Boys skirting the issue

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.
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Stu
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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r.m.anderson wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 8:23 pm
Poltair School - Uniform LINK:

https://www.poltairschool.co.uk/Informa ... iform.html

So then you go to Poltair School's recommended supplier, Cornwall Screenprint, and look what it says about the Poltair skirt:

https://www.cornwallscreenprint.co.uk/p ... s/poltair/

"Girls Pleated Skirt"

There's that word again - girls'. This garment isn't unisex: it's for girls.
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Sinned
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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It does say "....available from many clothing shops or supermarket (including Cornwall Screenprint)." The choice of supplier is optional but then you are not going to get ASDA, Tesco or other mainline clothing retailers to describe a skirt as anything other than a girl's. So it is not the school representative's fault - she is just following the retailers' classification.
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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Sinned wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:40 pm
It does say "....available from many clothing shops or supermarket (including Cornwall Screenprint)." The choice of supplier is optional but then you are not going to get ASDA, Tesco or other mainline clothing retailers to describe a skirt as anything other than a girl's. So it is not the school representative's fault - she is just following the retailers' classification.
Therein lies the rub.

How might it be possible to remove the gender "stigma" of the skirt being girls/womens only and truly make it as unisex as jeans? This would also remove the necessity for a guy who merely has a style preference from having to file as trans-* in some form.
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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Sinned wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:40 pm
The choice of supplier is optional but then you are not going to get ASDA, Tesco or other mainline clothing retailers to describe a skirt as anything other than a girl's.
crfriend wrote:
Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:10 am
How might it be possible to remove the gender "stigma" of the skirt being girls/womens only and truly make it as unisex as jeans? This would also remove the necessity for a guy who merely has a style preference from having to file as trans-* in some form.
.......or any other retailer including Cornwall Screenprint which I guess is not "mainline".
The school's input effectively ends at the stated policy which does not specify gender at any point.
This is actually a retail issue. As we are all very aware, skirts are branded for females regardless of the age, toddler to centenarian. That will not change until the sellers profits are adversely affected by sticking rigidly to this status quo.
That requires a paradigm shift in the wider publics buying habits which ain't very likely either and so we just go around again.
Even if the school stopped mentioning Cornwall Screenprint in its blurb, the impact would be miniscule and a local company would just lose a bit of home support for no good reason.
Without skirting the issue, if any boy is sufficiently determined to wear a skirt he will do it. He won't give a damn about the target demographic and may even hide it away until he finds a certain cafe. The real pity is that statement reminds me too much of me and I'd hope for better for todays boys.
The Poltair protest was just that, the skirts were a stunt aimed to garner publicity and nothing whatsoever to do with boys'/male fashion choices.
If they had just worn shorts I doubt we would have heard about it or had it as a thread for discussion.
One point I'd find interesting would be to discover if any of them had acquired the regulation skirt to wear as part of their uniform for the new school session in September. Not to mention how the school staff reacted.
For my money a worthwhile follow up but probably pointless.
Steve.
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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All of the above notwithstanding, it is encouraging to see our local Primary School (rebranded last year following a merger of the separate infant and primary schools) makes no mention of gender on the uniform list:

School uniform should be labelled with your child’s name and consists of:

Colour Garment[0]
Royal blue Sweatshirt, hoodie, jumper or cardigan
Black or grey Formal trousers, skirt of appropriate length, shorts/divided skirt, pinafore dress
Blue checked Summer dress
White Polo shirt, school shirt/blouse
Black School shoes or training shoes
Royal blue,
black or grey Tights
White, black
or grey Socks
Black Indoor shoes
P7 pupil
choice P7 hoodie/sweatshirt


PE Kit: Black shorts and white T shirt (no strappy tops) – for winter, please make sure your child has warm jogging bottoms and a sweatshirt.

I've always fancied the grey pinafore with white socks and Mary Janes.

I'll keep an eye out for any adventurous young males!

[0] Tried to do this table in BBCode but it didn't work and all the spaces were trimmed! :(
See the original here: https://www.edubuzz.org/prestontower/ab ... l-uniform/
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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@greenboots

They say:

Black or grey Formal trousers, skirt of appropriate length, shorts/divided skirt, pinafore dress
Blue checked Summer dress
...
black or grey tights


What they mean is that girls can wear any of these and boys can wear trousers or shorts. Girls can wear anything. This is all about giving girls choices.

Go to the supplier of this uniform and you find that all items are gendered, but everything can be obtained under "Girls" and only the two I mentioned are shown under "boys". If the school are sincere in offering choices to both sexes, why don't they inform the suppliers and ask them to stop gendering these garments?
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

Post by greenboots »

Out of curiosity, I checked out the Preston Lodge High School uniform code:

Skirts, trouser or shorts (no mention of gender)

There is also a Q&A section, which includes the statement that ties should be done up "at or just below the top button". The dress code is maintained by "encouragement and conversation".

