This morning was my first day back and I was given a speech by my headteacher in assembly. If you have read my blog for any length of time I am sure you will know I disagree with a lot of the views of this headteacher, and still to this day wonder why they would hire a male to be in charge of a girl’s school (not because I am a misandrist, just because I think it would be more sensible to have someone who knows from personal experience the issues that girls go through as teenagers).
Anyway, I didn’t expect a life changing speech that would inspire me to do something amazing (one of the first speeches I heard from him he told us, completely out of context, that he was against same-sex marriage which has always set the bar pretty low), but I also didn’t expect it to be quite so shockingly sexist and so extremely condescending.
I started to drift off for a while but then I heard the phrase ‘someone will always be better, be thinner, be prettier’. Those exact words. I believe his point was to say that we have accept that and move on but how dare he assume that because we are women, a group of girls (the majority of whom have huge body-confidence issues) we all strive to be thin and pretty? I can’t imagine for a moment he would tell a group of boys that someone will always be taller and more handsome. I quite frankly disagree with the premise of this point anyway, but at least he could have said it about school subjects, about achievements, etcetera, instead of about our appearance.
Sorry to rant, it just really, really irritated me. He said some other stupid things but this was the only one that really got to me, especially considering that I am a feminist and also considering that, due to the way women are presented in the media, women and girls often find it very difficult to be comfortable with their bodies, and as a person who may have a great deal of influence over us he should not be telling us that to be thin and pretty is our only goal.