A secondary school in Dublin is facing an online petition alleging “sexism against female students” after female pupils were reportedly advised to not wear tight leggings for Physical Education, as they could "distract" both male and female staff members.
Over 16,000 people have signed the petition by now, which claims that an assembly of girls were told that they shouldn’t wear tight-fitting leggings for their PE lessons.
The petition says the reason given by the school authorities of Presentation College Carlow was that the uniform worn for these lessons cannot show off the ‘female anatomy’ as it is "distracting to the female and male staff of the school", but not the students.
The anonymously-written petition calls it "appalling" and goes on to address the inequality when it comes to expectations from male and female school uniforms.It mentions how the male students were not aware of the situation and did not receive any talk about wearing tight clothes that show off the ‘male anatomy’, which according to the petition is "probably more of a problem."
It further says that the male students tend to wear tighter bottoms in comparison to the female counterparts, and nothing is ever said to them. The petition questions, "Why should female students feel oppressed over a body part that everyone has?"
According to ITV, several parents have also complained about this message, which was allegedly conveyed in multiple assemblies last month.
However, The Independent reports that Mary O’Driscoll, chairwoman of the parents’ council at Presentation College, insisted that the school had held the assembly to reiterate school uniform rules because students had taken it “upon themselves” to wear what they like during the pandemic.
Mary said that lately, wearing leggings is not a part of the PE uniform. It’s tracksuit bottoms, she said.