A Texas school replaced a quote encouraging its young women to act ladylike with a phrase from a Pakistani activist after allegations that the original phrase was sexist and shamed women.
“Do not wait for someone else to come and speak for you. It’s you who can change the world,” reads the new quote in Houston’s Gregory-Lincoln Middle School. The quote comes from 21-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, according to Fox News. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and is the youngest Nobel Prize winner to date.
A new quote is now adorning the hall at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center, attributed to @NobelPrize Laureate @Malala Yousafzai. Third-graders at the school this year will be reading her book, “Malala’s Magic Pencil.” pic.twitter.com/40jfC6JzOo
— Houston ISD (@HoustonISD) August 19, 2018
Yousafzai’s phrase replaced the quote, “The more you act like a lady, the more he’ll act like a gentleman.”
“It’s perpetuating horrible gender stereotypes, shaming women, and relinquishing boys of all responsibility,” a Houston area resident, Lisa Beckman, tweeted Friday. “It’s sexist, misogynistic, and discriminatory! I’m horrified,” she added.
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
The quote can be attributed to the “Mayflower Madam,” properly known as Sydney Biddle Barrows, who owned an escort service in New York City, according to Fox News.
The district quickly took action after Beckman’s photo prompted a strong online reaction.
“The quote does not align with HISD values, and it will be taken down,” the school said in a statement addressing the quote’s removal, according to Houston Public Media. (RELATED: Texas School Removes ‘Act Like A Lady’ Quote After Claims It’s Sexist)
The photo of the original phrase has more than 9,000 retweets and over 24,000 likes.
The original phrase wasn’t “an image of the equality and self-determination that, we as a district or myself as a mother, want to portray,” said a Gregory-Lincoln teacher who asked to remain anonymous, Fox News reported. (RELATED: Vanderbilt Professor Says Math Education Is Sexist)
Third graders will read Yousafzai’s book “Malala’s Magic Pencil” during the 2018-2019 school year, according to KHOU11.
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