trousers are worn by men and women daily and so why not at school? It’s not dyeing our hair green or anything, some students would just feel comfortable wearing trousers during the winter (and shorts in the summer). Sixth formers already do and as we can see, they still look very educational and professional. Younger students in secondary and primary should have their fair share too.

Ultimately, if we want equality in society, then dealing with the youngest is usually the best place to start. If you teach children at a young age that certain things are for girls and others for boys, they will live their whole lives thinking that this isn't discriminating, but it is. For some reason we appear devoted to the concept that girls should wear skirts, not shorts. Young lives don’t come into the world with the biases of adults. They are brilliantly flexible. That’s why schools should revise their unconscious inequalities – often in things as toilets and uniforms – and correct them, even if that means facing a headwind of complaints and discomfort. It will be worth it in the end.

If you think that students have the right to the choice which bottom piece they can wear then talk to your form rep now!