Aditi SahuParticipant@aditiJanuary 27, 2022 at 7:41 pm #33527
School is the place where you expect your children to learn to strive on the right path in their life, but what happens when even this sacred place tries to instill in young minds the sexism that is—in the present time—country’s one of the biggest challenges?
Sexism is not unheard of, when it comes to any institution in our country, but when it takes place at educational institutions like schools, it is disheartening and shameful to say the least. Young minds are vulnerable to learning good as well as bad things, and the best way for them to learn something is for them to witness it everyday. And what are schools letting the young minds witness? The subtle or not so subtle sexism that these schools are functioning on.
One of the most common examples of sexism in schools is the dress code. The dress code, while it exists for both the genders, is blatantly stricter for girls. Up to a certain grade (typically seventh or eighth grade), girls are expected to wear skirts in most of the schools. And the length of the skirt is decided by the school administration so that it is long enough to not create a “distraction” for boys. In case a girl’s skirt’s length is shorter than the prescribed length, the school teachers make a note to publicly humiliate that girl for trying to get “attention” from boys. From a girl’s hairstyle to the kind of lip balm she is wearing, everything is subjected to criticism by the school teachers. The teachers make it their everyday practice to slut-shame the girl students for doing anything that is remotely for beauty or in the school administration’s words, “for attention”.
Unsurprisingly, the sexism in schools doesn’t just stop at the dress codes. Most of the schools nowadays are known to have their own cabinets and committees, and these bodies consist of students selected by the teachers. And more often than not, the majority of students in these bodies are the male ones.
I remember my own school’s cabinet, there were different posts like environment secretary, language secretary and so and so. What I couldn’t help but notice is that all these secretaries were male students, and all the deputy secretaries were the female students. One might think that maybe it was just a matter of experience or some other criteria, it certainly can’t just be based on gender, right? Sadly no. The secretary could even be an eighth grade boy, and the deputy secretary would be a twelfth grade girl. One can still try to deny the sexism here and convince oneself that the secretary might have more work and the school administration is trying to put less work on the shoulders of the girl students, that assumption itself being sexist was not the case. The deputy secretaries did most of the work and fulfilled the majority of the responsibilities of the secretary, while the secretary just enjoyed the title and took the credit. The teachers just claimed that girls are better at such responsible things. Well if girls are so good at being responsible, then why did the school administration not give them the higher title? Of course they couldn’t, because they want to continue their sexist practices while teaching the backbone of the country to become sexist themselves.
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