Reviews | Coming home should always be gender neutral


The energy that surrounds a homecoming game, whether in high school or college, is electric – and nothing crowns it better than seeing two worthy students as the royalty of their respective schools. Historically, this royalty has always been named homecoming king and queen – but what about royalty that is neither king nor queen, or both?

The reunion tribunal must be gender-neutral in order to give all students the opportunity to be royals and to feel properly represented by their school. Pitt is a school, with many others like Purdue University, which opted for a gender-neutral homecoming court. Many students have received this change positively, and it represents a gradual change – a change that all middle and high schools should make.

While the tradition of homecoming games goes back to 1909, the tradition of reunion royalty began in the 1930s with the coronation of a queen based on button sales, academic achievement, beauty, and status. The inclusion of a homecoming King didn’t start until the 1970s. In recent years, a peer vote has decided the reunion and winners tribunal – the ultimate popularity contest.

As important as gender identity is, it has not become a common subject in public discourse until recent years. The discussion around gender comes with gender recognition speech as well as sex stereotypes. Although this is a difficult concept for some people to understand and accept, young people generations particularly displaced from the mountains by de-stigmatizing gender roles and taking action to create gender inclusive environments.

The benefits of a gender-neutral court may not be obvious, but they are considerable. The most obvious being that any student who identifies as any gender can be a candidate. Along with this, the two winners can be of any gender, which means that the court is based solely on the number of votes they receive as individuals. This eliminates the pressure of running in pairs, as well as the problem of someone only being crowned because they got the most votes for. their particular genre.

A hypothetical situation can explain the concept more clearly. Let’s say there are 10 people on the reunion grounds – half are men and half are women and one of each needs to be crowned. Students have two voices for whomever they want. The five women receive more votes than all the men. Due to the stereotype that there must be a king and a queen, one of the men is crowned instead of the two women with the most votes.

Pitt eliminated this problem by picking winners purely on the basis of the number of votes, with gender completely left out.

It is also important in a collegial setting that the reunion tribunal be gender-neutral, as winners often receive a bursary of a certain amount – Spirit of Pitt award winners receive $ 1,500 in student resource funding. Candidates spend a lot of time, energy and money campaigning to gain the most votes – it wouldn’t be fair to deprive someone of a well-deserved scholarship just because they don’t identify themselves not as a specific gender. Imagine putting so much effort into a purse, technically winning, but being denied the award based exclusively on whether or not you are male or female. This concept applies to the labor market – it is illegal to reject someone for a job. job based on gender, so how could a university reject student scholarships on the basis of gender?

Going back to college is a competition first and foremost – not so much the popularity contest it was before – and there’s more to it than fame. The opportunity to win a scholarship should be offered to all students at a university, regardless of their gender.

It is equally important for secondary schools to have homecoming regardless of gender. High school students deserve adequate representation and opportunities during a time of crucial mental, physical and emotional crisis development.

Everyone deserves to feel included and respected, despite their gender identity. If schools take the initiative in creating gender neutral return home courts, they can help set the new standard for other institutions and traditions regarding gender stereotypes and stigma.

The common argument defending traditional homecoming customs is that since it has always been so, it should stay that way – a classic call to tradition. fault. With this type of mindset, society would never progress, and people benefiting from a progressive society could not express themselves proudly in it.

The tradition of king and queen, although exciting, is outdated and sexist, and it’s not necessarily exciting for everyone. If schools want all of their students to feel inspired, energized and excited about the events and other opportunities they have to offer, then they must represent all students.

Follow Nina on Instagram and Twitter @ninaboebeana or email her at [email protected].


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