“Free your feelings” – that was Mary Quant’s cry in 1960 when she created the miniskirt. This clothing item, very audacious at the time, marked the arrival of the women’s liberation movement which would later conquer the Western world. If the miniskirt still symbolizes this revolution, Sophie doesn’t think of what it represents every time she wears a skirt, but some days she can’t help it… Because if wearing a skirt means being a modern and independant woman, it also sometimes comes with macho comments. Yes, it still exists, 70 years after the creation of the miniskirt!
Sophie often wears a skirt to go to work or to go out with her friends, but she doesn’t wear it to go everywhere. One bad experiment was enough for her and today, she is scared to attract bad looks, insults, harassment and vulgar or inappropriate signs. Some of her friends never wear a skirt, because it is the easy option, because they don’t want problems. If women can’t wear what they want to, if they are criticized for their feminity, for their freedom, can we really believe that the French society has improved?
At the high school where she teaches, a “skirt day” is organized every year to point out gender inequalities and to launch further discussion around sexism. She obviously encourages all her students to take part in the event, especially boys, who sometimes come with a kilt. A way to better understand what girls are going through in everyday life.
Sophie never thinks of Mary Quant when she gets dressed. But she is often feeling sorry that wearing a skirt is once again an act of protest. 70 years after, she is desperate: the feminist fight is still not won!
To go further
- “Minijupe” or “mini-jupe”? With the prefixes “mini-” and “micro-“, no need to use a hyphen unless the second element starts with an “i” or an “o”: “microfilm”, “minibus” but “micro-informatique” and “mini-ordinateur”. In the plural form, the prefix remains unchanged: “des mini-ordinateurs”. Practise the plural of compound words here.
- “Free your feelings”, in French : “Libère tes sentiments !” – imperative is used to give an order, an advice or a recommandation. These exercises will help you learn more about this mood.
Discovering more about the subject
- Every year, French high schoolers organize a skirt day to raise awareness about sexism. Watch how it goes in Nantes’ high school!
- Threats, macho looks, sexist or sexual assaults… What is it exactly? You will find here some information on support systems and women’s rights and there, you will learn more about how to stop harassers
“The miniskirt, a long story”
Created by Mary Quant in 1965, the miniskirt has become a symbol of the fight of women – and the fight is still going on today