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Author Topic: School uniforms and gender
Ecofem
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I was reading a pro/con piece on school uniforms. It listed something had not yet thought of: a downside of school uniforms is that they help establish and perpetuate clothing-based gender differences from an early age.

Having always attended public schools in the US, I never had to wear a school uniform (if you don't include those lovely PE duds.) However, I know that they are mandatory in many countries and school systems, such as in both mainstream and public schools in England as well as in Catholic schools around the world. (And please do correct me if I'm wrong!) Additionally, some American public schools, namely those in the inner city, have implemented mandatory school uniforms or a dress code; I believe some schools have "unisex" uniforms.

While there are many arguments for and against school uniforms, what are your feelings on (and experiences with) the connection between school uniforms and gender?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts! [Smile]

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bluejumprope
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Great topic.

Uniforms make me very uncomfortable for that reason. I don't know what I would have done if I'd been in a school with uniforms. For the most part, I feel very uncomfortable in women's clothes, and I cannot bear to wear skirts or dresses. Like, for even a minute. (An example: about a year ago, my partner asked if I'd try on a new skirt of hers because she wanted to see how something looked. I hadn't worn one since I was maybe 9, and was in a playful mood, so I was like, whatever. Once I had it on, I was so uncomfortable, I simultaneously locked my arms around my partner and couldn't stop hopping around, until she helped me get it off, and then I cried hysterically for a while.)

So, besides perpetuating gender stuff, I think for many people, it's torture. And, to be clear, I ID as female.

For my graduation, all the boys had to wear suits, and all the girls had to wear white dresses, and navigating that was a bit of a nightmare. (I ended up wearing a white women's pants suit).

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Thehiddenone
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My best friend and I were talking about this just yesterday actually.
We personally think our school uniforms are very annoying, they consist of; A jumper, polo shirt and trousers [or a horrid skirt that no one wears!] And it makes you look fat, flat chested and over all...like a boy. We hate this, we were thinking our school should have a girl uniform, a boy uniform, then this uniform as a multi-sex if wanted. Because really, it's annoying and some people even get bullyied by it ect. Not to mention the rediculus uncomftable and itchy clothing. Over all, our school needs a re-think.

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Felixosaurus
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I wore a uniform for most of my secondary schooling and to be honest I don't think uniforms encode gender more than non-uniforms. If anything it's a more homogenised understanding of male/female. Oh, and I made a point of checking when I was in school and the rules didn' t actually restrict the male/female garments to males or females. It just said something along the lines of, as long as your wearing kack pants/skirt/dress/shorts and X school top, you're fine. So sometimes I' d wear bits of lady uniform, and i was within regulation uniform.

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Idir
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Here in Algeria, they continually try to introduce national school uniforms, mainly because teachers get upset with the oh-so-scandalous clothes we wear.
They want to ban makeup (including teachers), or jewelry and bright colors (for boys), as well as everything our über-conservative principals might consider to be "skimpy" and against "National Values".

(You know, these unwritten laws that we teenagers and young adults - representing the vast majority of the population - have absolutely no right to discuss and shape.)

Most school districts already impose school uniforms, it's just that it's unenforced in less affluent regions, so the government thinks that a national law might magically solve this "problem".

I'm all against uniforms. They reinforce gender roles and take away our liberty to decide what to wear. Unfortunately, I have to wear one.

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StrangePudding
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I spent reception (kindergarten) through third grade in public school in Australia and ever since then in public school in the United States, so I've had both worlds. Honestly, I would have LOVED to go back to uniforms. The thing with us (idk if it was like this everywhere, but I was in a suburb of Adelaide) was that it was basically whatever you wanted as long as it was school colors, green and yellow (I don't think there were many other restrictions, but there might have been such as no miniskirts). Oh, and we HAD to wear hats at recess, but that was more of a 'please don't get skin cancer' type of thing [Wink]

So, yeah, you could wear school-sold stuff, like shorts, skirts, shirts, pants, etc. But as long as you were within school colors, you could also wear other sweaters, other pants. One girl had green corduroy pants - totally legit.

