An outcry from students forced a Chinese university to lift its ban on miniskirts and hotpants in the school’s library.
The policy was first implemented in the Hunan Agricultural University when a male scholar complained that his work was being “disrupted.” Since then, the library has posted a notice on its doors restricting students from entering wearing dresses and shorts less than 50 cm in length.
Female students have complained being stopped by campus security guards because of the way they dressed.
The ban, of course, was not received well by students as criticisms of it flooded Chinese social media, especially after it was allegedly claimed that miniskirts were “a form of sexual harassment.” One user of Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter said: “Simply wearing clothes is not sending out a sexual invitation. The reason does not stand.”
The university was compelled to do away with the notice on Friday, and also issued an apology to female students. It said in a statement: “We apologize for the confusion and inconvenience brought by our recent work.”
The statement added that: “We’re determined to optimize management and improve service quality, creating a better reading environment.”
One sentence in the statement, however, appears loaded. It said: “We welcome students to come to the library to study and be readers with good manners.”
The miniskirt ban may have been lifted, but it was replaced by a notice restricting students this time from entering the library wearing vests or flip-flops. It is not clear what the campus officials’ reasons are for the “replacement ban.”
Local media also quoted a staff member saying that “students would also not be able to study in their underwear.” It is not clear if the university seriously had even to state that.