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Remembered Unfairness from Your Youth

(17 Posts)
FlySheMust Sat 05-Sep-20 10:58:58

Reading and responding to another thread this morning jogged a memory from long ago and I'm still bristling at the unfairness of it. grin

I went to the church Sunday school from the age of 5. I was a regular attender and those of us who were used to get prizes every year. Hence my library of prayer and hymn books. I really enjoyed going the women "teachers" made it fun and interesting.

Every year we voted for a Sunday School Queen - sort of Queen of the May who officiated over the church fete and carnival. Girls aged 12 -16 were eligible. There were no nominations those eligible were sent out and names read out in alphabetical order and votes cast. Before they went out there was a reminder that it should be someone who was a good attender and who was kind and helpful. Usually it only took a few minutes.

The first year I was eligible it took ages. This was because after we'd gone out one of the teachers gave a speech about fairness and how it was one child's last chance to be Sunday School Queen etc. Her mother was the church organist. She was not popular because she was arrogant and up herself.

The voting began and I won. But I didn't get to be Sunday School Queen. When we came back in I was told it was very close (it wasn't) and that because it was G's last chance it was to be her. I felt intimidated by the circle of adults around me and agreed to their "request". Then my friends told me how it had really been. The girl wasn't even second. My best friend was furious and stomped off with her brother to tell my parents about the unfairness of it all.

My Dad, on the Parish Council, was not pleased. As he pointed out if those eligible had been asked before the vote to stand down to give the other girl her chance we would have done so. Because we were nice people. But the way it was done was bullying and very unchristian.

He would have left it there but the vicar got to hear about it and was not at all pleased. He felt all the Sunday School members knew what the real result was and it was a dreadful example to them.

He insisted I should be reinstated but by then I'd decided I was done with it. I never went back. A couple of the teachers left and my friend was Queen. She was the genuine second place.

I still find it hard to believe this happened. I see one of the teachers who bullied me out of it around the village often and she can never meet my eye, even after all these years.

OP’s posts: |
Witchend Sat 05-Sep-20 11:12:36

And this is the other side of the "I fixed the school council election" which is getting a lot of cheerleaders. I expect those teachers would say they'd given a child who was "unpopular and needed a boost" a chance.

My unfair was that I wasn't allowed a dolls' house because my room was too small. Dsis had a room twice the size of mine, but didn't want one.

Papergirl1968 Sat 05-Sep-20 11:15:40

Blimey, that seems very unChristian of them to lie about the result like that.
I also went to SS. We didn’t Queen or anything like that but I hated it. I still feel resentment that I was made to go for so many years by my parents.

Papergirl1968 Sat 05-Sep-20 11:16:00

We didn’t have a Queen...

BlueSlice Sat 05-Sep-20 11:20:53

No wonder you were upset: You all knew the outcome of the vote, I assume it was done publicly so everyone could obviously see who was first, second, etc. So the adult’s plan to swap Queens was always going to cause hurt and upset. They should have just done a rigged secret vote and no one would have been bothered.

Also, OP you need to look up the ‘things you’re still salty about’ thread, I bet you’d love it!

BlueSlice Sat 05-Sep-20 11:22:00

DidoAtTheLido Sat 05-Sep-20 11:32:16

We used to have huge family meals at my aunts house, 20 or more people. After lunch the girls had to do the washing up while the boys went out to play.

One year we were desperate to slide in their frozen pond. By the time we had DJ s the washing up the boys had smashed the ice.

I was a feminist fir life aged 8.

Freshprincess Sat 05-Sep-20 11:35:49

When I was a governor of my DCs primary church school we got to vote for the rose queen. Both times I was told who to vote for on the basis that it was their last chance before they were too old. To be fair there wasn’t a massive pool of girls so I think basically everyone who turned up regularly got a turn. It’s a bit unfair to have a vote when everyone knows who’s going to win. Why not just give it to the girl anyway?

My own, I left school with 100% attendance (my mother had no truck with coughs and colds). There was only one other girl with the same and she won the heads award for it and I didn’t even get mentioned. I pretended I wasn’t bothered but it still rankles now. I can still picture Jane* preening on the stage with the award.
WIBU to phone the school to complain 30 years later?