Now, even though there was no uniform at my public school in the US, there were a HELLA lot of restrictions! First it was no halters, no tube tops, no miniskirts. Then it went to no spagetti straps, then NO tank tops at ALL. Absolutely ridiculous. It was literally 'no shoulders.' Because clearly, shoulders are oh so very provocative and one look at a girl's shoulder equals instant arousal. It was way more restrictive and frustrating and sexist than uniforms ever were. Because, ok, yeah, guys had uniform restrictions too, like no pants sagging below the waist. But are they ever going to get called on it? Of course not. But if a girl wears a pair of low-rise jeans? Definitely. It was also really unfair in that a lot of teachers discriminated against people they knew were 'trouble makers.' For instance, as an A student, I would be much less likely to get called out on an 'inappropriate' outfit than a C or D student, or a student with a history of disciplinary problems.

I just don't remember clothes being as big a deal in Australia, and I think the uniforms had a lot to do with that.

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Jill2000Plus
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But you all know how that song goes

First it starts, and you let the girls wear pants in cold weather, then, you think that bare shoulders might not stop things from staying together...

But then they're DANCING NAKED in the STREETS, smoking dope and chewing gum and juggling with beets, which isn't a good idea because it wastes food, and the whole situation sounds rather lewd...

Anyway, I was at schools with uniforms until my secondary school changed policy in year 9 or so, I never liked uniforms, I do think they tend to promote gender roles, and when my school stopped having them there didn't seem to be any particular fallout, at the college I'm at now I don't think I've observed any particular uniform restrictions beyond "keep your breasts, genitals and bottom covered" and I'm guessing they probably wouldn't support male students coming into school topless either, the thing is, I don't spend my time staring at the female students' chests, so I haven't noticed whether relatively low cut tops are commonplace or not, and the weather is still a little chilly at the moment so there hasn't quite been a summer clothing shift yet. It does occur to me that I can't really remember seeing anyone in a shoulder showing top recently, but I don't tend to notice what anyone's wearing on anything more than a "yep, that's scientifically possible and doesn't require that I re-evaluate my model of the universe" level, plus, it's possible that current fashion trends are tending in a more shoulder-covering direction and it isn't actually a reflection of college policy. I might start looking around at this kind of stuff more, or at least ask what the college's actual dress code is.

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Obi
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I managed to get out of school without having to deal with uniforms, but I'm sure if my principal had had the chance he would have instituted them. The saddest (and funniest) part was that we were literally told that the reason we couldn't wear tank tops or shells (the ones with very short sleeves that didn't quite qualify as regular sleeves or tank tops) was (and I quote) 'Because some boy might come up and cut them with scissors'. They were completely and utterly serious while I'm thinking 'And if we have kids cutting people's shirts then don't we have other problems'?

As far as the gender implications, ignoring the fact that I don't like the idea of uniforms anyway, I think the only reasonable way that uniforms can be fair is if they offer a variety of different options for students to wear instead of saying there's one uniform for girls and one for boys and everyone has to wear the same exact thing every day. I don't mind wearing a skirt on occasion, but given the choice I prefer pants and would have been miserable having to wear a skirt/dress day in and day out.

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Idir
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LOL! That was hilarious, Jill.
(The first part, that is...)
Slippery-slope, much? As if slopes were endlessly long. Pfft.

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Bragorien
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Most of the kids in my school show an utter disregard for uniform, be this by wearing skirts that are more like belts or undoing all but one of their shirt buttons. Frankly, I think that this should be allwoed, just becaus ethe girls are being so slutty, in a sense, and they don't seem to realise that if they show everythin they've got.. well, meep. I don't really know where that sentect was going, all I know is I am sounding like my mother [Big Grin]

But, I hate school uniform, it is very unflattering. It is okay for the superskinny girls who's parents allow them to have fitted school shurts and trousers, but I am stucki with my sisters old ones. She was 6'. I'm 5'4''.
So basically, despite the fact I have losta lot of weight over the past year and am now a good size for my height, I look frumpy and fat in my uniform and i get teased about the weight I no longer carry. It is very depressing actually, to have worked so hard to change myself for nothing - but ah well.
So yeah, I blame uniform. I am so jealous of American schools for the lack of uniform. However at the same time I know taht I would run out of outfits wihtin two days, and still be the laughing stock of the school for wearing the same clothes all the time.
I guess you can't win 'em all. [Big Grin]

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Bragorien
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I couldn'twork out how to edit my post, sorry!

