December 27, 2016

Boys Legs Matter

Matan Kogen ‘18

With winter quickly approaching, the last thing most people are thinking about is whether they may wear shorts to school. This holds true for most people, but not for GOA’s boys.
For years, the GOA boys have been working to earn permission to wear shorts to school, arguing that girls are allowed to wear skirts, which are often shorter than shorts.
The response to this has long been that all people are allowed to wear shorts; not just girls, but boys, not wanting to sacrifice any of their manhood, have refrained from doing so.
Until now.
Enter: #BoysLegsMatter Day, a peaceful protest in which numerous GOA boys wear skirts, in the hopes that other students will take note and will join the lobby to have the dress-code changed.
“#BoysLegsMatter was to show that if girls can wear skirts that are down to their knees, then guys should be able to wear shorts of similar fanciness that are also down to their knees,” protest organizer and junior Etai Barash said.
Unfortunately, the first #BoysLegsMatter Day, held on October 28, was not advertised well.
Senior Dan Cohen, who didn’t participate and only learned the reason for the protest days later, explained, “if you guys are going to protest something, make sure people actually know what you’re protesting.”
Nevertheless, the protest did have an impact on the student body.
“I think it’s made a lot more people aware of how hypocritical the rules are,” protest participant and junior Alex Beigelman said,
“I’m not sure if we’ll see an immediate change in the rule, but I think it’s spread some awareness as to how these rules really are not effective,” he added.
Junior Sam Russo, a participant, echoed Beigelman’s thoughts and noticed an odd circumstance.
“I think something particularly interesting was that… I wore shorts under my skirt, and my shorts, which I’m not allowed to wear, were significantly longer than my skirt, which I am allowed to wear,” he said.
By wearing shorts, Russo technically broke the dress-code. That being said, a skirt was worn over them. This means that any GOA student who wants to wear shorts to school may do so, provided the shorts are covered by a skirt.
Senior Mattan Poller, who came from SSDS Bergen, a school that allows shorts during the fall and spring, has been a proud proponent of shorts.
“I’ve been an advocate for wearing shorts at GOA since my freshman year,” he said. “I think that this movement is a great thing to do to protest against the ban on shorts.”
With regard to the protest’s effectiveness, Poller added, “I think that in the long run it could work, but for now we’ll just have to get as many people involved as possible.”
Junior Avital Kessler-Godin agreed with Poller’s mentality.
“You’ve gotta start somewhere with everything, because if you say ‘it’ll never happen,’ then nothing will happen,” she said. “If everyone supports the boys, eventually we can make a change.”
Kessler-Godin’s attitude is exactly what the boys hoped to inspire through their protest - not a feeling of entertainment, but a sense of pride and hopefulness.
Regardless, the student’s must advertise the protest more prominently in the future if they are to get anything accomplished.
Mr. Herskowitz said that he had no knowledge that the skirts were worn in protest of anything before having been interviewed. Even if the protest is aimed towards gathering the support of students, the administration must know about it for it to be as effective as possible.

But one thing’s for sure: there will be more skirts.

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