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Does Sexualization Begin in School?

Schools and other educational institutions should accept and promote the students who are a part of them. These institutions, which are regarded as the epicentre of holistic development, provide opportunities for children to learn new skills and be themselves without fear of being judged. Despite their reputation for being for the benefit of children, schools are growing increasingly conservative. Ponytails have been forbidden in Japanese schools because they could "sexually tempt males," according to the standard. Even though this is a drastic step, something like this is not new in Japan.

This is just one of many "Buraku Kosoku" bans that exist in Japan. The schools impose strict rules that must be followed by everyone under "Buraku Kosoku." Students, particularly girls, are continuously subjected to strict limitations. The length of their skirts and socks, the color of their underwear, the shape of their eyebrows, and the color of their hair are all dictated by the schools for girls. If a student's natural hair color is not "black and straight," schools have begun requesting photographs to verify it.

In other countries too, the educational institutions are increasingly curbing the right to self-expression of their students, primarily girls. In India, school uniforms exist not to adhere to the dress code but to affirm that the girls in these institutions dress "modestly." Some schools are determined about having girls wear their hair in an extremely particular way. There have been instances when lip balms have been confiscated by the authorities because they interpret it as the girl applying it for “male attention.” The constant moral policing by the school seems sexist and comes from a patriarchal mindset. Everywhere, girls are constantly aggravated to maintain “morality” or adjust to not “excite the boys.”

Right from the age of 13, girls are taught that if they show their legs, wear lip balm, style their hair a certain way, they are being sexual and thus implicating something. This is troublesome in various aspects. Firstly, this promotes discrimination between the genders as boys are not restrained as much. It also propagates the sickening ideology that the way a woman dresses speaks about her modesty and plays a key role in the behavior of men towards her. These notions further develop into the “asking for it” mentality and put the girls under endless pressure of ensuring that they do not evoke the boys.

The right to self-expression and self-identification of girls also gets taken away when these restrictions are laid on them. They do not feel free to be themselves and are constantly under a layer of constraints. When one is not able to be in charge of themselves, they tend to be low-spirited. By promoting this practice, schools are not only sexualizing the body parts of young girls but wilfully keeping them in a sorrowful state.

We have to bring a change in these practices for there to be an enormous change in society regarding the status of women. Instead of teaching girls to cover themselves up and dress to accommodate to not sexually provoke boys, we should teach our boys how to not sexualize girls and respect their choices and whatever they wish to wear.

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Tags: #sexism #selfexpression #schools #schooluniform #ponytailban


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