PS. Wow, rosalinespork, that uniform sounds ace! If my school did that I'd be fine as our colours are blue, whit and black, so I'd have pleanty to wear. [Smile]

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Jill2000Plus
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quote:
Originally posted by Idir:
LOL! That was hilarious, Jill.
(The first part, that is...)
Slippery-slope, much? As if slopes were endlessly long. Pfft.

Sorry, did you mean the song's humor value disappeared at the end or did you mean the serious commentary part wasn't funny but the song was (I was quite pleased with my off-the-cuff rhyming skillz myself)?

I think the way that works is that this is an imaginary slope that has no flat ground or circle that you come back to the same point on again, or maybe when you get to the end of the slippery slope you've hit rock bottom? Makes no sense to me either way.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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PenguinBoy
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I have quite an affection for the uniforms I've worn through the schools I've been to... it's a source for a lot of nostalgia.

However, that nostalgia isn't really a justification for anything, I'm afraid. If it was we'd all be tied down by the same number of traditions that surpressed the generations before us but they were thankfully repealed and nostalgia was something to disregard.

There were different uniforms for boys and girls in all my schools which was very restrictive... I'm not sure if it created roles, but it did create a separation aesthetically which can only have enforced the dichotomy of gender which was generally prevalent in social groups through most of school - that wasn't so much the case as we got older.

I think the school's position was that if everyone had the same clothes it'd eliminate the difference in apparency of people's poverty and so reduce bullying... but it distinguished between male and female because of... tradition i suppose... the thing is, I don't think bullying is caused by difference anyway, but insecurity surrounding those differences. I think that was the issue with school as a whole.

I don't think bans on what people were allowed to wear or use to present themselves does any thing to address the issues lying beneath and created a huge gap between teachers and student by making a lot of people really resent the school for flaunting their power to kick people out for refusing to wear what they're told to wear.

My friends brother was refused entry to the school because he didn't want to wear a tie to the sixthform inductions. I had to always ask a teacher before I was allowed to remove my blazer in class. Not until the summer months would the school announce that the top buttons of boys shirts could be undone... it was really petty but people could get in serious trouble if they didn't submit.

I did like my blazer and my tie and the sexy tweaks people would try to get away with on their uniforms. And it made "non-uniform" days for charity extra special events, and really fun... but they were just happy side-effects of what is really a flawed idea IMO.

[ 05-11-2009, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: PenguinBoy ]

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Idir
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quote:
Originally posted by Jill2000Plus:
quote:
Originally posted by Idir:
LOL! That was hilarious, Jill.
(The first part, that is...)
Slippery-slope, much? As if slopes were endlessly long. Pfft.

Sorry, did you mean the song's humor value disappeared at the end or did you mean the serious commentary part wasn't funny but the song was (I was quite pleased with my off-the-cuff rhyming skillz myself)?

I think the way that works is that this is an imaginary slope that has no flat ground or circle that you come back to the same point on again, or maybe when you get to the end of the slippery slope you've hit rock bottom? Makes no sense to me either way.

Of course I was referring to the 'but you all know (...) rather lewd' part, that was the hilarious part. The commentary was obviously serious, so there wasn't a real reason why I should LOL about it [Smile]


And I think Jacob just made an excellent point about bullying and poverty, I never thought of school uniforms of helping you out when it comes to these...
In my future college, we'll have an 'Excessive Display of Wealth' policy.
...that would technically make half of my friends need to change their clothing for that. It's really not cool to come in school and rub your new Aeropostale polo in front of everyone, seriously.

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Bragorien
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In reply to PenguinBoy,
I used to not mind uniforms as we had an about once-termly non-uniform day for charity, and could win a coupon once a term for a non-uniform day. But then we got a new assistant-headteacher who has banned all non-school uniform days and charity events.

She's evil! Anyone who's read Harry potter? She IS Umbridge crossedf with SNAPE. She sits in lessons and glares maliciously! Help! *runs away*
I'd wager she spends more time eating more children's souls than she does teaching them.

