School assignment forcing girls to follow ‘medieval’ rules of ‘chivalry’ sparks ire on social media: ‘Absolutely horrific’

In The Know
·3-min read

A controversial homework assignment in Texas called for girls to abide by codes of “chivalry” as if it were the Middle Ages. Rules of the assignment included “never criticizing a male”, “cleaning up after men” and “dressing in a feminine manner to please the men”.

The assignment, which was given to high schools students at Shallowater High School in Shallowater, Texas, included instructions such as:

  • “Ladies to dress in a feminine manner (in school dress code) to please the men.”

  • “Ladies must address all men respectfully by title, with a lowered head and curtsy.”

  • “Ladies must not complain or whine.”

  • “Ladies must cook (preferably not buy) something for the gentlemen in their class. Sweet baked goods are preferable.”

  • “Ladies must not initiate conversations with males (with the exception of male teachers).”

  • “The ladies must walk behind men daintily as if their feet were bound.”

  • “Outside the classroom, ladies cannot show intellectual superiority if it would offend the men around them.”

  • “Ladies should clean up after the men.”

  • “Ladies must obey any reasonable request of a male. If not sure if it is considered reasonable, ladies can check with their teachers.”

  • “Ladies must bring in root beer, ginger ale or sparkling cider for the gentlemen in their class.”

The rules were expected to be followed both in school and at home. Parents were responsible for marking each rule as “completed,” and each rule was worth 10 points.

The troubling assignment was first made public by Texas-based journalist Brandi D. Addison Davis, who shared her findings on Twitter.

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Davis later shared that the assignment had been removed after parents complained. Adam Young, an editor for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, reached out to the Shallowater Independent School District for a statement regarding the assignment and received this response, which he shared on Twitter.

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“The assignment has been removed, and despite its historical context, it does not reflect our district and community values,” the school said. “The matter has been addressed with the teacher, and the assignment was removed.”

The school also included a similar, but far less subservient, assignment for the boys, which Davis shared as well.

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Many Twitter users were outraged, calling the assignment and gender double-standards “absolutely horrific.” How would you feel if your child received this assignment from their school?

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