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Female students told to go on a date and “be ladylike” and “respectful” as homework

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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In yet another face-palm moment for feminism, students at a high school in the US have been instructed to go on a date as part of their homework.

The compulsory assignment, given to 11th graders at Highland High School in Utah, requested that all 16 to 17-year-old students go on a date that cost no more than $5.

And in true misogynistic fashion, the female students were handed a list of “suggestions from the guys" on how to behave on dates.

Printed on pink paper (natch), the suggestions ranged from the baffling (“Eat the food you order. Don’t waste his money”) to the infuriating, such as “Be feminine and lady-like, don’t use vulgar language or swear” and “If you think you’re too fat, etc., keep it to yourself”.

Other eye-watering pointers included “Don’t expect love or commitment when the date is supposed to be casual”, “Show respect for him” and “Don’t criticise his driving”.

After the long list of demands, the final suggestion – “Relax and be yourself” – was a true lesson in irony.

The homework assignment was originally posted to Facebook by a furious parent, Jenn Oxborrow, who wrote, “Thanks for educating our kids, Utah Department of Education. We really appreciate your evidence-based misogyny.”

As a compulsory part of the school’s adult roles and financial literacy class, students would have to complete the assignment to graduate by law.

Oxborrow’s daughter, Lucy Mulligan, told The Salt Lake Tribune of her teacher, “She really didn't leave it up to us if we wanted to or not."

And Oxborrow also posted an image of the suggestions handed out to the male students in the class, which included points such as “Chew with your mouth closed” and “It’s okay to show your feelings”. And the misogyny was apparent even in the second list, with one pointer saying, “At a restaurant, say what you’re going to order so she will have a guide in ordering”: because obviously a woman couldn’t choose her own food without knowing what a man was going for first.

A spokesperson for the Utah Department of Education has since called the list “inappropriate” and promised to remove it from the curriculum.

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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