The Parting Of The Ways

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One Last Shot

“Right you lot,” said Charlie looking around at them sternly.

Everyone was gathered in an unused classroom, there was now slightly under fifty girls at St Christopher’s, and this was Charlie’s last chance.

“You listen and you listen well, this is our last chance. My last chance. We need to prove once and for all that we’re better than those stupid boys.”

“Are we ready!”

“Yes,” called the girls somewhat enthusiastically.

“Are we ready!” yelled Charlie.

“Yes!” the girls hollered.

“Let’s go the scare the living daylights into those boys then,” beamed Athene.

Athene stood on either side of the door to leave the classroom, and all the girls gave them high fives as they left.

Julie headed off to the tennis tournament, and Athene was in the school quiz. The boys won the school quiz this year, they didn’t even need a tiebreaker, the boys won 340 to 320.

But it wasn’t over, they still had the first challenge cup debate. They had picked the girl with the biggest mouth in the school.

They would have picked Julie, but she was busy in the tennis finals, so it was Diana Charlie’s friend from the cadets that got chosen.

“Your topic is,” said Mr Mitchell, “women are the weaker sex. Discuss.”

One of the boys from the Lower Sixth, started by saying that women were completely dependent on men, and were hopeless without them. Then it was Diana’s turn.

“Thank you for those remarks John,” said Diana respectfully.

“Twenty years ago, in 1939, our great country went to war, and all the young men joined the army to fight our oppressors.

If you believe Johnathon’s argument to be true, and that women are completely dependent on men and can’t survive without them, Britain would have fallen to pieces. There were no men in ammunitions factories to produce vital supplies for the army. Our country would have starved because all the young farmers had taken the kings shilling.

But it didn’t!

Women took over and did their job and coped remarkably well. They worked in the factories and on the farms and did the jobs just as well men could have, if not better.

But when the men came back from the war and needed their jobs back, the women didn’t complain. They went back to bringing up their families and being perfect little housewives. But they had changed, they knew what they were capable of.

Some women wanted to have a job and look after their families, they had enjoyed the freedom they had had in the war. And many of them did find jobs, in shops or teaching.

But back to your question Mr Mitchell, are women the weaker sex.

Those women who filled in whilst their husbands and fathers and brothers were away, they did a full-time job and then came home and did the housework and look after the children.

Those were our mothers!

Would you say that our mothers are the weaker sex?

Just imagine, that today your father had to go to work in the bank or at the doctor’s surgery. A full day and then looking after the house and putting the children to bed. They wouldn’t be able to manage. They’re not strong enough.

Therefore, women are clearly not the weaker sex.

“Thank you, Diana,” nodded Mr Mitchell.

“I think that makes the ladies the clear winners!”

The girls won the tennis, which meant they were in the lead two events to one.

Then came the St Christopher’s triathlon, which was one by Charlie and Diana again the same as last year.

That only left the rugby match.

The fifteen strong boys lined up opposite the girl's team. The girls were smaller, but they knew that. They were smaller but also smaller. They could dodge and weave their way out of the boys.

The boys did win the rugby but not by much, 32 to 27.

That evening Charlie was proudly polishing the Challenge Cup as Anthony and Athene tested each other on Latin declensions.

Anthony and Athene had been studying like crazy since December for their A-Levels.

“I don’t see why you two are bothering,” muttered Julie.

“The exams start in three months Julie,” said Anthony simply.

“And you two have unconditional places,” Mark reminded them.

“Yes,” said Athene, “but everyone going to Oxford is going to have to work hard for these A-Levels, so it's only fair that we do too.”

“Try your hardest and you’ll never be disappointed,” said Anthony, flicking through a History textbook.

“Mark,” said Harry concernedly, “if those two shrivel up from lack of sunlight by the end of the Easter Hols, invite us to the funeral.”

“You can give the eulogy,” smirked Mark.

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