meanwhile, from a different corner of the world...

French boys can wear skirts to school – an unusual initiative aimed at supporting sex equality has been offered by the education chiefs in the French city of Nantes. On Friday schoolboys at 27 schools in the city have been given an option to replace their trousers with skirts for the day.

The move called “Lift the Skirt” is a part of the initiative promoting the battle against sexism and inequality. VR's own political analyst, Dmitry Babich,expressed his attitude to this initiative and explained exactly how typical such actions are for France and Europe.

What is your attitude to such initiatives?

I think it is a bizarre situation because you are right to say that it was actually encouraged by the administration of that high school but the administration is also hiding behind what they call a 100% student initiative. So, formally they say that the school children themselves had this initiative. And I think in Nantes it has a special meaning because this used to be the city where 1968 protest movement started.

That protest movement started not from a desire for equality but rather from a desire of free sex. At the time one of the main demands proclaimed by the famous Daniel Cohn-Bendit who is now an old stupid man, one of the main demands was a free passage of boys to the dorms for girls. Now we have quite a different story and what is especially provocative about it is people are given an option: you can wear a skirt or you can just stitch to your jacket the slogan of the action which literally translates as “what the skirt raises”.
This is indeed strange because there was a tradition of so-called skirt days in the French schools and the idea was to combat inequality in the areas where girls were not encouraged to wear skirts because these were usually Muslim populated areas where skirts, especially short skirts were considered out of place and even women professors at schools had problems wearing these skirts.
So, I am afraid that what we face here is not a push for more freedom but rather a return to a sort of captivity because I think that even you sense the theme here: instead of more freedom, instead of having an option to wear a skirt or whatever you want, you have this drive for so-called equality.

I think the drive for equality is inherent in human nature but in the modern times very often instead of fighting for real equality, which is an equality before law, equality of income and of opportunities to have an income more and more is replaced by this rather bizarre idea of having absolutely quality before men and women.

Is this really supported by kids and their parents? And if yes, why? Is it particularly typical for France or it is some European trend?
You probably noticed that the papers write that this initiative was first tried more than a year ago but at the time it didn’t raise waves. And I think the reason is it was before this law on gay marriage was adopted in France. So, the general discontent of policies of president Francois Holland woke up the French society, especially the conservative groups. They viewed this law, which was not supported by the majority of the French according to all the polls, as a wake-up call.

So, what we see is a sort of polarization in West European society in general, and particularly in France you have two parts of society which just don’t understand each other. According to news reports, some of the parents encouraged their sons to wear skirts saying that this is going to ruffle some feathers among the conservatives, on the other hand, there was big demonstration from a group called Manif Pour Tous or Demonstration for Everyone, which opposes gay marriage.

So, they said that the organizers of this action had a screw loose in their heads and I think it is just terrible how easy the societies now get polarized over issues which used to be almost non-existent. I mean in Ukraine we have polarization among people who just 10 years ago would live in the same apartment without having an argument over who is better and who is more important – Russia or Ukraine.

Now because the media created this controversy people are ready to kill each other over issues that were not issues at all just several years ago.

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