Lily Nilipour | Torrey Pines High School Senior
At Torrey Pines, we are relatively privileged in the sense that equality among students is perceived rather widespread throughout campus. All students are offered the same courses, and everyone has similar opportunities to take those courses as well as participate in extracurricular activities.
Therefore, it may seem like the discussion of gender issues on campus at Torrey Pines, and other high schools in the area, would be irrelevant. But, no matter how equal the two genders are perceived to be, there still remains some discrepancy in a different manner.
“Gender issues on campus aren’t so apparent unless they are really searched for — which is both a good and bad thing,” fellow student and Girl Scout representative on women’s rights Maya K. said. “On one hand, that means that students are perceived to be treated, for the most part, equally regardless of their genders. But that also means that the unequal treatment of genders can be easily overlooked because it is actually normalized.”
Although the basic rights and opportunities are spread equally between us, those are simply that: basic rights. We should already be ensured those same basic privileges, as do all girls and women across the country and world. What it comes down to, then, is the way girls and boys are treated by adults and the way they interact with each other.
“In some of my past AP science classes, there have been fewer female students than male students which led to minor cases of unequal treatment,” Maya said. “However … TPHS offers the same classes to all students, so in that sense, students of all genders have nearly equal opportunities on campus. It is how students of one gender are treated by those of another that varies.”
Minute details that often go unnoticed actually play a large part in gender issues and discrepancies. Even the most seemingly harmless instances, such as a girl apologizing when a boy bumps into her in the hallway, highlight a mentality that is still present in students. In classes, girls, often unconsciously, feel like they have to temper or qualify their contributions to class discussions, while boys speak unprohibited and assertively. I have seen too that, in an argument or debate over a certain topic, people will take the boy’s word over the girl’s, even if it is in fact untrue.
So, despite general equality between sexes, there is still work to be done. It would perhaps be unappreciative and frankly wrong to say that we have widespread inequality at Torrey Pines, but naive to say that it is perfect. Any sort of close attention to the differences between the actions and demeanors of boys and girls would reveal that there are still certain social rules that are held to each gender. And, until both genders can acknowledge and address that issue with full awareness, it will continue to be perpetuated on campus and off.