Issue 2, Opinion
It may seem as though Opposite Gender Day is a harmless activity in thought. However, after walking through the halls of AHS on this day, it is clear that there is something wrong.
Here at AHS we have the classic tradition of Spirit Week. This is a week of fun and games and costumes. Each year the costume days change, with one exception—Opposite Gender Day. Not only is this day bizarre, it is extremely offensive and degrading to women.
Opposite Gender Day is a when boys are encouraged to dress in feminine clothing and girls the opposite. This activity is a part of “Spirit Week,” meaning that this activity is somehow analogous to proving Bulldog loyalty.
The problem is that the overwhelming majority of boys dress up in scandalous female apparel. Mini skirts, strapless tops, spike heels and stuffed bras are only a few of the eclectic selections of “female attire.”
The boys’ choices of dress indicate that their perception of women is distorted and is one of low status. They believe that to look “feminine,” they must present themselves as scandalous and dress and act as if they were prostitutes.
To many, females and males alike, this activity is comical. However, regardless of how many chuckles an outfit provokes, it is degrading and offensive. I for one am absolutely positive that I never have nor ever will dress like many of the boys do on Opposite Gender Day. Furthermore, rarely do I see females dressed in that manner in a professional setting such as school.
Not only are the choices of female apparel offensive, but the entire package is one of false perceptions. Some males decide to wear lingerie and stuff their bras with tissues. Those are the outfits that usually provoke the most approval from the crowd.
As I watch females laugh and approve of these outfits, I cannot help but feel disillusioned and frustrated. Why is it that girls enjoy watching boys essentially satirize them? I do not know the answer to the question, but I do know that this is not the least bit amusing. I dread Opposite Gender Day every Spirit Week.
This event is comparative to Halloween, when it is customary for women to dress up in scandalous costumes. Similar to walking through the halls of AHS, one can walk down Court Street on Halloween and see countless examples of women dressed in provocative outfits. They are objectifying themselves and most likely aiding many men’s stereotypes of women as that of a prostitute.
Women who do this are disrespecting themselves and women’s images in general. Women are not all sex toys whose only purpose is to appeal to men.
It is not difficult to connect the dots and find instances in our society that feed men’s false perceptions of femininity.
My advice to women: Do not encourage this false perception—choose your costumes with more thought. Hold your status as a woman as one of equal status of a man and respect your image and body.
My advice to men: Think more carefully before you decide to put together an elaborate costume for Opposite Gender Day. Is it really something you see your peers wearing on a daily basis? If not, do not wear it. Not only does it cast a negative image on women, but it makes men look like they do not respect women.
My advice to AHS: eliminate Opposite Gender Day. It is not funny and does not relate to Bulldog spirit in any way.
Feminists have been struggling with similar problems for years; and one solution begins right here at Athens High.