This School Incident Opened My Eyes Wide. Unladylike Wide!
- JWB Post
- November 15, 2015
I marched to my school, with the tag saying “Executive Board” in bright blue capital letters around my neck. Yes, I was the in charge for press in a Model UN Conference.
If you do not know what a Model UN conference is, then you have either been living under a rock or not reading the newspapers very frequently. To enlighten you, Model UN Conferences are educational simulations and/or academic competitions in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations.
Anyway, after reaching my school, I immediately marched to an unknown place. Apparently, this is where the Printer was supposed to be who would do all the technical work on the computer and in no time, a beautiful newsletter with fancy font and succinct reports would appear in front of our eyes. Hah. All hail technology.
This happened – and we were satisfied as we had methodically instructed the printer working on the computer to do what we liked. Also, we had finished work before time. Later, we sent the draft newsletter to our teacher for expert comments and approval.
Voila. It was approved.
We made our way back to the school, with around 250 newsletters for 250 delegates (no, our hands did not ache!) and showed them to the other heads.
A horrific plot twist came when the heads’ faces changed colours. A conspicuous pallor coloured their features as they pointed out that on the 4th page of the newsletter, we had featured a picture of a girl sitting with her legs spread WIDE. And when I say wide, I mean, really unladylike wide.
Dear Girls, I think you forgot to listen to your mothers or teachers when they instructed you on how to sit like a lady and not slouch.
However, my mind processes worked a little differently. As the heads criticised and reprimanded us for our tiny mistake mercilessly, I started thinking.
“Hey. It’s just a picture. It’s not obscure BECAUSE no private body part is even visible. Isn’t this the girl’s fault for not being vigilant or sitting decently?’
I made my decision then. As the other heads’ talked about tearing the 4th page of the newsletter and getting a new one printed in its place in 3 hours, I made a note to myself to not be a part of an activity which would result in the wastage of 250 innocent papers.
However, I call myself coward for a reason, okay? I did not voice my disagreement at that time. Maybe, a little but not enough to stop the re-printing from happening.
Luckily, all the reprinting happened in time and we were able to distribute the newsletter without the picture of that girl.
What elated me to the core was not how I did not voice my opinions at that time but the thoughts of my teacher: “By reprinting, you yourself are degrading the integrity of a woman. Why? Doesn’t everyone have the same biological parts? And let’s be logical for a second, you can’t even see anything!” A point well made, ma’am.
Furthermore, this event taught me some valuable lessons. One, speak up if you see something atrocious happening in your surroundings. Speak because you might regret not speaking later.
Two, being overly conscious of your body or thinking that you must be ashamed of it because you are a GIRL is wrong. Get your definition of feminism right. Don’t be just a shadow of a girl who could get lost in the sea of dominance projected by men. You are special!
Three, team work does not mean blaming just TWO people for a small blunder. And, accidents do happen, don’t they? Forgiving someone is hard these days.