Recent arrivals to Japan are often surprised to find that the country’s educational system has a number of all-girls schools, at levels ranging from elementary to university. To the inexperienced outsider, this can conjure up all sorts of fanciful images of students dressed in petticoat and culottes, gliding gracefully down pastel-painted hallways on their way to the cafeteria to sip and nibble at their lunches of herbal tea and strawberry crepes.
However, often the truth isn’t quite so rose-tinted. After all, both men and women tend to try to put their nicest face forward when members of the opposite gender are around. Many graduates of all-female schools in Japan report that without any incentive to play up the softer sides of their personalities, the girls there can be downright nasty to each other, as illustrated in this short comic.
The eight-panel comparison of how girls act in co-ed and single-sex schools shows a group of kids playing dodgeball. The rules of the game are a little different in Japan, where dodgeball players are divided into two teams, as opposed to the American system of every man for himself. Still, the goal remains the same: hit your opponents with ball.
Let’s start with the comic strip’s depiction of dodgeball at a co-ed school.
▼“Are you OK? You didn’t hurt yourself, did you?”
“Hey that was kind of mean. Why did you throw it so hard?”
▼ “Do you want me to take you to the nurse’s office?”
“Thanks. Sorry to be a burden.”
Well, that was certainly wholesome. Now, let’s see how that situation might play out at an all-girls school.
▼“Kill that bitch!”
▼ “Yes, one down!”
▼ “My….my nose is bleeding….”
“Gimme the ball. It’s payback time.”
So be careful the next time you’re tempted to tell someone they throw like a girl. You just might be right, and the next one might be coming for your face.