[ 05-13-2009, 01:46 AM: Message edited by: bragorien ]

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Kaliatri
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I'm still in uniformed school, and it is hell. I don't mind the rules like, tuck your shirt in, don't wear loads of jewelery.
However, in terms of gender-equality in uniform, the school is a four-letter-expletive.
They care about ties, but turn a blind eye to the girls who wear their skirts like belts.
There are very few options for non-gender specific clothes. For guys, it's trousers.
Girls normally wear skirts, mostly because they are extremely strict on trousers. Can't be too high, or too low, too tight is bad but so is too loose..
The only choice is the ridiculously expensive school trousers, which I tried wearing and just found impossible.
Now I have to wear my skirt long (by that I mean just below the knee) so that I can wear shorts underneath.. But the only shorts you're allowed to wear underneath are the school P.E. shorts.
And tights are so much of a no-no for me(Last time I wore a pair I ripped them trying to take them off quickly.)
I would wear long socks to keep warm but they don't allow that either.

Basically, at our school It's absolutely horrible trying to find anything for a non-gender person.
And this situation? It's the same for most of the schools in the area.

In summary, English school uniform sucks if you don't want to wear what you're expected to.

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-Lauren-
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Great topic, Lena!

I seriously spent all my school days hoping and praying they'd implement uniforms. School was all about who was wearing what, bought from where, and other material possessions and socializing based on how others presented. It left someone in poverty/without much fashion sense pretty adrift. I was bullied horribly on account of my frumpy looks and thriftstore/Walmart clothes.

Especially in a look-at-me culture like in California, I think the cons of uniforms don't measure up to the pros. Uniforms are equalizing and bring back students focus to why they're at school.. to study, not just flaunt and socialize.

I agree with what was said above: dress code policies in general are more sexist than uniform policies it seems. No excessive makeup, no shoulders showing, no mid-drifts, skirt/shorts not shorter than outstretched arms/fingertips, no bra straps, and even, yes, dictating that "proper undergarments" be worn at all times, including bras. It wasn't unheard of for girls to be sent home for not wearing one.

Gender doesn't become a problem if they make a wide assortment of clothing (preferably at the same cost) and make clear anyone can mix and match. Demanding girls wear dresses/skirts is just as bad as the dress code rules, if not worse.

[ 06-30-2009, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: -Lauren- ]

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Jill2000Plus
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I will say that while I agree that one plus of uniforms is the way they make it less obvious who has how much money, I'm not convinced an "excessive display of wealth" policy would be a good idea, I mean does that include not bringing a mobile phone or an iPod because not everybody has one? I think capitalism is a terrible system, however I don't think it's best combated by measures like the one you suggested, not least because what if you found something that was expensive new cheap in a second hand store? Would everyone spend all their time bringing in recipts to prove their clothes didn't cost more than a certain amount? Would nobody be allowed any phone that wasn't at least a year or two old? I'm not being flippant, I just think that such a policy would cause more problems than it solves and there have to be better ways to tackle unequal resource distribution. I agree that snobbishly flaunting one's wealth is douchebaggy though, and do think that schools and colleges should discuss the assumptions we sometimes make about others based on how they look and dress and the way that how fashionable one is often a matter of what one can afford.

I'm appalled that girls were sent home for not wearing bras, if a teacher tried that with me I'd tell them to stop staring at my breasts!

Actually, for me, a big part of going back to college was socializing, because I'd been living in my dad's flat and not really had any friends for a few years, I did the work for the course I was on, but I was very much there to gain confidence and make friends as much as to study.

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-Lauren-
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I don't know about the UK, but here uniforms are usually sold either through the school, mail order, or specialty stores. That means you can't buy pricier clothes if they're from the same source.

I don't think mobile phones or iPods really belong in the classroom, or school at all. There were also policies against those, but that's because there was a high incidence of theft more than being about wealth. Mobile phones were allowed, but if they were caught being used anytime but before/after school or lunch, they were taken. Schools have landlines for students to use, after all.

Too I think we're coming from different cultures. California is extremely lookist and classist, plus we have problems with people showing up in gang clothing, skinhead styles, etc. Also, most schools in my former area had hideous performance, and most the teachers I spoke to remarked that students come to school mostly to socialize/hang out, with academics pretty low on the list of priorities.

I understand socializing is important, but that shouldn't be priority number one, and I think the implementation of uniforms would take out lots of the "clicheness" that so many feel alienated by. I wonder how many friends I would have had if we all wore the same thing? If only..

