Monday, October 20, 2008

Catholic School Girl

I read recently in the daily National Post that Catholic Schools are beginning to phase out kilts from their uniform options. About time, I'd say~!

While there are arguements both for the removal and against, I am strongly for the removal of this option. The thing is, as innocent as a kilt may have been at one time, the sexualization of the look is rampant - from nightclub events to porn, the uniform is now drenched in a secondary meaning that has almost eclipsed the original. One could say it is the viewer that places this meaning on the wearer - but I know from my own experience that 16 year old high school girls know full well the power of what they are wearing. Britney Spears apparently knew the power too.

And while I do generally support the freedom for women to express their sexuality as they choose - I don't think they should be doing it at school. A large part of why the kilts are being phased out is an attempt to prevent them from being rolled at the waist to make them at most 6-8" in length. I've seen girls on the bus with their kilts rolled so short I can see their undies. Not exactly the 'pure' and 'innocent' look of yesteryear. As one parent in the article points out - it's quite uncomfortable for a male teacher to tell a student her skirt is too short, regardless of how obvious it is.

I also wonder about the safety of travelling to and from school in such a uniform. And really, why are girls made to wear skirts while boys wear comfortable grey slacks anyhow? While many argue that the kilt is part of 'tradition', I argue that many other things were once part of 'tradition' that are now deemed sexist, racist and intolerant. Is 'tradition' really worth arguing for anymore? We are in the modern era - and girls and boys have equal opportunity in school. Their uniforms should reflect this.

After all, it's just not okay for a young girl to go to school in anything resembling this:


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