Aside from overt over-sexualisation and rape culture in common rooms, which manifested in problematic jokes, catcalling and passive acquiescence across the school, my testimony is a culmination of how a boy, who everyone thought was good and pure-intentioned, after 7 years of KEGS education, still sexually assaulted me after I visited him at university.
My testimony is written here to call out the lack of impetus on behalf of KEGS to raise boys into respectful men. It has failed to instil in every single man a common level of respect for women – even the very ‘best’ ones. The man who assaulted me was a boy who graduated with excellent grades and went onto an excellent university. I thought he was a good person until he tried to coax me into having unprotected sex because ‘don’t all girls do contraceptives now?’ and then pinned me down to hump me before I yelled at him to stop. I tried to tell a few of my other KEGS male friends, but they said ‘it wasn’t that bad’ and carried on being friends with him. I decided to sever ties. For the rest of year 13 I was haunted by his legacy that he was a ‘model’ student. As much as I loved my education, I have no other words except to say I really hated the men. In my time at the sixth form, I have been forced to numb myself to the sexual histrionics of KEGS boys so that I could focus on my studies. In year 12, my morning routine was picking between whether I wanted to be labelled a lesbian for wearing trousers, a slut for wearing a short skirt, or a prude for wearing a long skirt. In year 13, I stopped caring, but learnt a lot of hard lessons about how to navigate clothing choices to protect myself so that it has become second nature. It was at KEGS that I learnt that I get treated better if I wear makeup and look pretty. When I ran a society, I balanced all this attractiveness with a necessary barrier of protectiveness so that I could be respected. If I slacked, I had to deal with sexist comments from students about how women are incompetent and should not be in positions of leadership or I would get ignored if I did not look ‘palatable’ enough.
I noticed that the website states its ethos as mixing latest educational research with “a traditional emphasis on courtesy, personal conduct and respect for others”. I am afraid I have not had this experience from the boys contributing to such educational research. Rather, “whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” was, years later, a hand taken to bring me to submission with the might to derive non-consensual sexual pleasure. My experience was definitely not the worst one that KEGS boys have been capable of perpetuating.
Please use this as a learning and warning opportunity raise your boys to be respectful men, not undercover criminals.