Girl wins right to wear pants after mom’s online petition
An Australian girl wins right to wear pants because even though it is 2016 females still have to deal with this nonsense.
Asha is in the first grade and attends a Melbourne Catholic school that until earlier this week only allowed its female students to wear dresses in the summer and long tunics and stockings in the winter. The little girl loves sports and hates that her uniform doesn’t allow her to play like the boys. Also, being discriminated against sucks. “She constantly asks ‘why can’t I wear pants like the boys,'” her mom wrote on her online petition. Simone Cariss started it after she politely asked school officials to let her daughter wear pants. They said no.
— Change.org Australia (@ChangeAus) May 13, 2016
Why was this fight so important to Cariss? “‘Because you’re a girl’ is not something I am prepared to say to my 6-year-old daughter,” she explained. “A daughter who I have raised to believe she can do and conquer anything, regardless of her gender, and that she can like what she wants to like and not what gender stereotypes dictate she should like.” Hell yeah she can!
Cariss quickly gained the support of more than 15,000 people. “As a teacher, I believe it is essential for students to feel comfortable in the classroom in order for them to learn effectively. While uniforms may be compulsory in many schools, both public and private, it is discriminatory to make them purely gender specific, neutral options should be available,” Lillie Wilson wrote. “Children shouldn’t be discriminated against because of their age and their lack of public voice on this issue of gender inequality.” Some wise words from an expert on children.
So what made the school change its mind? The same thing that makes politicians apologize for things they’ve long denied – bad press. The petition generated enough publicity between its launch on Friday that by Monday morning the folks at Our Lady of the Nativity Primary School reversed their opinion. Asha can now wear pants. And the principal established a uniform committee to review the school’s outdated policies. The new team will include students, educators, parents, and Asha’s mom.
Plus, the professionals agree with Cariss. “Moving away from gendered clothing in schools is another step towards reducing gender stereotyping and sexism that prevents girls from achieving their full potential,” Human Rights Law Centre Director of Advocacy Anna Brown told The Age. Public schools in Australia have seemed to eliminate this unnecessary form of bigotry by passing laws requiring dress codes be similar for boys and girls. But private schools, especially Catholic ones, love outdated traditions. Asha and her mom have already claimed a small victory but remain dedicated to the big win. Cariss wrote, “This still needs to be mandated across the board though in my opinion so not every girl who wants to wear pants has to fight for the right.”