Dozens of teen boys at Collège Nouvelles Frontières in Canada wore skirts to school to protest what they say is a sexist dress code.
Nearly 100 male students joined similar protests that have swept through Quebec to highlight the arbitrary dress code imposed on girls – but not boys – and the inherent anti-LGBTQ rationalization behind it.
When Zachary Paulin first told his classmates that he intended to wear a skirt in protest and urged others to join him, he thought about 30 students would join him.
Instead, over 100 classmates came to school wearing a skirt.
“I knew that it was going to be a big movement, but not that big of a movement,” he told CBC. “I was pleasantly surprised.”
Photos that have gone viral on social media show groups of teens posing for the camera in their matching skirts.
“Today, you probably saw that some boys, including me, wore skirts,” Paulin posted with on Instagram with some snapshots of the day. “Well, let me talk a bit about why we did that. Basically, a boy wearing a skirt is a sign of resilience, solidarity, and support in the intersectional battle for equality between the sexes.”
“The double standard on the way society views our women and men is blatant; if a woman decides to wear a suit or pants, clothes associated with masculinity, it’s not a big deal.”
“But the moment a man does anything remotely feminine – whether it is to put nail polish, makeup, or, in our case, a skirt – fingers are pointed and he gets insulted. People will say that he’s not a ‘real man’ and they will automatically assume his sexual orientation.”
“So, by wearing a skirt, we are united and together against the sexualization of women and we’re sending a message against toxic masculinity which keeps boys from being who they truly are, without judgment,” he continued.
“We’re in 2020, we should be open-minded and fight to end discrimination, homophobia, and sexism. That’s what our skirts represent.”