This is education done right. The teachers of Spain are standing in solidarity with a male student who was expelled last year for wearing a skirt to class by showing up at their jobs clad in skirts themselves. It’s all part of the Clothes Have No Gender movement that aims to put an end to stereotypical gender norms in the European country.
The movement was at its peak in late October and early November of 2020, but very recently it has gained lots of renewed attention both in real life, online, and in the media, as more male teachers joined the protest.
At the start of May 2021, 37-year-old Manuel Ortega and 36-year-old Borja Velázquez started coming to class dressed in skirts, in response to a recent case of bullying at the Virgen de Sacedon primary school in Valladolid where they work. In this particular case, a boy was bullied for wearing an anime sweatshirt, had to endure homophobic slurs, and took the piece of clothing off.
Teacher Borja Velázquez, along with his coworker Manuel Ortega, reignited the Clothes Have No Gender movement after a recent incident
They both decided to wear skirts to class and teach their students about tolerance after a student at their school was bullied for the clothes he was wearing
Ortega (left) and Velázquez (right) are fighting against gender stereotypes. They’re among a number of Spanish male teachers wearing skirts
Image credits: JAVIER ÁLVAREZ
Naturally, Ortega and Velázquez were outraged at the bullying going on in their school and decided to join the Clothes Have No Gender movement in order to promote tolerance, respect, and diversity.
Both teachers are educating their students about how to break prejudices that they might have learned from their parents while at home. According to Velázquez, who spoke to El Pais, the most read newspaper in Spanish online, they wanted to teach kids that words hurt and that there was a need for change.
Some of the things they taught their students include that it’s all right for boys to be in the kitchen or to have long hair while it’s also perfectly fine for girls to love soccer and have short hair.
Jose Piñas was one of the first teachers to show solidarity at work back in the Autumn of 2020 after a male student was expelled for wearing a skirt
Mikel Gómez, who was expelled for wearing a skirt, shared more information about what happened in a viral TikTok video
And here’s a translation of what the student says .
Everything came to a head in late Autumn of last year when a student, 15-year-old Mikel Gómez, was expelled from his school in Bilbao and referred to psychologists for wearing a skirt to class.
According to El Pais, Gómez did this to support feminists and trans people and to stand up against bullying. After being told to go to a psychologist, he uploaded a recording of himself denouncing this and got hundreds of boys to wear skirts themselves in protest.
At the start of November, male students and teachers alike all over Spain stood in solidarity with Gómez and against hate by wearing stereotypically feminine clothing. The movement started a fierce debate in Spain among educators and parents alike that’s going on to this very day.
Gómez inspired lots of other students and teachers to dress in skirts and promote tolerance
Image credits: Crokismc
Here’s how some internet users have reacted to the Clothes Have No Gender movement