#LaRopaNoTieneGénero: Why Male Teachers are wearing Skirts to School in Spain
The movement #LaRopaNoTieneGénero (Clothes Have No Gender) was created in October 2020 in Spain. This movement symbolizes support for 15-year-old student Mikel Gómez who wore a skirt to school. Gómez explained in his viral Tiktok video, that wearing a skirt was meant to challenge gender norms and to demonstrate solidarity with women.
Taking to Tiktok, Gómez stated:
“Can we normalize that guys wear skirts so as not to have to go to school with fear, that they take me to the psychologist”.
Consequently, Gómez was cruelly punished and interrogated. During class he was taken to a psychologist who asked him if he was transgender and identified as female.
This was an utter abusive and invasive act of the school, and a complete over-reaction, to force Gómez to go to psychologist. When the school didn’t like Gómez’s answer, that he identified as male, they subsequently expelled him.
How this was allowed to happen, I cannot understand. But I think Gómez is much better off without this school, who clearly do not support and evidently seek to bully and abuse their power as an educational institution.
Moreover, educational establishments are supposed to support and care. Educational establishments are supposed to teach students about diversity and gender equality.
Educational establishments are supposed to protect students from bullying, abuse and harassment. In this case, it was the educational establishment that went against their values and ideals for the sake of a skirt.
In response to Mikel Gómez’s horrific experience, hundreds of boys throughout Spain wore skirts on November 4th 2020 in support. Consequently, November 4th is now known in some Spanish schools as ‘wear a skirt to school’ day.
As the news hit headlines in Spain, Jose Piñas, a Maths teacher, followed Gómez’s act of wearing a skirt to school. Piñas wrote on Twitter:
“Many teachers, they looked the other way. I want to join the cause…Mikel…has been expelled and sent to a psychologist for going to class with a skirt”.
Piñas also wrote on Twitter about the emotional and verbal abuse he suffered as a result of his sexuality when he was at school, 20 years ago. What’s more is that Piñas states he suffered this abuse and harassment at the same school that he is now currently a teacher at.
#LaRopaNoTieneGénero has gained more support and popularity across Spain, as more and more teachers have taken it upon themselves to wear skirts. Among these teachers are Manuel Ortega and Borja Velúquez, who both teach at a primary school in Valladolid. Velúquez wrote on Twitter “Dress how you want!”. Both teachers wore skirts for every day of May to support one of their own students, and to a greater extent Mikel Gómez, who was bullied with repetitive homophobic slurs.
This movement clearly demonstrates that there needs to be a reevaluation of dress code for schools. Not just in Spain, but worldwide. There have been multiple posts on social media of ‘Gender Swap’ days in American high schools, where boys wear stereotypical female clothing and vice versa with girls.
In the UK in recent years, teenage boys have been wearing skirts in protest. More recently, in 2019 a primary school in Dublin, Ireland has introduced a gender neutral uniform for all students. There is definite change coming about, and the more news and popularity gained from this movement, the better.
It seems utterly ludicrous that young people should miss out on their education because of a piece of clothing. Students and teachers in Spain continue monthly protests, to raise awareness and show support. Follow #LaRopaNoTieneGénero on social media to keep up to date with these protests.