Clash of the New and Old


Battle of the Sexes Week changes receive mixed responses

By Iris Lee and Kelsey Ichikawa

This year, Battle of the Sexes Week was rechristened Clash of the Opposites, with a new spirit day policy that allowed students to dress up as either of two options and still receive points for their gender. ASB implemented these changes to eliminate the stereotypical themes and gender divisions during the spirit week.  The student body reaction varied across of wide spectrum of praise and doubt of the alterations’ effectiveness.

ASB vice president, senior Brandon Truong, explained that ASB altered the name and spirit day rules to “promote freedom of choice and avoid classifying dress-up days based on sex.” Rather than distinctly separating the two genders during the week, ASB felt that it was best to be as inclusive as possible with gender classification, to incorporate groups such as transgenders, gays, or lesbians.

Truong added, “Of course, there was a bit of motivation because we wanted to be politically correct, but the main motivation for these changes was that we did not want to create a separation in the competition between opposite genders and discriminate them based on common stereotypes.”

“People could dress up as either theme; this way, no one would say that the other gender had the ‘easier’ dress up day,” remarked ASB secretary, senior Julianne Vinh, referring to the idea that Spirit themes like Mermaid/Shark Day, which traditionally would have required that girls dress up as mermaids and guys as sharks, were made flexible this year for students to choose their own dress-up style. “And in the long run, the hope would be to lower the hate between the genders.”

Could something as simple as a name change influence the quality of the week?  Some thought that the new name actually caused the week to have a slow start in terms of excitement, as they did not realize what Clash of the Opposites entailed.

An anonymous freshman stated, “Since we weren’t given any previous notification of the change, I was kind of confused when Clash of the Opposites week suddenly started.  I didn’t know if it was something completely new, or just the same as the Battle of the Sexes week!”

“I think the name change is arbitrary. What’s the point in making [the name] more vague?” senior Emily Tran added. “Sure, it’s less likely to define lines, but people can simply choose which side to dress up as, or just refrain from participating!”

Meanwhile, senior Amit Patel concurred with ASB that the fierce competition between genders should be lessened, but he questioned the existence of the spirit week to begin with. “Why do we even have this week? Why can’t [both genders] live together peacefully?” Patel asked.  “Even more so, why do we have battle of the sexes right before Sadie’s, the great equalizing event in all of high school dating history?”

On the other hand, another student expressed approval for the renovated Battle of the Sexes Week.  “Because we were given more options, it was easier for everyone to participate and get involved,” said sophomore Sydney Ng. “It was also cool to see how the girls and boys interpreted each of the themes differently.”

Faculty also responded to the change. “I think the name was more inclusive. I know a lot of LGBT students and they were feeling very comfortable,” French teacher and former Gay Straight Alliance club advisor Mme. Cayla said. “They were having fun with it. The name change embraced everyone and created a stronger community. I really think it made a big difference.”

ASB is still unsure about next year’s plans to keep Battle of the Sexes renamed as Clash of the Opposites, saying that “it’s really just up to whoever’s in charge next year.”