(Gah, I just realized I keep referring to California as "here" when I'm in the friggin Arctic. I hope that didn't prove too confusing. [Razz] )

[ 07-01-2009, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: -Lauren- ]

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Jill2000Plus
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I don't see what's wrong with wanting to listen to music during lunch break or phone a friend or parent. I'm not saying uniforms have no benefits, though I will make one argument, which is that if all students wear the same uniform, then any student who doesn't suit that uniform will be just as likely to be ruthlessly judged on that basis as a student showing up in their own "unfashionable" clothes (if you're a large size and wearing trousers that make your butt look big then you will suffer). Uniform policies can incorporate many of the things that dress codes can. I will also add that, simply put, I hated secondary school and did not appreciate being forced to advertise the place where I got bullied everyday with my clothes, I had to go to a religious school and I hated that too, wearing a uniform that advertised a place that didn't even have an anti-homophobia policy and was full of bigots. I'm not so much saying you're flat out wrong as pointing out more objections I have. Seriously though, my circumstances with regards to college were unusual and in my case I really was there to socialise at least as much as to study (my tutors acknowledged this). I also have always found school to be unbearably stressful from a young age, homework was a constant source of pain, crying, and on one occasion faking sick to get out of the same class for ten weeks after shouting at a teacher who set me a project I couldn't possibly cope with and who I was afraid would punish me if I couldn't complete it, and because of this I've never really wanted to wear the emblems of such institutions, I'm sorry I'm not contributing much broader social analysis, I'm just explaining what I've always thought about it. I definitely can see that uniforms might be the best of a bunch of crummy options if some students are turning up in gang clothes. They would definitely have to allow everyone to wear skirts or trousers (or both, so long as they weren't overheating.) They also should not have ties, one of the most singularly useless things ever invented, possibly to even out the girl to boy ratio of "got stuck in the sander in woodwork" related injuries after the bullshit norm that girls should have long hair had been established.

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HeyLife
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I just graduated high school and I've been uniforms since the 4th grade. I hate them. At one school, if we didn't wear a belt to school, we were sent to the office to tie a piece of twine through our beltloops. At another, our shirts couldn't hang below our pockets, and several large people got in big trouble because theirs just did. Not all people are built in the same dimensions, like shirt sizes are. I understand the necessity of a dress code, but uniforms are just awful. Girls couldn't dye their hair "unnatural" colors. One girl tried to dye hers red and it came out sort of purple-red, and she was in trouble. It was awful.
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Eevie
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I've been going to schools with uniforms since I was 5, and I've never really minded them that much.

In primary the girls had to wear either a pinafor or skirt (which was basically the pinafor without the top part anyway) or they could wear pants in the school colour, the same as the boys, as well as the school polo but we could wear whatever socks or stockings we wanted as long they were in school colour.

I go to a single sex college so the gender thing doesn't really apply, but still nowhere in the dress code does it allow pants (except on mufti day, where you wear whatever you want anyway) and uniform is really strict. They even tell us what colour hair tie to wear, and I once got a detention for not wearing the regulation hair tie colour. Make-up and jewellery also aren't allowed.

A college near ours is way more laid back, where the girls can wear pants if they want and the guys can wear pants or shorts, and they don't care about your footwear as long as it's black. I've always thought it unfair about the uniform thing, but this school also has a higher failure rate of NCEA etc, so I'm not sure.

I 100% agree about how uniforms are good for the fact that everyone has to wear them. I've seen girls get bullied because what they were wearing for mufti wasn't fashionable or from the latest trend or brand, or wasn't ultra expensive. Even though our uniform is hideous (maroon jersey, white blouse, red-and-gray-checkered skirt and white socks -the winter one is worse-) everyone has to wear them.

quote:
Originally posted by Ecofem:
However, I know that they are mandatory in many countries and school systems, such as in both mainstream and public schools in England as well as in Catholic schools around the world. (And please do correct me if I'm wrong!)

You're basically right. Just to add to this, I live in good ol' New Zealand and you'd be pretty hard shipped to find a college that doesn't wear a uniform, Catholic or otherwise.

