“The hot pants ban targets only girls' clothing during average temperatures of 30C. So much for social values…” tweeted activist Anne Wizorek.
— anne wizorek (@marthadear) July 6, 2015
In its letter, the school in Horb-Altheim, Baden-Württemberg, told parents that “we will not tolerate any arousing clothes in our school” and that “anyone dressed too arousingly will be given a large T-Shirt from the school that they have to wear until the end of the day.”
“We don't want to suppress your child's individuality. We want to add a little something to our school environment, where all can feel comfortable and social and societal values are lived and supported.
The news came hard on the heels of a Bavarian school sending a letter to parents warning them against girls dressing too revealingly because of refugees housed next door.
“The refugees [from Syria] are marked by their own culture. Because our school is directly next to where they are staying, modest clothing should be adhered to in order to avoid discrepancies,” the administrators wrote.
“Revealing tops or blouses, short shorts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings.”
But over a few hours on Monday the topic became the top Twitter trend in Germany as feminists took issue with the 'victim-blaming' nature of the message, using the hashtag #hotpantsverbot to fight back.
“Hotpants and clothing that reveals the stomach are normal for summer and don't have anything to do with 'arousing clothing' agreed another user.
Hotpants und bauchfreie Shirts sind normale Sommerklamotten und hat nichts mit “aufreizend kleiden” zutun! #hotpantsverbot
— ✿glitzerpizza✿ (@pizzakaese) July 6, 2015
“Who actually decides what arousing clothing is?” another asked after changing her name to “Hotpants Princess”.
Wer bestimmt eigentlich, was aufreizende Kleidung ist? #hotpantsverbot
— Hotpants-Prinzessin (@frau_aehhh) July 6, 2015
Another added that she “didn't know that victim blaming was on the curriculum”.
— Jenny Jenn (@_jenny_jenn_) July 6, 2015
“A girl who puts on hotpants isn't the problem, but the people who think that's harmful,” wrote user @connor_larkin.
Nicht ein Mädchen dass sich Hotpants anzieht ist das Problem, sondern die Leute die das für anstößig halten. #hotpantsverbot
— Onkel Connor (@connor_larkin) July 6, 2015
But there were some who thought the school had been right to introduce the ban, with one user arguing that “school uniforms for everyone would solve the problem. And also take social pressure off kids.”
Schuluniformen für alle, würde das “Problem” ja lösen. Und zusätzlich sozialen Druck von den Jugendlichen nehmen. #hotpantsverbot
— Jella (@Nienor_) July 6, 2015