As part of the ‘Lift the Skirt’ campaign to support gender equality, male students and teachers of 27 public schools in France wore skirts on May 16 to protest sexism, creating controversy throughout the city.
In Nantes, northwest France, the students themselves came up with the idea to substitute their trousers for skirts to stand against sexism, according to RT.
According to New York Dailey News, ‘Lift the Skirt’ organizer Arthur Moinet said, “We noticed that in a lot of high schools in our region, there are lots of cases of sexism and discrimination, so we thought we should do something to change that, and so we came up with the idea.”
According to the Huffington Post, boys who chose not to bare their legs could wear stickers which read “I am fighting against sexism, are you?”
“We’ll do any old nonsense in the name of equality. This move is inspired by the Day of the Skirt, whose original aim was to allow women to express their femininity in environments where it was often difficult. But this is just denying feminine and masculine identity,” said Olivier Vial, president of the conservative UNI party, according to Bustle.
French political activist Frigide Barjot, notorious for her opposition against same-sex marriage and LGBT adoption, tweeted about the event asking if girls would be wearing beards, referencing Eurovision winner bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst.
The movement faced other opposition, but most responses were positive.