Faulkner Fox, an alum of St. George’s School, has written fellow alum an open letter to Billy Bush.
In August, I was asked to join a committee to review the sexual abuse prevention policies and programs at St. George’s. I’ll do it — even though the subject matter is hard for me to take — because I believe in trying to make the future better than the past. Some 371 girls and boys currently attend our alma mater. I don’t want any of them to be hurt.
The entire school culture diminished and objectified girls. Don’t worry: I don’t blame entitled guys like you for all the sexism and misogyny at St. George’s. You were young. I’m willing to give you some leeway. Plus I didn’t overlap with you at St. George’s — I am class of ’81; you are class of ’90 — so I don’t know how you actually behaved back then. Let’s say you never said or did one sexist or abusive thing before you got on that bus with Donald Trump in 2005.
Even if you were sexist at St. George’s, much of the responsibility for creating the culture of the school rests on the adults in charge. You weren’t the one who thought up school-required situations like “Casino Night” where the new girls — 13-, 14-, and 15-year-olds — dressed as Playboy bunnies and pretended to hand out cigarettes and candy to our male classmates, dressed as blackjack dealers.
If you noticed this kind of systemic misogyny, apparently it didn’t negatively impact your experience. You describe your time at St. George’s as “great.”
Read it all in the Providence Journal.
Reel Girl has also written about Billy Bush and her experience at St. George’s:
St. George’s did nothing that I can recall to recognize this sexism or to empower female students. To the contrary, the school seemed to condone misogyny. There was an annual event at St. George’s called Casino Night where all the new girls, mostly freshman and sophomores, dressed up as bunnies, as in playboy-type bunnies, complete with fishnet stockings and cotton tails on our butts. Our job was to sell the boys– who were fully clothed and pretended to gamble– candy and fake cigarettes. Casino Night was not a secret event, it took place to much fanfare in the school dining hall. Every teacher and administrator knew about it.
When I heard the Billy Bush/ Donald Trump tape I wanted to scream because it was like everything I learned in high school, the objectification of women and girls, the metamorphosis of teenager from San Francisco into a “toy” bunny plaything, was being reinforced by a would-be president of the United States of America.I felt ill and the nausea hasn’t left me since.
What are girls supposed to think and feel and be when we grow up surrounded by this kind of sexism, when it’s so normal that no one even notices it? When teachers condone it by never addressing it?
See our earlier posts on the bunny tradition: