Italy: Rome school at centre of sexism row over miniskirts

Schoolgirls asked not to wear miniskirts as their legs "catch the eye" of male teachers.

A Rome high school has landed itself at the centre of a controversy after it requested female students not to wear miniskirts as it proved too distracting for male teachers who find themselves looking at the girls' legs.

Italy's education ministry, headed by Lucia Azzolina, has ordered an investigation into the controversial "recommendation" issued by the deputy principal of the school, the Socrate in the Garbatella district of the city.

The school justified its stance on the basis that the single-use desks, ordered by the government for covid-19 social distancing measures, have not yet arrived, meaning that the students sit on chairs, with their legs on full view.

When the schoolgirls wear "skimpy clothing" this apparently poses problems for the school's male teachers whose "eyes fall" on the girls' legs.

The case has caused much debate in the Italian press and has been widely criticised on social media, with accusations of "voyeurism."

As for the schoolgirls in question, they defied the school's "recommendation" and turned up en masse in miniskirts yesterday, armed with posters and signs denouncing sexism.

"Our bodies cannot be objectified" - read a message signed by the students' group Ribalta femminista - "we cannot take the blame for the harassing gaze of male teachers."

Photo La Repubblica