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To: Damian Hinds
A Tight Spot
Legislate that all British school girls can wear trousers.
Why is this important?
A Tight Spot
The big news this week on the BBC news channel, is that Meghan Markle has started wearing tights to prepare for joining the royal family, who don’t go bare legged, for unexplained reasons of protocol.
This reminds me of having to wear tights as part of my school uniform. Never mind the gender pay gap I was a child and had no income, yet I was obliged to buy a product that had built in obsolesces. My tights didn’t last long before they laddered, especially on splintery school chairs and under desks where gum had been secreted. Nail varnish only halted a ladder for so long. I was lucky if I could wear a pair of tights more than five times before throwing them out. That’s a total of a week’s wear per pair. In today’s prices Marks and Spencer sell three pairs of thick black tights for £5. There are about 40 weeks of term time in the school year, and no one wears socks in summer, or those sheer tights that tear when you are taking them out of the packet, so I spent £66 on tights each year.
Or rather my parents spent £66 on tights per daughter per school year, and I have two sisters, so my parents were spending £200 per year on tights. They might have done this buy giving their daughters pocket money and hoping we learnt budgeting skills, but there was no way of saving or scheming that avoided the need for their daughters to buy 40 pairs of tights each.
According to government statistics, in Britain today there are 1,564,819 girls of secondary school age in state schools, and many will attend schools where trousers are not part of the uniform for girls. So at the end of each school year British school girls have spent about £104,321,267 on 62,592,760 pairs of tights all of which are slowly decomposing on landfill sites. And I mean slowly, tights have the wondrous ability to ladder like greased lightening and decompose at a snails pace. It strikes me that this is not a great use of the earth’s resources and is good neither for the environment or the wealth of Britain’s school girls and their parents.
I never liked wearing tights. I didn’t like that they failed to keep me warm in winter, and were sweaty all year round, and sweaty means fungal infections. So I say that protocol needs to move in the other direction. Wearing tights does not equate with decency. I am proud not to be royal and bare legs are fine by me. I just wish the people who design school uniform weren’t influenced by the royal family as much as they seem to be. There are better thing that Britain’s school, girls could buy with £104,321,267. Heck if all girls could wear trousers to school up-skirting and environmental disaster would both suffer a body blow.
Others have campaigned on the cost of tampons for school girls, I say there’s more work for feminists to do. Ask Damian Hinds to make wearing trousers and option for all Britain’s school girls.