Hi guys! I’ve not written in a a while-although I’ve still been around almost every day. To be truthful, I’ve been suffering from a case of the black dog; and have upped my antidepressant dosage slightly, hoping that will help. Today I sat down to write an article on Same-Sex Schools. I’m aware it’s far from perfect, but feel free to give it a read anyway!
Bea 🙂 x
I’ve mentioned on multiple different occasions that I attend a state-run All-Girls school: and likewise, that it has been one of the single-most miserable and angst-ridden experiences of my entire life. For me, there is only a matter of weeks left until my escape:but I dread to think of those who will be left behind in social and intellectual confinement.
Boys were banned from prom, allegedly after it turned into a sexual free-for-all. I wasn’t there at the time, but rumours have it that two 16 year olds were found shagging in the toilets, desperate and frustrated after five years of social segregation.
And yet I cannot and will not accept that ceasing any form of opposite-sex interaction is the equation towards a regime of schoolwork without the concern of distraction.
There are two genders in this world-more, taking into consideration the wider spectrum of identity-and young adults need to be fully adapted to that fact by the time they leave secondary school. If the argument is that the later years of education are partially designed to produce strong and independent people who are ready to face the outside world, then all we really serve to do is crippling them and depriving them of a range of skills that they will need to be able to live with for the rest of their lives.
Similarly, on the occasion last year where both my school and another all boy school were invited to a taster day at a local college, the unrest and crippling anxiety were clearly rife: so much so that a literal physical divide had been self enforced by each of the two genders. As I looked towards the other side of the room, about one hundred teenage boys examined us in a mixture of curiosity and intense fear; and vice versa. I haven’t witnessed such a profound social division since pre-apartheid’s end in the 1950s. If someone had allotted themselves into the wrong side of the hall, we might very well have seen Rosa Parks all over again.
It wasn’t purely sexual tension acting as the catalyst for the partition-in fact, it was predominantly unfamiliarity and discomfort. As if locked in a zoo, both sexes looked upon the strange and otherworldly species sat before them.
Inevitably, it wasn’t long into the morning that we began to find our feet-which, in some respects a break through, revealed a reality that was even more shocking than originally thought.
Conventional gender stereotypes were one-a-minute. The boys assumed that girls were primarily asexual, and the girls assumed that all the boys would be six foot one with broad shoulders and a six-pack.
You might argue, that, within the intellectual restrictions and expectations that 21st century media portrays, these kinds of misconceptions warebound to arise during teenagehood-and to an extent, I agree. However-and this is my main concern-in a world of categorising people according to their predetermined roles, is it unhealthy to further isolate the two genders? No counter-action or alternative ideas are being proposed as a combative force. Seperation enforces the idea that we are poles apart-and have very little in common. Which, in multiple ways, couldn’t be less misleading-it is a valid and wonderful thing when men and women strive towards their common goals as members of the same human race.
Equally, as a long-renowned social misfit, I can identify with the urge to interact with the opposite sex. I’m a “typical” teenage girl in many respects-but sometimes I value the company of lads, and benefit from many aspects of social diversity; which, believe me, is almost non-existant within the confines of an all-girls school. If you do not value makeup, and only makeup, as the fundemental and absolute meaning of life, then there is no place for you in this elitist, dog-eat-dog, clique. As I’m sure, likewise, in an all-boy school, there is no place for the boy who sews or bakes in his free time.
There is little to no alternative for those who aren’t mainstream.
And in this respect, young men and women at single sex schools are starved of the opportunity to break free from society’s conventions.
On behalf of the milenials, I ask nothing more than to be enabled to imteract with my male counterparts.
This is, after all, the twenty-first century.