Insulting the Sexes

Why Battle of the Sexes should never have made a comeback at AHS

Mary Humphreys

Webmaster

Battle of the Sexes was revived this year at American High School and took place during the week of April 28 to May 2. The week had been abolished last school year due to complaints from some students and staff, but the week has made a comeback.

The reason for the disappearance of Battle of the Sexes last year was that students, specifically those who do not identify with one gender or another or do not fit into typical gender norms, complained about the week being inconclusive and insulting to them. So then, why has the week come back?

Battle of the Sexes is meant to be a week of fun for students, to have girls and boys compete against each other through dress up days, lunch time activities, and a rally at the end of the week. However, as fun as it may be, the activities are still based off of pure gender stereotyping which can then lead to students being upset.

Gender stereotyping in Battle of the Sexes week is mostly seen through the themed costume days, where boys are supposed to wear something stereotypically masculine and girls wear something stereotypically feminine. For example, one of the dress up days this week was flannel vs. floral, where boys were supposed to adorn their favorite flannel clothing, and girls their favorite floral patterns.

Banners in the rotunda advertise Battle of the Sexes and the different corresponding dress up days. While Battle of the Sexes is meant to be a week promoting fun and school spirit, it unintentionally offends those who don’t fully understand and fit in with the activities
Banners in the rotunda advertise Battle of the Sexes and the different corresponding dress up days. While Battle of the Sexes is meant to be a week promoting fun and school spirit, it unintentionally offends those who don’t fully understand and fit in with the activities

While the week has good intentions the days still leave some students feeling insulted. Say for example there is a girl who always wears flannel, does that mean she is automatically more masculine than other girls? No, however the dress up days would suggest that, as flannel is associated with males.

There are ways to participate without being insensitive, however, like how the school does during spirit week. Instead of making two different outfits for males and females, make one overall theme, such as 80’s day, and then judge how many boys and girls dress with the theme. This eliminates the stereotyping and could allow the week of competitive dress up to be interactive for students and staff

However, the solution isn’t as easy for other students who don’t identify as male or female, or transgendered students who find the week as offensive. Granted, this year the school did try to improve on things for students by getting rid of the “cross dress” day from the list of dress up days as this had the most complaints, however this is not enough. The entire week separated those students from the rest of those who participated.

Battle of the Sexes is meant to be no more than an enjoyable week, but there are other ways to bring a little extra fun to the school; a way that doesn’t over stereotype gender norms and can be more considerate of all students.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s