*names changed to protect the innocent, although I realise that literally nobody on the entire planet will remember this.

FlySheMust Sat 05-Sep-20 11:43:02

Thanks for that. smile

I'm all hot and bothered about it again and it was over 50 years ago. DH remembers when he was at school and the person with the best exam result in each subject won a prize at speech day.

He was top in 3 subjects but only got one prize. If he'd known that's how it was, you only got one, he wouldn't have minded at all but they made the rule up just for him because it hadn't happened before.

OP’s posts: |
EstherLittle Sat 05-Sep-20 12:11:42

Early 20’s living in Edinburgh. I found a flat which was cheap and needed a lot of work. My then BF was a plasterer and his dad was a builder and they were both happy to help me out with renovations.

Asked my parents to help me out by being a guarantor (thinks that’s how you spell it!) for the mortgage and they said no, they weren’t helping me and I had to ‘stand on my own two feet’. At this point I hadn’t lived at home since I went to uni!

Fast forward 5 years and they bought my sister a flat! Which she sold at a massive profit years later enabling her to buy her ‘dream house’.

She is so obviously their favourite child.

Thiswillbeinteresting Sat 05-Sep-20 12:16:46

Mine was an early bid for equal rights for women grin Only the boys were allowed to run the 220 (a 220 yard race) on sports day at junior school, as the teachers didn't think the girls could cope with it. I thought this vastly unfair, so as a bolshy 10 year old I complained and nagged the teachers all year to let us girls do it. They eventually relented and for my final year at juniors I ran the 220.

Oh my word I nearly died - I hadn't ran that far ever and didn't know how to pace myself. I was still third though grin

honeylulu Sat 05-Sep-20 12:33:29

I wanted to do ballet sooo badly as a child. My mum refused as she said I was a "clumsy oaf". When I got to about 8 my parents decided I would have tennis coaching. This was my dad's preferred pursuit. I was not interested and hated it. I was forced to go for years. To add insult to injury for the first couple of years before my younger sister was old enough to join tennis coaching my mum "felt sorry" for her not having a hobby and signed her up for ... you've guessed it ... ballet lessons.

Epilogue: I started doing adult ballet lessons during lockdown (by zoom and now in person). I'm 46, still clumsy but I LOVE it. Up yours, mother!

Redcrayons Sat 05-Sep-20 12:46:59

@Thiswillbeinteresting we had the same rule at school. Girls did 100m and boys did 200.
My lazy arse overruled my feminist principles so I was quite happy about it.

TweeBree Sat 05-Sep-20 13:02:01

Music class. We were choosing instruments. I wanted to learn the drums. My teacher said drums were for boys and gave me a flute. Still not over it.

Thiswillbeinteresting Sat 05-Sep-20 13:23:50


*@Thiswillbeinteresting* we had the same rule at school. Girls did 100m and boys did 200.
My lazy arse overruled my feminist principles so I was quite happy about it.


CloudSingsAloud Sat 05-Sep-20 13:28:58

DH remembers when he was at school and the person with the best exam result in each subject won a prize at speech day.

We had this rule until I got top marks in the physics exam. The prize went to the second best because they didn't want to award the physics prize to a girl.

zeddybrek Sat 05-Sep-20 23:42:23

In year 11 I asked a PE teacher why there wasn't a netball team anymore. Having played every year other than year 10. I was told not enough interest.

I then asked some year 10 girls I knew and 2 more from my year and formed a team and asked the PE teacher if she could start training and arrange some inter school matches. Which she did and all was great with netball in year 11 for me. I even provided an update in the newsletter after each match. I absolutely loved netball and had always played since year 6.

Come to the end of school presentation at the end of year 11. There is a prize for every sport. Out of the 3 girls who would get the netball prize based on 5 years of sport. The one who cared to revive it and form a team when it dwindled down? No! Not me even though I was the strongest player over the 5 years as mentioned by head of PE.

Netball award went to one of the other 2 girls. Just so happened her parents sponsored the award and it was actually even named by them using their surname. That stung and still does.

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