[Smile]

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Silverwing
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I've been wearing uniform throughout the last four years of my high school career. I actually hated it and loved it. I hated it because our uniform made me look genderless since they were made not to be form fitting (we have a kilt but both guys and girls can wear it, not that any guys wear it, all the girls would roll it up so it was short), since I was uncomfortable with skirt length being the length of mini skirts. So I always wore regular pants of sweat pants, uniform still of course. The colours were navy blue and white, which were not so bad. Some other schools I know have like red and green, which is like Christmas all year around. But the one good thing about the uniform is that it eliminates competition between high school girls about whose clothes are better, and for those with zero fashion sense and zero money, that can be a good thing.
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goodmagpie
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Idir - 'Excessive Displays of Wealth' policy? Sounds like a UWC to me. If so, a huge big congrats on getting in, and if you were accepted to Atlantic, I'll see you in September =)!

I found that even though girls could wear skirts, most would wear trousers and all of us had to wear shirts and ties for the first few years until the uniform changed to polo shirts. Even then, little differences would make themselves apparent: girls wore their ties short and guys wore them loose; girls generally wore fitted trousers and guys didn't; footwear and jewellery was different, as were hairstyles... I don't think they evened the playing field economically or in regard to gender - the signs and variations just became more subtle and therefore more difficult to follow, so more people would get bullied.

Plus, girls would get away with dying their hair different natural-ish colours, whereas if any boys did that they would be forced to dye it back, have it shaved off or be excluded (as in from school, not socially). Girls also got away with more jewellery. Basically, the school clamped down on anything that seemed 'abnormal', 'shocking', or that would give a bad impression of the school, which I suppose included 'feminine' guys ('masculine' girls were more accepted by the rules but mocked by their peers).

People also would find ways to tell if you were rich or poor or stylish or whatever by smaller indicators, like where you bought your plain black trousers from, and what they were cut like (ditto shoes and shirts). So I'd say not a huge amount of benefits.

There was a brief period where a few of the guys started wearing eyeliner (given they are close personal friends, I feel OK saying I think this can be attributed to gothic/ emo fashion rather than gender identity, but I may be wrong) and the school had no idea how to 'deal' with it, so they just let them for a few days (I think they were asked to stop eventually). Plus my boyfriend got away with wearing flare/ boot cut girls' pinstripe trousers for two years, but that's really because he was told off ineffectually a couple of times and then the teachers let him get away with it because a) he was a good student in almost all other respects and b) (to quote my head of year) he looked really good [Big Grin] .

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mjw325
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My brother goes to a uniformm school and always complains! He's not comfortable in the itchy suit... he's too hot... the shoes bother him... etc.

I didn't go to a uniform school and loved having the freedom to wear what I wanted. However, my freedom was limited with measurments of what is appropriate verse not - if you got caught wearing a shirt that revealed your stomach, you either had to wear an oversized school t-shirt and/or get sent home to change.

While I loved choosing my outfits in the morning, some of my friends complained about feeling pressured by their friends to look a certain way - to dress in this label/that label... to be trendy... to look feminine... to really care but look like you didn't care - meaning you spend those two hours of precious sleep to straighten your hair and find the perfect outfit but make it look like you just rolled out of bed.

i think that when it comes to gender, it seems rediculous that uniform schools create an ideal gender look for students to follow... but I equally think that when it comes to gender, it's also rediculous that in my experience, many students would hold a gender standard to each other, too...

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initium
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It's probably because of the Asian context, but all schools (state schools, at least) mandate school uniforms, and there is a clear gender dichotomy: trousers or bermudas for boys, and skirts for girls. My school is actually fairly "liberal" in that the female uniform is culottes; but then the school is trying to do away with that and institute skirts now, which is really getting me mad.
I think it's necessary to look at more than dress, though. Do they have rules governing hair length where you're from? For example, guys can't have hair past their ears; girls may have hair past their shoulders, but it has to be tied up from there; in the Chinese schools, girls with long hair must do it up in pigtails.

I've talked about this with some of my friends; The Boyfriend agrees that the rules should be the same for everybody, so does Best Friend, so do a handful of others, but for these people there's another handful who insist that it devalues the importance of gender roles.

