This story is out of this world and yet it is happening in Japan where a school has firmly banned ponytails.
At the very least, we believe the restriction extends to girls with ponytails. “They’re worried boys will look at girls,” a former teacher says.
Banning girls’ ponytails is only one of the many ridiculous rules implemented in some Japanese schools where, apparently, conservatism is still practised.
When we assumed that such restrictions would only apply in some states in Malaysia or Indonesia where conservatism is prevalent, we were mistaken.
Vice, the news site, reports that Japanese schools are notorious for their stringent dress code.
This includes everything from the length of students’ socks to the colour of their undergarments.
But the ponytail ban has sparked outrage among female students. They can’t fathom the reason given for the ban.
Former teachers are saying the school authorities advised them that females should not wear ponytails because revealing the nape of their necks may “sexually stimulate” male classmates.
“They are worried boys will look at girls, which is similar to the reasoning behind upholding a white-only underwear colour rule,” a teacher reportedly said.
The latter was referring to the ruling where most schools require girls to wear white undergarments so that they won’t show through their uniforms.
“I have always criticised these rules, but because there is such a lack of criticism and it has become so normalised, students have no choice but to accept them,” the now retired teacher said.
The story is going viral on social media and major publications in Europe, Asia and the US are reproducing it.
In Malaysia, some states won’t allow Muslim girls to attend classes without the head gear or scarf.
The ruling is formulated because in Islam, ladies and girls of a certain age are not allowed to show their hair or neck. They are called ‘Aurat’ and they must be covered when in public.
Muslims have always criticised schools or countries where scarves are not allowed during classes, to the point that it is a major political dispute in some nations.
But to think that Japanese schools would ban ponytails is just unbelievable.