Twitter storm over sexist airline policy

An image tweeted by United Airlines last year that many are calling hypocritical after two girls were barred from boarding their plane because they were wearing leggings.

An image tweeted by United Airlines last year that many are calling hypocritical after two girls were barred from boarding their plane because they were wearing leggings.

 

The twitterverse exploded in outrage on Sunday over a potentially sexist policy and discrimination against several young girls at the Minneapolis airport. United Airlines stopped three girls from boarding their plane because they were wearing leggings. The gate agent said their clothing was inappropriate, and the airline has defended their decision and right to deny them entry since their attire violated the company’s dress code for United pass travelers (essentially, free tickets for United employees and their immediate family).

 

According to Shannon Watts who witnessed this scene at the airport and brought it to the public’s attention via twitter, the girls looked to be only around 10 or 11 years old. This made things all the worse, with tweets pouring in on Sunday from offended citizens.

 

A 10-year-old girl in gray leggings. She looked normal and appropriate. Apparently @united is policing the clothing of women and girls. https://t.co/RKsIFoE8pq

— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2017

 

Celebrities such as Sarah Silverman and Patty Arquette even joined in to comment, defending the girls and boycotting the airline. When interviewed by the Washington Post, Shannon Watts said, “I think this policy is arbitrary and sexist. It singles out women for their clothing and sexualises little girls.”

 

Have you witnessed gender discrimination or sexism with dress codes at your school? What can we do as peacemakers to start a dialogue and shape policies for equality?

 

Join a community of peacemakers and start your own gender equality project today to help fight gender discrimination.