About Agatha Tan’s Facebook Post
Yesterday, 17-year-old Agatha Tan‘s Facebook post went viral. The note detailed the sexist assumptions taught in a sex education workshop held at her school, Hwa Chong Institution, and was addressed to the principal. Tan debunked these ideas, stating that the workshop’s volunteers promoted rape culture, perpetuated sexist stereotypes, and did not show tolerance of people with other sexualities.
Hwa Chong Alumni Step Up With A Petition
The Hwa Chong Alumni have come up with a petition to support Tan, backing her up on what she had written. An excerpt is as follows:
We cherish our education at Hwa Chong and feel that ‘workshops’ such as these contribute to the creation of an unsafe space for its students. It is also disturbing that our beloved alma mater may be negligent or even complicit to let this workshop through the vetting process, if there was any. Some of us are parents and teachers and we want Hwa Chong to be a safe space that young people can speak up about their concerns and not get shut down. We also want Hwa Chong to be a space that encourages truly healthy opposite-sex relationships, not ones based on a model of male dominance. We find it hugely problematic that the girls in Hwa Chong are being explicitly told that they have to suppress dissenting opinions if they want to maintain a relationship with a male partner.
While they were at it, they put in their support for LGBTQ individuals:
We need the assurance that our young people can be safe from such sexism and micro-transgressions, if they are currently in Hwa Chong or choose to attend Hwa Chong in the future. The school can also do more to encourage diversity of views and healthy debate. Dismissing students’ opinions only cause young people to be apathetic about issues, which seriously compromises the quality of education provided by Hwa Chong, and its ability to nurture active citizens.
The petition is also gaining traction on Facebook, and can be found here—we’re not sure if this is going to change the way sex education is taught, but it’s a good move in pressuring authorities to re-evaluate how it is taught in the classroom.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for a positive outcome; our future generations shouldn’t be subjected to harmful and negative ideas about sex and dating.