Dad’s hilarious letter to daughter’s school perfectly sums up modern-day sexism

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Kayleigh Dray
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An Australian dad has achieved online fame after penning a hilarious letter, which called out the inherent sexism in his daughter’s school.

According to Stephen Callaghan (otherwise known as, amazingly, @Grumplestiltskin), his 12-year-old daughter, Ruby, was recently ushered into the school library with all the other girls in her class to get a makeover.

The boys, meanwhile, went on a field trip to their local hardware store, Bunnings. Yes, really.

While both activities sound equally awful (a trip to a hardware store? Enforced make-up time in the library?), the inherent sexism in how the groups were split really got Callaghan’s back up.

So he did what any sane person would do: he sat down and wrote an incredibly pointed letter, dripping with sarcasm.

Check it out:

“I must draw your attention to a serious incident,” writes Callaghan. “When Ruby left for school yesterday it was 2017 but when she returned home in the afternoon she was from 1968.

“I know this to be the case as Ruby informed me that the ‘girls’ in Year 6 would be attending the school library to get their hair and make-up done on Monday afternoon while the ‘boys’ are going to Bunnings. Are you able to search the school buildings for a rip in the space-time continuum? Perhaps a faulty Flux Capacitor hidden away in the girls toilet block?

“I look forward to this being rectified and my daughter and other girls at the school being returned to this this millennium where school activities are not divided sharply along gender lines.”

The letter is, of course, hilarious – but, as the online response has shown, it is also indicative of a much wider problem.

Others, meanwhile, simply offered their support to Callaghan – and told him to tell his daughter “to always stand proud and tall”.

“There is NOTHING in this world she can’t do, achieve and learn if she wants it,” said one user.

“Keep banging down doors, and don’t take no for an answer.”

Overwhelmed by the response his post received, Callaghan has since responded with another message.

“Ruby and I would like to thank you for the great comments of support. At 12 years of age my daughter is starting to notice there are plenty of people prepared to tell her what she can and can’t do based solely on the fact she is female.

“She would like this to change. So would I.”

With a feminist ally like Callaghan at her side, we hope Ruby will help to forge the change we all hope to see.

Images: iStock


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.