One mother just shared a photo of her daughter's high school class assignment, and it's making the internet (rightfully) lose its damn mind. A Salt Lake City resident, Facebook user Jenn Oxborrow posted the above picture of her 11th grade daughter's absurdly sexist homework exercise. Oxborrow's daughter, Lucy, explained in a comment that the worksheet is, in fact, a real assignment from her class called "Financial Literacy and Adult Roles," a required course she says all Highland High School students must take in order to graduate. "The class essentially revolves around misogyny and sexism," Lucy explained in a comment on her mother's post.
The worksheet — printed on a pink piece of paper, naturally — is making us want to rip out every single hair on our heads with each meticulously sexist bullet point. The assignment, titled "$5.00 Date," is for the 11th graders to go out on a date, presumably with someone from the opposite sex, and only spend five bucks. It lists absurd suggestions for the girls to follow, and they're playing right into those outdated gender roles that women have fought so hard to get rid of.
Some notably cringe-worthy recommendations include:
- "Eat the food you order. Don't waste his money." (Yes, you must shove those last two bites of cheeseburger down your throat for the sake of his dear wallet, girls.)
- "Sit next to him." (Because how dare you offend him by sitting across the table from him!)
- "Don't expect love and commitment when the date is meant to be casual." (How dare you even think about catching feelings!)
Aside from being incredibly sexist and thrusting ridiculous standards upon young women, this assignment completely fails to acknowledge the fact that some high school girls may not be interested in dating boys. By assuming the young female students are only seeking heterosexual courtship, the assignment is hugely discriminatory of LGBTQ students.
By assuming the young female students are only seeking heterosexual courtship, the assignment is hugely discriminatory of LGBTQ students.
A little digging revealed the entirety of the course's lesson plan on the Utah Education Network, which seems to be in partnership with the Utah State Board of Education. We have reached out to the USBE and the Highland High vice principal for comment but have not received a response about the course's materials.
The lesson plans on the UEN website include the equivalent assignment for the boys in the class. This version does not offer nearly as many stringent suggestions as the girls' worksheet, rather recommending things that automatically put the boys in a dominant position on the dates. A few significant bullet points include:
- "Be prepared for the date (car gassed and ready to go)." (Because girls totally shouldn't be driving on the first date, right?)
- "Make plans for the date and let the girl know what they are doing." (By all means, boys, please take charge because girls are totally incapable of planning for a date themselves.)
We have a whole lot of questions about this assignment. Since when does forcing a dating life upon a high schooler pertain to "financial literacy"? Who OKed this curriculum? And, lastly, how is this a thing? Though the concept of teaching high schoolers about dating is actually pretty forward-thinking in our books, proper execution of such a class would be necessary. And this was most certainly not properly executed. Apparently, misogyny is still alive and thriving in Utah.