The below piece is the winning high school essay in the Network of Enlightened Women’s 2023 essay contest.
We live in a society where someone can be a he, a she, and then a ze in a week’s timeline. My teachers are expected to be able to adapt to these students’ preferences and immediately change how they address a student. These regulations are placing undue pressure on our already overworked public school teachers and causing our education system to decline.
If a student can be a man one day and come to school and demand to be regarded as a woman the next, then is there really such a thing as a woman anymore?
Women have unique abilities: We were given the gift of birthing a human child within nine months. Women are natural nurturers and are built differently than our male counterparts. Men and women are not the same, and they are not interchangeable.
During my sophomore year at Mechanicsville High School in Virginia, a young man transitioning to a woman asked and was permitted to use the women’s bathroom. The lack of care for the female students in our community made many individuals uncomfortable, including myself. When I spoke to my peers about the issue, my friends did not feel confident to speak up in opposition to the school’s decision.
Our schools have shifted from having regard for students as two distinct sexes who learn in different ways to viewing all individuals as one type of person who learns and acts without any differences. When my mentors graduated high school, they wore separate robes, with women in white and men in the school colors. There seemed a sense of value in the two distinctions. Many schools have since changed this tradition because some students felt like they should only be regarded as one identity.
There are many parents who are raising their children gender-neutral as well as reading books such as Jack (not Jackie) and Bye Bye, Binary. These books are teaching our children that being transgender is permissible, even preferable. I would not choose to read these books to my children, and I would never approve of my child’s teacher reading any book of that nature to my child without my consent.
These concepts can be detrimental to the upbringing of our youth. Younger individuals absorb information at face value: “From birth to (approximately) age six, [a] child’s brain works in a very different way than an adult’s does,” explains an early childhood education blog post. It is ethically wrong to project these opinions into the minds of such a vulnerable population.
Teachers and mentors should be teaching students about the innate value of women and men as unique persons. Losing a woman in a household, whether it be from sickness or death, is extremely detrimental to the upbringing of her children and often greatly affects the household income of the family. The amazing feats of a woman should be regarded as remarkable acts and not reduced to equivalent to that of her male counterparts.
Womanhood is having the innate ability to conceive life and nurture those around us. Womanhood is different from manhood and should not be considered one and the same. Teachers should not be fired or ridiculed for not acknowledging the existence of a spectrum of genders. Our education system should not permit students to change their gender without parental consent in a moment’s time.
Women are of value. Men are of value. Both sexes provide important additions to our society. Yet our society has made it incredibly difficult to define a woman, something that should be quite simple with an XX chromosome.
Beverly Richardson is a junior at Mechanicsville High School.
* Article From: The Washington Examiner