Manga creator Masayuki Ishikawa is best known for his series "Moyashimon." Also known as "Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture," the story follows a freshman at an agricultural university who has the ability to communicate with microorganisms, all of which are rendered as cute Pokemon-like characters.
With its scientific references and in-jokes, Moyashimon is considered a treat for the intellectual anime/manga fan. Right now, though, it’s Ishikawa’s comments on school uniform dress codes, and their unfair treatment of female students, that the Japanese internet is seeing shining intelligence in.
Ishikawa, who has a high school-age daughter of his own, recently tweeted his thoughts about the school rules she has to deal with.
“I used too think high school girls were really tough, what with how they walk around with bare legs [in the winter], but the rules at the school my daughter attends include that the only leg coverings they’re allowed to wear [other than their skirt] are the socks specified by the school. If they wear anything more than that, they get yelled at by the teachers, who are all bundled up in tights, [Uniqlo] Heat-Tech, and other lined inner wear. If those adults had to walk around outside for even two seconds wearing just a pleated skirt and socks, they’d be completely wrecked! Why don’t men understand?”
Setting aside the issue of whether or not such school policies are put in place only by male administrators, Ishikawa raises some valid points. While many schools in Japan have dress codes that severely limit students’ options for guarding themselves against the cold, the teachers and administrators enforcing those policies are generally free to use whatever innerwear they wish in order to feel more comfortable. Some schools rationalize having no-tights rules for students by saying that being too warm and cozy will make it harder for students to concentrate, but if that’s true, shouldn’t they also be worried about that phenomenon dulling teachers’ mental sharpness while they’re at work too?
Ishikawa isn’t alone in his frustration, as evidenced by the 30,000-plus likes his tweet has racked up along with comments such as:
“They should start making teachers wear uniforms too!”
“Yeah! Uniforms with sort pants!”
“One of my classmates got hives on her legs because of how cold they were.”
“When I was in high school, I made sure to wear beige skin-colored tights, and my homeroom teacher, who was a guy, never noticed.”
“We weren’t allowed to wear a second layer of socks [underneath the school-mandated ones] at my school either.”
“This morning, I saw a high school girl walking in the cold with her legs bare…I felt so sorry for her.”
Thankfully, some commenters showed that not every school is as strict as Ishikawa’s daughter’s.
“So there are still old-fashioned schools out there. 24 years ago the female students at my school kept giving presentations [about changing the dress code], and they convinced the school to let us wear tights and longer socks.”
“The junior high school in my neighborhood now has a rule requiring female students to wear tights in winter [in order to keep warm]…on the recommendation of the school nurse. I think it’s a rare example, though.”
“Aside from gender issues, I think this is another reason more schools are allowing female students to choose to wear slacks as part of their uniform.”
“Recently, I think some schools are changing their attitude and trying to base their rules on more logical ideas.”
Hopefully Ishikawa daughter’s school will reevaluate its no-tights rule in the near future. With most school rule changes being implemented at the start of the Japanese academic year, which takes place in April, though, it looks like this winter is still going to be a cold one for her.
Source: Twitter/@isk_ms via Jin
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