Catholic School Asks Female Students to Stop Cursing… but Not Male Students February 3, 2013

Catholic School Asks Female Students to Stop Cursing… but Not Male Students

Queen of Peace High School, a Catholic school in New Jersey, just instituted a “no cursing” pledge in an effort to curb foul language used by the students.

But only girls had to take it:

Female students… stood up during homeroom Friday, raised their right hands, and recited a pledge in unison.

“I do solemnly promise not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of Queen of Peace High School. In other words, I swear not to swear. So help me God,” they said.

The same campaign does not encourage male students to participate, but administrators are suggesting the boys lessen their use of foul language in front of female students.

Lori Flynn, the teacher in charge of this campaign, said the goal is for the girls to “act more like ladies,” and the principal Brother Larry Lavallee agrees, adding that “girls have the foulest language.”

One of the male students quoted in an article explained that he just couldn’t help himself when it came to swearing:

“It’s unattractive when girls have potty mouths,” said Nicholas Recarte, 16.

A pitcher on the school’s baseball team, Recarte said he can’t help shouting obscenities from the mound after mishaps, and he didn’t expect that to change.

But he doesn’t have to take the pledge. Meanwhile, the same can’t be said about the girls who pitch for the softball team.

How’s that for hypocrisy?

Teachers said they hoped that if the girls focused on cleaning up their speech on campus for a month, their improved manners would take hold and rub off on the boys. They timed the initiative to Catholic Schools Week and the old-fashioned romance of Valentine’s Day, promising lollipops as rewards and handing out pins showing a red slash through a pair of pink lips.

Putting the potential behavior change of the boys on the success of the female students puts another weight on the girls who participate in the program. The school denies the existence of a double standard, even when it so obviously is there. This program promotes gender inequality like only the Catholic Church can.

I understand why schools may want to curb swearing, but to make a policy against it based on gender is ridiculous. This program (which I generally think is unnecessary because swearing happens and nobody fucking cares) should be an option to all students or no students. The wedge it places between male and female students enforces a gender hierarchy that should no longer exist.

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