A Houston, Texas school has taken down what many are calling a sexist quote that was posted above student lockers for five years, after a controversy surrounding its use spread to social media. The quote read: “The more you act like a lady, the more he’ll act like a gentleman.”
The photo was taken inside of the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center, by a friend of Lisa H. Beckman. When Beckman’s friend posted the picture to Facebook, Beckman got permission to share it, and once the picture hit Twitter it was liked over 20,000 times.
“This is the wall at Gregory-Lincoln Middle School in Houston ISD. It’s perpetuating horrible gender stereotypes, shaming women, and relinquishing boys of all responsibility,” Beckman wrote in the caption. “It’s sexist, misogynistic, and discriminatory! I’m horrified.”
This is the wall at Gregory-Lincoln Middle School in Houston ISD.
It's perpetuating horrible gender stereotypes, shaming women, and relinquishing boys of all responsibility. It's sexist, mysogonistic, and discriminatory!
— lbeckman (@lbeckman) August 17, 2018
According to Beckman, the quote was set to be taken down within 10 minutes of her posting the image to Twitter. Tough Beckman was “outraged” the second she saw the picture, she still believes that it’s about more than “just a quote on a wall, it’s how women in this country are treated.”
The quote can be attributed to Sydney Barrows, a businesswoman and former owner of a prominent escort agency in Manhattan, New York before she was arrested in 1984. While the quote, especially given its origin, is without question pointed, many have pushed back and said that the quote is not spreading a sexist message.
“The more you act like a lady, the more he’ll act like a gentleman.”
In other words…
Respect yourself and others will too! pic.twitter.com/Iwc6l4OSvb
— Robbin Young (@Robbin_Young) August 18, 2018
All the quote (which is by a Sydney Barrows, who I guess is now "sexist") is saying is that chivalry is bilateral, and both men and women are responsible for acting in a decent chivalrous manner.
— Fabrizio Gowdy (@FabrizioGowdy) August 18, 2018
Still, there seemed to be a consensus that while mutual respect is always a good thing between people, the quote clearly puts the onus on women and encourages a highly conditional brand of respect.
Then why doesnt it say "The more you act like gentleman, the more she'll act like a lady? Much better: "Treat others as you would like to be treated" Something wrong with that one??
— Kari Bower (@BiasMatters) August 19, 2018
Here. Fixed it for you. pic.twitter.com/QvACYGoGrv
— lil’tweeter (@TweetsABitNow) August 17, 2018
One parent even chimed in with similar experience and attitude at other Texas schools.
This is consistent with my experience havin a daughter in @FortWorth_ISD So misogynistic we moved out of state. After being harassed by a boy for weeks principal told us “that’s what boys do when they like you” then suspended my daughter cause she hit him to get away. 5th grade
— whitesuburbanmom (@mamagrumpypants) August 17, 2018
The school was contacted for comment by CNN but has yet to say anything public beyond the fact that the quote was being taken down immediately.