Some of our most powerful and lasting ideas about the world around us are learned at school. Hard work pays off. Success comes from working together. Girls’ bodies are dangerous and harassment is inevitable.
This might sound inflammatory, but it is not an exaggeration. It is the overriding message being sent to thousands of students around the world by sexist school dress codes and the way in which they are enforced.
In the past month alone a Canadian teen says she was given detention for wearing a full length maxi dress because it violated her school dress code by showing her shoulders and back and a UK school announced plans to ban skirts altogether.
These are just the most recent cases in an ever-growing list that has seen shoulders and knees become a battleground, leggings and yoga pants banned and girls in some cases reportedly told to flap their arms…
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