Personally, I can't imagine (because of my ingrained idea of normative dress) a school that doesn't have uniform, or about the problems that that could cause. I've heard that this would bring up people competing for expensive attire, but I don't know how realistic such a worry would be...?

quote:
I hated it because our uniform made me look genderless since they were made not to be form fitting (we have a kilt but both guys and girls can wear it, not that any guys wear it, all the girls would roll it up so it was short), since I was uncomfortable with skirt length being the length of mini skirts.
Oh, that makes me so jealous! And for the poster above who described her school controlling the colour of hair ties... yep, been living in this environment my whole life. I don't really mind uniforms, but wish they could be less restrictive wrt gender.
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Hollie5626
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Where I live (Australia) there has been a definate change since I started primary school to now, I'm almost finished high school. For the sports uniform, or casual everyday uniform it always used to be a polo shirt with shorts for the boys and polo shirt with skirt for the girls. But now most schools have shorts for the girls as well. At my school probably 90% of girls wear the shorts now, but I still like to wear the skirt a lot of the time.
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moonlight bouncing off water
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Wow, I never put to much thought into it but I guess in some respects I am lucky to have never had to wear a uniform. I think my biggest issue would be that I would not be comfortable in what I was wearing and would dislike what I was wearing (plus my school colours are gold and black; imagine that as a uniform, yuck) Oh and I could never wear a skirt day in day out if it were mandatory, talk about restricting!

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homerunman
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I go to a Catholic school where we have to wear uniforms, and they definitely separate by gender based clothing. Every single one of the girls must wear a skirt. every day. the guys wear pants. every day. the guys wear ties. every day. the girls don't. every day. the other problem is that the way they make the skirts, so that its right at the knee, but when the girls bend over....well, us guys ain't gonna miss a sight like THAT!
i think that even with the panties peeking out from under bent backsides (i had to use alliteration) school uniforms are still bad.
now i just have to hope no girls from my school use this forum.
(just kidding)

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Brittanycookie
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Well I go to a public school in the US. And every school in our state wears uniforms. But their the same for boy and girl. Polo shirt or the schools color and pants. Here it tan but i go to a academic arts academy, so we wear black pants/shorts.
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Shonne Elijah
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Uniforms seem silly. It's so assimilating. Everyone looks pretty much the same, but then it set's a single outline. Like, the only difference between people is their sex, and that's so far from true it makes me want to puke. Clothes are a form of self expression I don't think should be denied to kids, or anyone.
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EmilyV-NonPkid
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I wore uniforms during my HS years and I never complained about it. Looking back now makes me think wearing a uniform now would be a hassle.

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Animica
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I had to wear a uniform until I graduated from HS two years ago. From pre-school to eighth grade, I was in a non-religious private school, and I spent my High School years in a Catholic School. Basically, my uniform consisted of: a polo shirt, a skirt, a vest, school shoes and appropriate white socks. For boys, it was a polo shirt, blue pants (and specific ones, too), and appropriate socks and shoes. In both schools, it was the same when it came to regulations and whatnot. Unless you had a good reason (say, your religion didn't allow you to wear x piece of clothing) you were forced to wear the uniform according to your sex. Whatever gender you actually were was never even considered. If your sex was female, you wore the female uniform, and vice versa, no slack. Anyone's bi/homosexuality was regarded as non-valid.

[ 08-08-2010, 02:14 AM: Message edited by: Animica ]

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mizchastain
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I was in an all-girls school, so not much of an opinion on the gender issues of uniforms. I will, however, say that I loathed being forced to wear a skirt. We had to wear either tights or socks, and both options sucked. I have hypersensitive skin, and I found tights were uncomfortably restricting and when I tried the socks instead I hated the feeling of my legs brushing together. I also felt unpleasantly exposed, not to mention skirts aren't usually good things to be wearing in an English winter. I haven't worn a dress or skirt since my prom night, and I never intend to again if possible.

Does anyone else read El Goonish Shive? I recall an EGS storyline exploring this very issue.

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Daki
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I believe that girls should have an option to choose if they want shorts under their shirts, or trousers. I think that really stricts schools, if they aren't going to repeal the uniforms, to be a little more liberal and allow customization so people can show their interests with pins and glitter and stickers and things. I almost went to a school with a uniform (a Catholic school when I'm pretty much almost an athiest [more an apatheist]), the Peter pan shirt did not really appeal to me.

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