I think this is quite a progressive school, but I've yet to see any of the boys in skirts. I'll keep my eyes peeled :shock:
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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Stu wrote:
Wed Aug 11, 2021 1:51 pm
If the school are sincere in offering choices to both sexes, why don't they inform the suppliers and ask them to stop gendering these garments
The school(s) can ask all they wish but until there is money in it for the suppliers things won't change.
Another thing, the parents and guardians are the ones who control the purse strings.
How many would willingly apply pressure to have the change made in any case?
As I have said previously if little Johnny wants to wear a skirt at school and his parents allow it he wont give a hoot how the thing is labelled.
What is more, the parents would not be any more likely to present the choice to him even if the garments were non gendered.
A scenario that will not happen anytime soon;
"Johnny, do you want to wear your skirt, dress or trousers at school tomorrow"?
I really wish I was wrong but I just don't think I am.
Steve.
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Stu
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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STEVIE wrote:
Wed Aug 11, 2021 7:20 pm
The school(s) can ask all they wish but until there is money in it for the suppliers things won't change.
Another thing, the parents and guardians are the ones who control the purse strings. How many would willingly apply pressure to have the change made in any case? As I have said previously if little Johnny wants to wear a skirt at school and his parents allow it he wont give a hoot how the thing is labelled.
What is more, the parents would not be any more likely to present the choice to him even if the garments were non gendered.

A scenario that will not happen anytime soon; "Johnny, do you want to wear your skirt, dress or trousers at school tomorrow"?
I really wish I was wrong but I just don't think I am.
Steve.
Hmmm ... not so sure.

First, many of these suppliers like to present themselves as pretty enlightened (woke?). Think about Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Sainsbury's. Schools asking for this change for naming them to parents as recommended suppliers wouldn't be ignored and it could do these retailers some good. Just imagine the free publicity Sainsbury's would get if they came out and said "Our school skirts are now unisex - so what are you waiting for, lads?"

I don't think the scenario of a parent asking a boy what he wants to wear for school tomorrow, but some boys themselves might just take the initiative if they could be persuaded that it was a bit rebellious or cool. I agree we are not quite there yet but, if retailers made a point of declaring these garments unisex, that could just move things forward because the boys wouldn't be "crossdressing" - skirts aren't just for girls, you know.
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

Post by rivegauche »

I think there is a massive retail opportunity waiting out there. A good PR company could make skirts for men totally acceptable to society if someone paid them enough. But no one company is likely to do this unless they can be the main beneficiaries. This must be theoretically possible - someone just needs to think of it - not just for school uniform but for all ages.
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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rivegauche wrote:
Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:32 pm
A good PR company could make skirts for men totally acceptable to society if someone paid them enough.
Hi Rivegauche and Stu
Correct but the key words are paid and enough.
Retailing right now is a fairly precarious business and I wouldn't speculate the potential amount required against a likely nil return.
Stu wrote:
Wed Aug 11, 2021 8:51 pm
Think about Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Sainsbury's. Schools asking for this change for naming them to parents as recommended suppliers wouldn't be ignored and it could do these retailers some good.
It certainly could benefit them all but John Lewis would likely be the only receptive one. They would maybe consider it on a specific school basis as that could be decided locally.
As for M&S or Sainsburys, I rather doubt they'd be bothered by any individual school making them a "named" supplier on condition of rebranding.
As I have said speculative gestures in the retail sector will not readily happen in the current climate and I certainly don't recall even implying that I believed skirts were exclusive to any gender.
Steve.
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Stu
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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STEVIE wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 6:34 pm
As for M&S or Sainsburys, I rather doubt they'd be bothered by any individual school making them a "named" supplier on condition of rebranding.
As I have said speculative gestures in the retail sector will not readily happen in the current climate and I certainly don't recall even implying that I believed skirts were exclusive to any gender.
Steve.
I don't disagree with anything you say. Sainsbury's sprung to mind because they like to make a play of being "woke" on social issues, especially when it comes to LGBT and race issues, but probably not woke enough to suggest skirts as an option for boys.

John Lewis achieved some publicity a couple of years ago with claiming its stores would no longer segregate boys' and girls' garments. In spite of that claim, it still does. All it has done is remove the BOYS/GIRLS signage, but the garments were still in separate parts of the sales floor the last time I was in one. It's online ranges are 100% gender segregated:

https://www.johnlewis.com/baby-child/sc ... /c6000034
https://www.johnlewis.com/baby-child/bo ... c600001345
https://www.johnlewis.com/baby-child/gi ... c600001343

That's quite disappointing and it shows they were never genuine in their claimed intention to make all kids' clothing available to all. We still have some way to go.
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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And yet for a change that would initially cost them peanuts [0] if even only 0.05% of men bought a skirt or two then it would add up to some serious money. From small beginnings.... That would enable them to extend the range and so on. Plain, simple designs - nothing fancy.

[0] Putting a rack of say denim skirts in the men's section with some appropriate, encouraging but not lurid, signage. Quick, simple and takes up little space.

Oh, when will it happen? {Rhetorical}
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

Post by STEVIE »

The kids up here returned to the classroom on Tuesday.
Nothing has hit the news regarding a boy wearing a skirt that I have seen anyway.
Perhaps it is just not worthy of comment?
This is forlorn but across the country, is there a likelihood that some intrepid little dude might?
Steve.
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Stu
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Re: Boys skirting the issue

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STEVIE wrote:
Sat Aug 21, 2021 6:56 am
This is forlorn but across the country, is there a likelihood that some intrepid little dude might?
Steve.
Unlikely, but we have seen examples of celebrities allowing their kids to wear garments of the opposite sex. This one showing Megan Fox and her two sons (in the foreground), the older wearing a patterned dress:

Image
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