No Need for Fashion Police, Metro, 8th June 2011

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Metro (UK)

June 8, 2011 Wednesday
Edition 1;
National Edition

No need for fashion police

SECTION: FEATURES; Pg. 39

LENGTH: 317 words

Once again, the government is trying to take parental control out of the hands of parents by telling shops what clothes are acceptable for children (Metro, Mon). Now, it's no longer parents' responsibility to ensure their children are wearing age-appropriate clothing.

Of course society has a lot of sexualised pictures - it's what sells products. But it's up to parents to discipline their children, not the government. The government should be focusing on something more important: the recession.

Carol Cunningham, London

How children dress and behave is a matter for parents to control, not the authorities. Doubtless there are some rotten parents about but any law of the kind proposed will not be used against a small minority but against parents in general. It will be one more weapon in the armoury of social control that has already reduced parents to the status of regulated childminders.

The attempted control of clothing

will be an excuse for police to drag little girls out of family picnics to photograph the clothes they are wearing or to measure their heels.

The idea that millions of parents, disgusted by what they see in clothing shops, have called out spontaneously for something to be done is absurd. Sean Gabb, director, the Libertarian Alliance

The government is right to tell retailers to stop selling sexualised clothing to young girls but if it is really serious about protecting young people from the constant sexual images and messages we are all exposed to, it should make goodquality sex and relationships education compulsory in our schools.

We should give boys and girls the chance to learn about respectful relationships and consent, and even to question the way sex is used in advertising, broadcasting and shops. This would be more fruitful than attempting to wrap children in cotton wool until they reach adolescence.

Holly Dustin, director, End Violence Against Women Coalition