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Have we corrupted the language this much?

Until I reached 16, I’d spent my entire education in mixed schools. A lot of that time was happy: I made friends, learned new skills and explored subjects that intrigued me. But all of those experiences happened under a shadow of misogyny – one that was fuelled by a culture of unwanted sexual advances, rape jokes and crude comments about the appearance of female teachers and fellow students that was allowed to exist in classrooms, completely unchecked by staff.

Making a sexual advance to a woman is not misogyny. It is, by definition, the opposite.

20 thoughts on “Have we corrupted the language this much?”

  1. ”I remember one geography class, where a young trainee was observing our lesson. As she walked around the room looking at everyone’s work, a group of boys waited until she was out of earshot to snigger about her behind. “Yeah, she’s got a phat back, you know,” they laughed. ”

    Young males find women attractive and say so! The horror, the horror….

    Bring back bromide in the tea!

  2. Good to see the Graun coming out in favour of single sex schooling. Perhaps one day we will get round to realising that the world which started to be destroyed in the 1960s had quite a few things right.

  3. I think we were very intersted in all matters girl and woman, but we were polite, by and large. I recall the following conversation with a young, pretty biology teacher.
    “Do you have a boyfriend Miss?”
    “yes, he’s in the army.”
    “Where is he based?” –
    (misheard as ‘Just-sod-off!’)- “Sorry Miss”.

  4. Studies regularly show that boys do better in mixed schools, and girls do better in single-sex schools. What to do, what to do?

  5. The option of going to an all-girls school felt like the safest one

    Can we expect a follow-up article to record her feelings of safety about having all those lady-peni (penises?) being flashed around in the toilets and changing rooms by her fellow “girls”. I think not, nothing is worse these days than outing yourself as a Terf.

  6. “crude comments about the appearance of female teachers and fellow students”
    Are we going to mention what the girls call other girls? Its far more interesting and Machiavellian. A GF at school really wanted to disparage previous GF. Trouble was she was nice, and she was v. good looking in every way. Didn’t trouble GF, she called and got others to refer to her as “fat ankles”.

  7. Yes you are correct Julia. I was a young male in a mixed secondary school once and I can distinctly remember being a bit more interested in my German teacher’s breasts than I was in learning how to order a cake in German without accidentally mentioning the War whilst doing so.

    Young men looking at women and young women looking at men with what could be called proto-desire as teenagers is relatively normal unless it gets out of hand and crosses the line at which point ideally the parents would give little Johnny the miscreant an appropriate punishment for doing so.

    As an aside if you want to find a group of people who are genuinely psychologically nasty to peer group and others then you could not do better than look at the young women and their behaviour. I recall from my teenage years that many girls were seriously nasty to one another as well as being the same to and about boys and some adults. My teenage experience of girls nasty behaviour and my experience of cleaning the woman’s toilets in a student pub taught me that being a complete nasty arsehole is not a specifically male preserve. Being a boorish bully or a gobshite is I’m afraid an equal opportunity activity.

  8. TomJ-I think that went over my head but youtube search suggested some Kpop girls making a thing about their bandmate’s pointy elbows? If it was to do with that, yeah maybe a band needs a gimmick but i could well believe it originated as passive aggressive stuff then made out to be a gimmick.

  9. I don’t know how anyone can claim that boys do better in mixed schools: in such schools everything is set-up for the benefit of girls – and of course the vast majority of teachers at these schools are female, with all the problems that brings in terms of both molesting under-age boys and giving them lower marks than they deserve.

  10. *Unwanted* sexual advances Tim – the .ost hateful kind.

    “What? You think I’m in *your* league? How rude!”

    And it’s equally hateful to not make a move when she wants you to.

  11. Dennis, Pointing Out The Obvious

    I moved to an all-girls college to escape my school’s rape culture – finally I can study in safety

    This is true only if there are no unwanted advances, crude jokes, etc. amongst the girls, which seems rather doubtful.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    These women have 3 choices:

    Reverse the roles and let women initiate contact and live with the rejections – imagine the Guardian articles that will generate. Maybe they could wear something to indicate that’s their choice, how about a scowl symbol tattooed on their foreheads?

    Get used to cleaning out cat litter trays.

    Grow up and learn to live with the attention because it won’t last long as their mothers and grandmothers will no doubt warn them.

  13. “Making a sexual advance to a woman is not misogyny. It is, by definition, the opposite”

    You are forgetting that misogyny is all relative for women. Women are very happy when Mr Darcy (or their personal equivalent thereof) says ‘Nice tits darling’, whereas the same from Darren with BO from accounts, thats sexual harassment and blatant misogyny.

  14. Doing some research and I’m surprised that things have changed since my university days in the 1980s, and boys and girls both do better in single-sex schools. Though all the studies I’ve found only refer to single-gender schools, but that must be wrong, because I know of no instances of girls schools expelling tomboys and boys schools expelling pansies, so they must actually be researching single-SEX schools not single-GENDER schools.

    I haven’t read far enough to determine what their definition of “doing better” is. A friend went through single-sex schooling his whole childhood, and it left him wholey unprepared for university or real life. What price 12 A***********s at GCSE when you produce adults incapable of and terrified by interacting with the opposite sex?

  15. learn to live with the attention because it won’t last long as their mothers and grandmothers will no doubt warn them

    A point my dear mother often makes. Mind you, she married for the third time aged 70….

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