These kids are the future - alright?
In recent years there has been a lot of discussion of women's rights, sexism in basically every industry, and the deeply ingrained issues our society has towards women - specifically speaking about their bodies.
Maybe you recall the #FreeTheNipple movement, which is still going strong today. Or more likely you know of all the talk surrounding the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns that see women standing up and speaking out (finally) about their experiences.
The times are certainly changing, as they should be! One aspect of these changing mentalities in society I am seeing lots of right now revolves around the desexualization of women's bodies for no real reason other than to deter temptation from boys.
This is a blatant example of sexism and double standards that women in today's culture face, every single day.
Students in Montreal are in on this issue, and many have been ditching their bras entirely in protest of the forced dress codes in schools.
Many schools and/or workplaces have mandatory dress codes in place, which are usually pretty simple - except if you are a female. For example, girls are advised against wearing tank tops with spaghetti straps as they are deemed to be "too much of a distraction" for their male peers.
This isn't unusual, not in the slightest bit, but it is wrong.
I remember this being true in school when I was younger. Girls would be sent home if they refused to "cover themselves up" or did not wear "appropriate" attire - which is deemed appropriate by administrations. Not by themselves, not by their respective parents.
This is an issue that boys don't often face - except in the case of my schools that also banned tank tops or muscle shirts for boys. This was done simply to not be caught on a double-standard, though.
Then there is the flipside of the coin to consider. For example, there are many bars that will allow entry to women dressed in shorts, skirts, and tank tops - but they refuse entry to men wearing similar or exactly the same attire.
The issue still remains the same, though. Promoting the sexualization, or de-sexualization of women and their bodies. It's ironic to me that the same issue seen in schools is the opposite of that seen in clubs - but the points are the exact same.
Female students at a local school in Outremont, right here in our very backyards, have launched a petition and ditched their bras in protest of these forced dress code guidelines.
They tell a story that hits the nail right on the head. While participating in a year-end activity, one student at the all-girls school (yup!) was told to "cover herself up" as she was not wearing a bra under her tee shirt and could potentially make her male teachers (double yup!) uncomfortable.
It's worth noting that the student was already wearing a sweater, as well.
The students at Le Pensionnat du Saint have launched a petition against the school's dress codes in light of this issue that happened just last week.
While the school refused to comment on the exact incident, the school's executive director, Yves Petit, wrote that "staff must intervene when an outfit is deemed indecent (while being aware the question is subjective)."
So, if the teachers at the school are "aware" that their opinions are subjective, why do they reserve the right to deem what is and isn't acceptable?
I think its far time that we ditch these old ways and guidelines and better educate boys and men that women's bodies are not objects.
If this school's teachers have an issue of distraction from their young, female students - then maybe they shouldn't be teaching our younger generations at all, let alone at an all-girls school!
It's 2018, this whole issue is ridiculous - but not as ridiculous as how common this type of story comes up.
The petition launched by these female students has received over 1,600 signatures as of this morning and continues to grow.
I commend these young women for stepping up and trying to actively change a male-dominated world of guidelines imposed on them. Kudos!
Also, this summer women in Montreal will go topless in protest of similar issues covered in this story, check that out right here.