Target: Altrincham Grammar School for Girls administration
Goal: Apologize for neglecting to defend student society
A feminist society was started at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls as a student-led effort to help girls face important gender issues. However, after a large backlash that was degrading and threatening, the school refuses to defend the society and instead has forced it to limit its activity. Demand the administration apologize to the group and start protecting them from degrading behavior.
From the society’s initial formation, members have been barraged by misogynistic, degrading, and threatening comments from males in their peer group. Their disparaging remarks peaked when the society created an online campaign in which they posted pictures online of girls holding signs explaining why they needed feminism. These signs depicted painful personal experiences that took bravery to show, something the girls should be applauded for creating. In the utmost amount of irony, this campaign on why feminism is needed was met with a torrent of threatening and sexually explicit comments and messages.
The males who brought on this offensive onslaught should of course be punished, but Altrincham refuses to do so. Instead of taking action against those who were trying to bully women’s equality into silence, they forced the society to remove its online campaign. Like in so many other issues women face where their abusers are not punished, those who put together this campaign were left knowing there would be no justice.
What makes the situation so appalling is that the school is an all-girls school supposedly aiming toward preparing young women for adulthood. Yet they have not supported a society specifically aimed at combating issues facing women, and have instead sent them the message that their male counterparts will not be held accountable for their actions.
The school cannot expect to send out into the world confident and strong women when they are teaching them that their safety and respect are not worth defending. By signing the petition below, you will help encourage Altrincham Grammar School for Girls to apologize to its feminist society and demonstrate that these offensive and threatening comments will not be tolerated.
Dear Altrincham Grammar School for Girls administrators,
Your failure at defending your school’s feminist society against the degrading and threatening backlash put forth by males in their peer group is disappointing. As a school dedicated to preparing young women for adulthood, you have a responsibility to instill confidence in your students rather than the message they will not receive justice. Apologize for your lack of action and start to protect members of your school from this intimidating behavior.
Though disparaging remarks were funneled at the feminist society through social media sites since its founding, they peaked during an online campaign on why they need feminism. The pictures posted exposed vulnerability in speaking out about painful past personal experiences, and the girls who held them should be applauded for their bravery. Instead, they were met with a torrent of threatening and sexually explicit comments and messages.
The males who are responsible for this onslaught of offensive online action deserve to face punishment. Instead, you have forced the feminist society to remove the photos from its online campaign. You have shown the males who have taken part in this offensive behavior that they will not face any repercussions for it, and you have shown these girls that like in so many of the issues they are trying to raise awareness of and put a stop to, there will be no justice for them.
Please take action to apologize to the feminist society at your school and make clear that the degrading and threatening comments thrown at them will not be tolerated. As a school who is supposedly preparing these young women for adulthood, it is disgraceful that you are teaching them their safety and respect is not worth defending.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: gaelx via Flickr