against sexism, high school girls demand “decent” clothes

While testimonies from high school girls refused at the entrance to their establishment because of an attire that is considered too “provocative” to multiply, the movement # Monday, September 14 is spreading on social networks. Many students have planned on Monday to wear the clothes that are forbidden to them to protest against sexism in school.

In the wake of the movements #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc, the mobilization against sexism and harassment is gaining momentum in schools with many hashtags.

In recent days, the word has been released under the hashtags #BalanceTonBahut or # monday14septembre. The latter, which was launched on TikTok and then on Instagram and Twitter, urges high school girls to come to high school dressed in a “provocative” way to protest the clothing bans and comments about their outfit. In fact, many of them have recently reported that they were criticized for wearing a crop top (cropped top that reveals the navel) or shorts as part of their establishment. Pieces were often considered “indecent”, prohibited by the internal rules of certain facilities, and which have sometimes resulted in some students being refused entry into their enclosure.

In addition to this militant encounter, hashtags #BalanceTonBahut and #BalanceTonProf in the background, bring together testimonies from high school girls who condemn harassment, sexist comments or even sexual abuse they have suffered, but also the inertia of education groups in the context of “guilt” in young girls.

“We would like the childcare hall not to have the wrong goal”

The movement began to appear on Thursday, September 11 on the web aftera high school student in Dax rebelled against a poster stuck at the gates of her high school. This cemented message “proper attire is required” and was accompanied by the image of a cropped top and a skirt with a red cross.

The young girl, who wished to remain anonymous, immediately created an Instagram account (borda_révolte, from the name of its establishment, Lycée de Borda) to condemn these dress restrictions that apply only to girls. Barely four days later, the account already has nearly 2,000 subscribers, including many high school girls who share their own testimonies of remarks from their establishment about their clothes.

Monday morning, many photos swarmed on social networks. Mid-thigh skirts, shorts, tops that reveal a few centimeters belly … # monday14septembre movement is supported by several feminist associations. “We support young girls who remind us that it is not the girl’s clothes that are a problem,” said Céline Piques, spokeswoman for the association. Dare feminism!, contacted by France 24. “We want the childcare center to [conseillers principaux d’éducation, NDLR], do not miss the wrong goal and change your mind and punish the boys “.

In fact, according to the spokesman for the feminist association, no call is made for order or even the law in the facilities, while sexual abuse is widespread in the corridors of colleges and high schools under the pretext of clothing. short or considered provocative. “We must go to the end of the ‘shame must change sides’ initiative and demand that education groups sensitize students to sexual harassment and sexual abuse to stop the unacceptable behavior of some boys,” said Céline Piques, a spokeswoman for the association. later to have intervened many times in schools and was able to observe the latent presence of a certain “rape culture” through games and challenges posed between boys, consisting of examples of touching the girl’s buttocks on the stairs. “Remarks had been made when I condemned what are sexual abuse, comments like: “ah good at the same time, she should not dress like that!”, Céline Piques continues.

On Sunday, the collective “#NousToutes” also showed its commitment and support for the movement # Monday, 14 September. “Our clothes are not the problem. The problem is harassment, assault and rape. Support all those who refuse to blame women.”

Sexualization and guilt

“Today #Monday, September 14th, young girls spontaneously decided all over France to wear skirts, necklaces, crop tops or makeup to assert their freedom in the face of sexist judgments and actions. As a mother, I support them with sorority & admiration,” Monday responded. on Twitter, the Minister for Citizenship and former State Secretary for Gender Equality, Marlène Schiappa.

The latter is on the initiative, with the Minister for National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, from creation of “gender equality references” that facilities must have since the beginning of the 2018 academic year, to make students aware of equality between girls and boys. A tie that does not yet seem trendy, regrets Céline Piques. “The rules should be the same for girls and boys. As long as there are boys who still come to high school in shorts, it is impossible to forbid girls to wear skirts as short as shorts, it is a matter of equality,” she says.

She regrets that the restrictions contained in the internal rules apply only to girls, and according to her, such measures can not be justified by the concept of “respect”. “It’s not a matter of ‘respect’, otherwise we would not be talking about ‘indecency'”, the spokesman for Dare feminism explains to France 24. “It really is a matter of ‘decency’ in dress, because it is sexual. A girl who comes in mini-shorts or a short skirt, we will experience her as sexual, and therefore necessarily responsible for the gender-based violence she can suffer because of this dress, but the bans do not apply to boys: decency only applies to girls and that is the problem “.

From this arises a certain guilt, condemned in many testimonies. “I 6e“I was wearing a play suit with tights and my CPE said to me ‘Watch out, you will catch the eyes of bad boys’, so I was sent home,” Leila said on Twitter, for example.

“There is a total inversion,” condemns Céline Piques. “These standards apply only to girls’ bodies, only because there is sexism in our society and there is gender-based and sexual violence perpetrated by boys.” The spokeswoman for Dare feminism also reminds us: she believes it is necessary to remove the clothing recommendations that are intended for girls and to impose a certain number of sanctions when there is sexist behavior from boys, “so that the girls can finally come to school in skirts, but above all to come in skirts in peace … And it has not yet been won”.