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According to a Utah High School’s Horribly Sexist Assignment, I Am an Awful F**king Date

A Salt Lake City mother posted a photo of her teenager’s homework assignment on Facebook, and we are both appalled and not surprised at the same time.

Photo Credit: Jenn Oxborrow on Facebook

The “Purposes of Dating” lesson plan is part of Utah Education Network’s (UEN) Adult Roles and Financial Literacy curriculum.

The “Girls Paper [sic]” contains helpful suggestions from the dudes of Utah in regards to a girl’s behavior during a date. Not only is it the most condescending piece of bullshit, but it is also contradictory. How the fuck am I supposed to “relax and be myself” if I’m also supposed to “be feminine and lady-like” and not “use vulgar language or swear?”

Also, does Utah have some sort of apostrophe shortage? Can I send them some of the extras I see people attach to plural nouns?

I have no problem with a lesson that goes over some of the emotional, financial, and realistic aspects of dating. I’m all for brainstorming ways to have fun with little money! These are important topics. By all means, talk about what the expectations are from both sides. Have a discussion about which expectations are reasonable ways for decent humans to act and which are based on outdated and misogynistic gender roles.

But why the hell are we sending kids out on dates as an assignment?

Looking through the rest of the curriculum, I can conclude that there is as much said in what is missing as in what is there. Utah’s abstinence-only education means the conversation can only go so far. It limits things to a cliche of the 1950s, not the realities of what teenagers are actually doing.

There is also an obvious expectation that all students are straight and interested in dating in the first place.

Fortunately / unfortunately, in the time since I started writing this, the UEN has actually taken down the entire curriculum from their website, so I cannot give you the full rundown of the boys’ version. I’m sure it is equally as enlightening.

I will give them credit that one of the pages of lesson plans included a worksheet telling the students that they need to take care of their dates and make sure they get back safely to their parents. I’ll take that over victim-blaming any day.

Circle, circle, dot, dot, now we’ve got our cootie shot.

To see the original image, check out the Facebook post below: