Battle of Grades replaces controversial Battle of Sexes

While it has been a long-lasting tradition during the spring semester at CHS to include the annual Battle of the Sexes week, the tradition has been broken for the 2012-2013 school year, as it is being replaced with Battle of the Grades, planned for the week of April 1-5.

According to both ASB and the Carmel High administration, the change is directly attributed to events in last year’s BOTS week, specifically those during the rally, which left many attendants offended and infuriated.

In a letter to the editor of last year’s Sandpiper, then junior Carissa Redfield wrote, “You may think I have a stick up my butt or my panties in a bunch, but I was completely appalled by the Battle of the Sexes Week. The assembly, in my opinion, went way too far.”

Aside from the decorated signs made by ASB for both the female and male sides of the gymnasium, which held what many people considered to be stereotypes of both the sexes, the rally started when students were asked to chant these sayings, including “Make me a sandwich” and  “Buy me dinner.”

For many students, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the gymnasium reverberated with sexual innuendos and inappropriate responses during a dating game in which contestants were asked questions in order to win a date.

Though the ASB must have their activities and scripts approved by the administration for rallies such as this, it became apparent that the contestants in the game had switched their answers without telling either of these groups.

“‘I think that it was degrading to both sexes—reinforcing the need for women to be dependent on men, and men to be providing for women,’” Redfield wrote last spring. “‘Men were expected to be sexual pigs, as masculinity suggests, and women were supposed to be okay with that.’”

While this dating game caused uproar during the rally, something that shocked many students was the lack of intervention in stopping the game. As numerous students noted last spring, various members of the faculty and the administration could be seen at the edge of the gym, laughing at the jokes.

“Some of the behavior was somewhat sexual and over the top,” assistant principal Martin Enriquez admits. “Somebody—the staff, the administration, ASB—should have stepped in at the time.”

So what did this rally really mean for Battle of the Sexes?

“ASB and the administration ended up coming to an agreement that we would cancel BOTS for this school year and replace it with Battle of the Grades,” senior and ASB President Lily Trytten explains. “Partly because of what happened at the rally, but also because it seemed like people were losing interest and we had been wanting to try out BOTG for a while.”

ASB remains hopeful and excited about the upcoming Battle of the Grades week, which begins Monday.

-EMILY WOLFSON