It isn’t simply volleyball that enforces a sexist costume code. Ladies’s clothes remains to be polished up and down the nation


In 1933, radical German actor Marlene Dietrich was detained at a prepare station for violating a ban on ladies carrying trousers. Almost 90 years later, the ladies’s Norwegian handball staff is aware of the sentiment.

On 21 July, the staff was fined 1,500 euros (£1,295) by the European Seashore Handball Championship for breaking the game’s strict uniform guidelines. The costume code, which states that feminine gamers should put on bottoms that “don’t exceed 10 cm on both aspect … with an in depth match and an upward slit in direction of the highest of the foot”, mandated A bikini prime and backside. In distinction, the lads’s handball uniform is a vest and lengthy shorts.

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To ensure that the ladies’s staff to behave like athletes and never simply transfer, the ladies’s staff opted for shorts. “It is extremely stunning that now we have to pay for not taking part in in our panties,” Tonje Lerstedt, a Norwegian participant, informed the BBC. This defiance attracted a storm of sympathetic outrage from ladies all over the world. “I’m very pleased with the Norwegian ladies’s seaside handball staff for protesting the very sexist guidelines about their ‘uniforms’. The European Handball Federation must be fined for sexism,” tweeted singer Pink, saying That she will even pay the fines of all Norwegian athletes.

The sexualization of girls in sport has a protracted historical past. In 2011, the Badminton World Federation obtained heavy criticism after insisting that each one feminine gamers put on skirts or attire to “guarantee a pretty presentation”. Extra not too long ago, in 2018 French tennis participant Alize Cornet was given a code violation after altering her shirt whereas revealing a sports activities bra on the US Open. The event accused him of “indecent conduct” earlier than finally issuing a public apology. (It goes with out saying that male gamers typically change their shirts, revealing their naked torso.)

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However as each girl is aware of, there have all the time been different guidelines for ladies. Whereas boys generally expertise comparable policing, women face pointless assaults about the best way they costume from the time they begin faculty. From banning brightly coloured bras beneath white shirts to common measurements of college skirts, women are always subjected to the kind of humiliation that has grow to be a permissible a part of being a girl.

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At a younger age, we educate schoolgirls that their our bodies must be concurrently shamed and managed; That they may all the time keep away from distracting their male classmates or much more disturbing male academics. In February, a 17-year-old woman in Canada was despatched dwelling from faculty in tears as a result of her costume, worn over a turtle-neck jumper, made a male trainer really feel awkward. A faculty in East Yorkshire has utterly banned women from carrying skirts, because it makes male academics uncomfortable. In 2015, a 14-year-old woman was despatched dwelling from South Shields Group Faculty as a result of her academics deemed her trousers “too tight”.

It ought to come as no shock that the grownup ladies in sport have accepted the absurdity of their outrageous costume codes for thus lengthy. From a younger age, ladies are informed that their our bodies are each harmful and susceptible; That the potential distraction of their toes must be preceded by participation in their very own training, after which additionally in their very own athletic profession. The ladies on Norway’s handball staff are courageous, sure, however they do not need to be.

Would not it’s radical if we may educate women that males’s preferences are not any extra vital than theirs, that their participation in sports activities or at school is extra vital than the snobbish views of strangers? Is it an excessive amount of to ask that girls in 2021 should not be channeling their internal Marlene Dietrich, preventing to be outlined by extra than simply what number of attire on their toes?

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