Last Friday, female students at Queen Of Peace High School in North Arlington, NJ pledged not to curse for 30 days because “We want ladies to act like ladies.” During homeroom, students said the following:
“I do solemnly swear not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of Queen of Peace High School. In other words, I swear not to swear. So help me God.”
Lori Flynn, the teacher who organized the pledge seemed to have forgotten that cursing is not limited to sex, because she didn’t feel the need to make the boys take one. “Teachers said they hoped that if the girls focused on cleaning up their speech on campus for a month, their improved manners would take hold and rub off on the boys.” According to the school’s principal, Brother Larry Lavallee, the girls have the foulest language.
But why put the burden solely on the girls? Instead of implementing a “pledge” based on gender, maybe it should have been open to anyone who wanted to clean up their language regardless of their sex. Not everyone thinks women curse more than men. In his book, Why We Curse, psychologist Timothy Jay, asserts that men are the ones with the larger potty mouths.
The gender biased pledge didn’t last long.
Once criticism surfaced about the pledge, Queen of Peace High School buckled. Monday morning, it allowed boys to take part in the pledge, but it wasn’t open to the media like the previous pledge.