I would like to start this article with a disclaimer. The following op-ed is made up of the opinions of a 17-year-old boy in high school. In no way, shape or form was this written to offend anyone or anyone’s beliefs. These are merely my observations and opinions. You can ignore them or take them as they are. The choice is yours.
First, I would like to start off by recognizing that there is a clear division between boy and girl culture at DA. This division is reflected in the different courses of action taken by boys and girls when a student gets in trouble.
In my opinion, when a boy violates a major school rule (aside from bullying or hazing) for any number of reasons, no male witness would ever go to the administration. Generally speaking, boys will either ignore the violation or handle the issue themselves. Even if this boy were my mortal enemy, I would never, ever talk to the administration about his actions.
In contrast, it seems to me that in most cases girls will immediately go to the administration and seek a harsh course of action against the offender. Yes, the boys at Deerfield definitely have a “pack mentality,” but to me, this seems a better alternative to the girls’ culture of passive aggression. No, this culture is not necessarily shared by all girls at Deerfield, but this behavior appears frequently enough between girls at DA for the community–including us of the opposite sex–to notice.
If boys at Deerfield have a pack mentality, our girls, in contrast, have more of a clique mentality. Sometimes I see girls getting caught up in a “clique war” between friend groups that can only end in hurt feelings and a detriment to their self-esteem.
Boys can definitely hurt each other’s feelings, but their interactions are much more confrontational than the way girls handle their disputes. Confusingly enough, I have noticed that even when girls are mad at each other, they still pretend to like each other, whereas guys will straight up tell one another if they have “beef.”
Although pretending to like each other might make the dispute more socially acceptable, this avoidance of direct confrontation may result in hatred that is more long-term. Being confrontational, on the other hand, might involve some physicality, but will solve the problem then and there.
As a student at Deerfield, I hope that the issues I have addressed can soon be fixed, but these differences in boy and girl culture are not exclusive to Deerfield. They are an aspect of teenage culture that may last in high-school America for a very long time. All in all, I feel that Deerfield is actually a very safe environment. In fact, we constantly make it even safer as we seem to have an exceptional talent for criticizing our own culture to constantly find new ways to improve it.
Though I am guilty of criticizing our student body as well, I think Deerfield needs to develop a culture of self-congratulation as well as one of modesty and self-deprecation.
We deserve it.