A fellow alum writes to Billy Bush

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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:

About those headmasters at St. George’s

Objectification of women at St. George’s School


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JC Fisher
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JC Fisher

"he was young"

33?! If a 15 year old is arrested for a violent crime, you'll hear the cries, "Try him as an adult!" But yukking-up/encouraging sexual harrassment & assault---at 33, you get a pass (maybe you have to be named "Bush," I don't know).

[I'm glad NBC didn't give Bush a pass. I'm not saying NBC was blameless in this---Bush was under contract to NBC then and until last week---but if ANY is to be paid out in this, it BETTER go to victims of sexual assault!]

ALL misogynist institutions, including St George's, need to be swept clean of this SIN, from top-to-bottom. And as for the star ("you can do anything!") of that video: America, Kick.Him.To.The.Curb on/by November 8th (I'm a layperson, I can say this). Amen!

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Gregory Orloff
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Gregory Orloff

Well, Tammy, just because one hears the many heckles of many men to many women on any street in any town today doesn't make it right or harmless or in accord with the ethics of Christ Jesus, with which Billy Bush's alma mater maintains some tenuous identification, by billing itself as a Christian school.

And "just wanting to fit in" is hardly an excuse for misconduct, legally, morally or theologically.

You seem to miss the point that there is something patently odd, to say the politest least, about a Christian school either fomenting or turning a blind eye to "casino nights," sex competitions and the degradation of women, which blatantly fall outside the values of self-control and mutual respect taught by Christ Jesus, who said: "Treat others the same way you want to be treated" (Luke 6:31).

The mind boggles...

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Tammy
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For approval of future comments follow the posted comment policy of using your first & last names. - ed

Dear Sir and Madam,
Walk down any street of any town and you'll hear still to this day the heckles of many men to many women.
To cast a stone because your given a platform to speak to Mr.Bush as if you know him or maybe looking to give him advice is simply stupid on your behalf.
I've been in many meetings in my lifetime at the start one just wants to fit in. To me that's all it was. The new guy on the block, starting out in his career. As he said he was young wanting to fit in. Yes the tape is wrong on so many levels. He's paying the price. Its not like he's your bff. Therefore, mind your business there's no need for an open letter. This isn't high school this is life his life and a mistake. Let it go already. Its not like you matter move past it there's no need for anymore embarrassing conversation that will help the situation.
Just my opinion.

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