Saturday, June 27, 2009

Storm of comment greets Education Ministry ban on short skirts

VietNamNet Bridge – The attempt by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to ban miniskirts in the public schools has raised a debate among educators, parents and students.

Schoolgirls have to leave miniskirts at home
The MOET proposal to regulate school uniforms was no sooner made public than lots of teachers and students expressed opinions. Many support the plan, but a not insignificant number say it is ‘insupportable.’ Educators and conservatives have tended to support the Ministry’s notion of banning miniskirts, citing traditional morality. It has been protested by the students, who believe that they should have the right to dress as they want.

Short skirts will cause. . . troubles?

Asked about the proposed edict, Hoang Thi Thu,a student from the Foreign Language Collegeat Hanoi National University answered cheerfully that “Short skirts are very attractive, but they may cause ‘trouble’ especially when there are many boys in a class. Classrooms are not like the catwalk, therefore, convenience and propriety should be considered as the top priorities,” she said.

A youth union leader, Nguyen Hong Hanh of the Russian department of the Foreign Language College, also said that schoolgirls would arouse their male classmates if they wear short skirts, which will affect the learning environment.

“How can schoolboys can concentrate on learning if they are busy looking at the short skirts of schoolgirls?” she asked rhetorically. “A lot of bad things will occur from the short skirts. I can only see inconvenience, while I cannot see the beauty in this case,” she added

Hanh related that students from a class of her department once had miniskirts made, but they then could not use the skirts as part of the uniform, because it looked ridiculous to wear the super-short skirts to lectures. In the end, these students only used the skirts for festivals or when taking pictures.

Teachers and parents are the people who protest miniskirts at school the most. Thu, a lecturer at FPT University, said that it is necessary to ban miniskirts because the students are of an age that they are curious and want to know a lot about sex, so the miniskirts are really inappropriate. “Moreover, the schoolgirls these days are really naughty and restless. Give them an inch and they’ll go overboard.”

Xuan, who has a daughter at Nhan Chinh High School in Hanoi, said that nothing is more repellant than the sight of girls wearing miniskirts and running around or climbing up and down.

“I think schoolgirls look best in trousers and shirts,” Xuan said.

The boys: “Short skirts are OK with us”

Schoolboys – the ones who experience most directly the ‘inconvenience’ of girls wearing miniskirts – concede that sometimes they have trouble concentrating on their schoolwork, but they don’t agree that’s a problem, simply because ‘schoolgirls look very beautiful in short skirts’.

‘Thanh,’ a student of Ly Thai To School in Hanoi, admitted that he has difficulty paying attention to the teacher if he sits next to a beautiful girl in miniskirt. He has to change his seat so he can keep his mind on the lesson. However, asked if it is necessary to ban miniskirts at school, he said “I don’t think schoolboys will oppose miniskirts. We know it isn’t ideal for learning, but we all like them.”

Quang from the Hanoi Economics University related that his classmates sometimes blushed because girls wore miniskirts. “Sitting, walking, standing, it’s like they are showing off their goods, and the boys are shopping – for both sides it’s a bit unnatural. However, if miniskirts are banned or not, it’s no big deal.”

The girls: “Why do they police our looks?’

Though many people get aroused, schoolgirls – especially the ‘90’s generation -- are practically explosive in their opposition to the miniskirt ban. They say skirts that are too long make them look dull and unattractive.

Trang, the student from the Hanoi University of Social Sciences and Humanity, says it would be odd to wear skirts that reach her knees. “We schoolgirls will look old, short and sloppy in long skirts. I think it should be OK to wear anything that’s attractive and feels good, and not be nagged like this.”

Meanwhile, Linh from Ly Thai To School said she’d look awful in a knee-length skirt. “It’s really unreasonable; why do they have to police our looks? Why do they say short skirts are ‘inconvenient?’” Linh added that she and her friends have been wearing miniskirts to school for a long time and no one has found anything to complain about it.

“I would rather wear trousers than long skirts,” she declared