12 January 2015

By Lauren E. White

After the first week back at school, it didn’t really take much thought to write today’s column. Within one day back, I was infuriated (as always) by the frankly shocking display of sexism in the one place where everyone should be equal: school.

PE has never – and will never – be my strong point, but that should not matter. There are many other girls who, for them, PE is their strongest subject and it may be the one thing that liberates them like nothing else. There are many boys that I know who despise PE and there are equally as many who love it. What shocked me was that one of my teachers decided to make the girls run a shorter distance than the boys. Our starting cones were moved closer to each side of the team, making our distance shorter than the boys’.

Of course, my female teacher asked the male teacher who moved the cones to move them back in line with the boys. He did move them, but the cones were still not in line and there was a reasonable gap in the distances. Because we are female and some of the connotations of ‘feminine’ may oppose the ‘sporty’ gene in women, we are made out to be weaker. In a school where young men and women are extremely impressionable, teachers (who, may I remind you, are supposed to set an example) portray women to be weaker and not as ‘strong’ or ‘able’ as boys. I’m sure that’s wrong, isn’t it?

There is evidence to prove that women are just as able as men in the sports field. Look at the Olympics – the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Rebecca Adlington, Nicola Adams and many more women who have proven to be just as capable as men.

It is absolutely appalling that a school is discriminating against women in this way and making a laughing stock of us as all of the other male teachers laughed when they were approached about it by my morally strong teacher.

That’s all for this week. I hope your week is full of equality and strength.

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