Cambridge Allows Skirts for Men
St. Catherine's College, University of Cambridge
NEW DELHI: One of the most uptight bastions of old world prudence, University of Cambridge, finally let go of some of its prissiness and allowed men to wear skirts inside its dining halls, at least in one of its colleges.
St. Catherine’s College became the first college in the University to cede to the sartorial demand of those students who termed themselves as neither men nor women. The 800 year old University, since its inception, allows only dresses for girls and suits and smart trousers for men. But now according to new rule, men will be able to wear skirts and women will get a chance to cover their legs in trousers.
The new dictum comes as a result of demand of one Charlie Northrop, a Post-graduate student of Classics, who is a transgender and had campaigned against the gender specific dressing rules.
"I'm over the moon, it's absolutely wonderful that it's now been passed.
"It wasn't that there was much resistance, it's just the new wording had to be sound and there was a lot of conversations between the college and the committee.
"We had to come up with a way of proposing a new dress code that would omit gender specification but would still keep formality.
"For instance the college wanted to ensure those wearing suits would still wear ties but female suits don't have ties so we've worded it so that if you have buttons down the left side you don't have to wear a tie but down the right side you do." She said, as reported in Telegraph.
"Everyone has been so helpful and it's been great to make a new change.
"I've been speaking to students from other colleges now who hope to make the change across the university." She further added.
The new dress code in a notice from the Dean, states: "Formal Hall is an occasion on which all members of St Catharine's should wear gowns.
"Members and their guests must be dressed in suitably smart dress. 'Smart dress' is defined without reference to considerations of gender identity or expression.
"This means a suit (or trousers and jacket), a shirt with a collar, a tie, and shoes (not trainers or sandals), or equivalently formal dress.
"The staff is instructed to refuse admission to anyone coming to Formal Hall improperly dressed.”
Charlie Northrop is from Richmond, Indiana and had studied in Rome for five years before moving to Cambridge, the University being one half of the formidable cause of academic pride in England had allowed women in its colleges only in 1869 with the opening of Girton College for Women.