---- Against toxic masculinity, hypersexualization of females
A movement, “Jupes pour tous” in French, has started in schools in Québec. I thank everyone who participates and supports this movement. I am proud of every school that has the courage to do this. This protest was created by Colin Renaud, and has two objectives: No to toxic masculinity & no to the hypersexualization of women’s bodies.
To do this we take performative actions such as wearing skirts to school, both girls and boys, because clothes shouldn’t have a gender and shouldn’t define who we are.
Toxic masculinity: Boys are told they shouldn’t cry, be scared or “girly”, and they should be strong -- because they’re “men”. Our generation wants to change this image that society has put into our heads. Real men have feelings and have the right to express themselves.
Hypersexualization of girls: Girl’s bodies have been turned into sexual objects. Our legs, shoulders -- every part of our body -- shouldn’t be seen as sexual, especially not a 14-year-old’s body. It is not our problem our bodies “distract” males; they should be able to control themselves.
Many boys in our generation agree and support us, but other people don’t; we need to educate them that our bodies are not sexual objects.
Grown men and women shouldn’t say, “I’m having a hard time looking you in the eyes with that shirt you’re wearing”, and then send us to change clothes. One 13-year old friend told me of being dressed-coded at her school: “I was going to the bathroom, and one of my teachers stopped me to say that what I was wearing wasn’t appropriate -- we weren’t at the beach. I asked her why; she told me she wants the boys to focus on my eyes and not my breasts, and that she, herself, was having a hard time focusing on my eyes.” This is disgusting. Adults shouldn’t have anything to look at on a girl’s body in the first place!
We invite everybody to join us in removing these absurd pressures on teenagers, and help us build a better society where we’re not judged on gender roles, constructed and imposed years ago, which provoke many problems such as mental health difficulties.
We are able to think critically because many of you, dear parents, have taught us. Thank you! We have a voice, now we want you to listen.
Isabella Castonguay B.
École Secondaire Grande- Rivière