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Anger over ‘sexist’ clothing rules for girls at Swiss Gymnasium Oberaargau

The students of Gymnasium Oberaargau in Langenthal have expressed anger and outrage over a recent clothing recommendation by the school, directed only at the girls.

By – Brünnhilde

Last week female students were asked by the school management by email to dress more discreetly . The list of “no-gos” include, among other things, crop tops, visible underwear or sexual clothing.

Male students have not received a corresponding leaflet. Apparently, the school management believes that the girls could distract the boys with revealing clothes in the classroom, according to a female student from the school.

“We have been degraded to objects. This is clearly sexism,” the 17-year old explains.

The school’s clothing recommendation was featured on a public program and quickly became an instant topic of debate and provoked strong reactions. On the one hand, from the readers who commented on it over 600 times until mid-Monday afternoon.

On the other hand, also at the Gymnasium itself. According to the school management, “due to the numerous requests and the great media interest” a press conference was summarily scheduled for Monday evening.

It is no wonder then that the controversial leaflet on Monday afternoon was a big issue with the girls at the school. If you think about it a bit, it quickly becomes clear why: Hardly any student will openly welcome the idea of a dress recommendation.

“If the school administration wishes to issue such recommendations, it should do so for both sexes,” says student Michelle Stauffer (18). “An institution like the Gymnasium should stand for tolerance and equal rights. With the one-sided clothing recommendation, however, these exact values ​​are not guaranteed.”

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In general, Stauffer finds that there is no problem with too much exposed skin at the Gymnasium Oberaargau.

“I have been attending this school for three years.,” she says. “During that time, I never saw an outfit that I thought was excessively inappropriate for here.”

Maturand Deborah Steiner agrees with her.

“I do not see why it needs dress code at a high school,” the 20-year old female states. “We live in a free country, in a free school.”

Already the dress recommendation has provoked several protests. On the girls’ toilets, A4 sheets hang on the walls – with a clear message to school management and teachers: “Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects.” The message is clear: Instead of denouncing girls for their bodies, you should teach the boys that girls are not sex objects.

The student, who informed the public program on Friday about the leaflet, also reported that some girls have purposely begun to dress rather provocatively, to make a point and defy the recommendation of the school management.

Michelle Stauffer welcomes such protests: “On such matters, the girls have to stick together and express their opinion openly.”

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