If I thought it would make it past editing, I’d be dropping F- bombs all over this one (No, it would not have made it past me – editor). According to Raw Story, Lori Flynn, a teacher at New Jersey’s Queen of Peace High School, has asked girls — but not boys — to take a no cursing pledge. Her reasoning?
“We want ladies to act like ladies.”
Now, as someone who has never been the stereotypical version of what most people think women and girls should act like, I’d like to weigh in. Firstly, I don’t buy into the binary male/female paradigm at all. If I want to curse, I’ll curse. If I want to wear a shirt and tie instead of a dress and heels, I will. If I want to play football with the boys, I will. In other words, this is 2013, not 1913, and I’ll do anything I damn well please. It is time for this misogyny to end, and the increasingly blurred lines with regards to gender presentation and behavior just might help do that.
Also, this pledge sends a disturbing message (as if the misogynist message weren’t bad enough) to high schoolers who might be gender non-conforming. It tells them that they don’t fit, that having characteristics of both genders is unacceptable, that, for the rest of their lives, they will have to choose a side. I know from experience how painful this is. There are a lot of bad messages from this gender separation pledge, and what is even more disturbing is that some of the students seem to support this nonsense. One male student says:
“It is unattractive when girls have potty mouths.”
Well then! Wonder where he got that from? Likely his gender biased parents. Sad, but true. Also, after the pledge, the idea that boys could cure was re-enforced. Lori Flynn said:
“Gentlemen, you are not to swear in the presence of ladies.”
Hell, this craziness even came complete with school-distributed pins with lips with red lines slashed through them, as if the female population should be punished for doing something the male population is allowed to do. The whole thing is just sick in my opinion, and likely to get sicker.
You know what? What if I don’t want to be a “lady?” Being female bodied does not give these people the right to slap a label on us. My body does =/= me. This pledge is clear gender bias, with a lot of clearly disturbing underlying messages, and that is jut the tip of the iceberg of the potential damage done here. In short, this butch, gender non-conforming lesbian says that Lori Flynn and her pledge can fuck off (I had to drop at least one, right?).